21st Amendment Brewing
San Francisco, CA
Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer
I’m a man. A real man, damnit. I like steak and sports and alcohol that makes me grimace when I drink it. I like the heavy stuff – REAL beer for a REAL man – so I don’t give in to some frou-frou fruit-flavored wheat beer.
Except this one. This one’s pretty good.
21st Amendment‘s Hell or High Watermelon is a sessionable 4.9% wheat beer the brewery puts out every summer. After brewing a classic American-style wheat beer, they put the beer through secondary fermentation with fresh watermelon. Then they top it off with a bit more watermelon juice.
Like a wheat beer, it pours a very hazy straw yellow/sunrise/blonde color. There’s maybe half a finger of head but it’s gone before you know it. No lacing and very weak alcohol legs. All expected for a light beer of the style.
The nose has the standard big rich wheat notes and a really strong watermelon smell. While a lot of fruit beers go for overpowering fruit, the watermelon is very subtle and not overly sweet smelling. It’s not artificial at all. Just a very slight hoppiness to it.
There’s a very nice tartness on the tip of the tongue. There’s effervescent and bubbly carbonation throughout the mouth. The watermelon flavor is immediately present in the middle of the mouth and again on the back. Again, it’s not overpowering or artificial, which is something they pride themselves on. It’s the right balance of sweet and tart. On the back you get that smooth wheat and a clean sweet finish. It’s perfect for summer sipping.
The fact they use real watermelon is a big plus. The beer is just the right amount of sweet, a little tart and extremely smooth and drinkable. I could easily see myself going through a six-pack poolside. It takes a real man to say that.