Strawberry Beer Menage a Trois

By on June 30, 2008 @ 10 PM (1 Comment)

We were so smitten with the Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager that we said “Hey, why not try even more strawberry beers?” Then we took it to the next level and said “Hey, why not try the other strawberry beers at the same time, Pepsi Challenge style?” The end result – now we hate strawberries. Strawberry Overkill (which would be a good name for a band) – can’t even look at them. You know the old saying “Too much good, no good”? It’s true. Hopefully our newly found disdain for strawberries will dissipate quickly, so we can go back to making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the strawberry jam we used to love.

The Contenders
For this strawberry beer three way challenge, or strawberry beer menage a trois as we like to call it, we decided to put our favorite Louisiana strawberry beer versus a North Carolina strawberry beer in a battle of the Beer Love states. Son Beer Love now resides in NC and has for the last six years. Father Beer Love still lives in LA, where Son Beer Love spent his first 25 years. We also threw in a contender from Texas. Here’s the lineup, hometown, weight class, ABV and availability, WWF style:

  • From Abita Springs, LA, weighing in at 12 ounces, it’s a spring seasonal beer with an unknown ABV – give it up for Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager
  • From San Antonio, TX, weighing in at 12 ounces, it sports a 5% ABV and is available year round – ladies and gentlemen, Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde Lager
  • And finally, from Mooresville, NC, also weighing in at 12 ounces, with year round availability and a 4.75% ABV – it’s Carolina Strawberry Ale

About the Test
We did this test over iChat, and we each had three pint glasses to go with the three beers. Starting beer temperatures were at 43 F, nice and cold, the way strawberry beer should be. It should be noted the Carolina beer is actually an ale and the others are lagers. We gave some thought to how this may affect the test and if we’d be able to tell a difference in the fermentation methods (we could – more details below). It’s worth noting that though we’re presenting these tests linearly below, we very much did not implore a linear method – we drank one, rinsed our mouths with water, then drank another ad nauseum.

Test 1: Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde Lager
Pete’s Wicked Strawberry gave us the best head of the bunch – almost 1 3/4″. It was the second darkest in terms of color and was also the clearest of the bunch – no haze at all. Of the three it had the most subdued smell. The aromas came out as biscuit, strawberry and a light cream. The taste was actually quite bitter – the bitterness jumped out at us and was almost acidic. It’s a very harsh flavor that leans well towards the hoppy side of our patent-pending malt to hop scale.

Test 2: Carolina Strawberry Ale
The Carolina Strawberry gave us the darkest color of the three and also gave us the most potent strawberry smell – very sweet. The aromas were biscuit, strawberry and cream, the same smells as the other beers, just with different levels – the strawberry really jumps out of this one – like a Strawberry Shortcake doll. The taste has a sharpness to it that is a little unsettling. On the malt to hop scale it comes in a little hoppy and just a little to the right of balanced. The strawberry tastes very artificial. Perhaps it’s the ale yeast that just needs some bolder flavors with it. So there’s lesson 1: Strawberry beer is best done in a lager style.

Test 3: Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager
Our old friend. The Abita Strawberry came in with the lightest color of the three. On the flip side it was the most carbonated of the bunch. The aromas were biscuit, strawberry and cream and this one had the least strawberry smell of the three. You also get a smell that really reminds you of white cake for some reason – must be the way the cream plays off the biscuit. It’s more complex than the other beers. It’s very light on hops – this is by far the most balanced beer of the bunch and by far the best smelling. The taste is incredibly smooth. Nothing not to like in this one.

The Final Results
Not surprisingly, Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager was the clear cut winner. It’s just a solid beer and it’s a shame it’s only a seasonal. As for the other two, it was toyed with that maybe we should give them a tie for third and not even have a number two, but after much debate we gave the number two rating to the Carolina Strawberry Ale. This means Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde Lager comes in at number three. The difference was the Carolina Strawberry was just bad, while Pete’s Wicked Strawberry was damn bad.

Just for grins we decided to give the Carolina Strawberry and Pete’s Wicked Strawberry a little Vay-ner-chuk action, ala Episode #439. We mixed the two together to try to form some type of super beer but we pretty much just got a cup of yuck. Mind you they were better together than they were individually, but when you mix just bad with damn bad to get kind of bad, it’s still bad.

In conclusion we hate strawberries and don’t recommend assaulting your mouth like this. There’s actually a note on one of our review forms I must have written at the end of it all that reads “I fucking hate strawberries.” That about sums it up.


1 Comment (Add Your Comments)

  1. Came by from your comment on TBC – I’m pretty much convinced that strawberry flavored beers seem like a good idea that just doesn’t work!
    Still, I think Strawberries are good on cereal,just not in beer!

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