Pensacola Bay Brewery Sawgrass Wheat

June 8, 2011

Man, it’s hot out there! The mercury topped out at 99 yesterday with very little breeze. Strains of The Bangles’ “Cruel Summer” keep bouncing around my noggin. Siberia suddenly doesn’t sound like a bad place to be.

I’ve posited many times before that winter is better than summer. Once it gets nice and sweltering outside a person can strip down to the birthday suit and is still going to be hot. Winter, however, you can bundle up with the extra layers and be just dandy. I guess I just don’t like being sweaty.

Then again, the temperatures rise and the ladies’ outfits become a lot more interesting to look at than their cold weather attire. It’s a trade I’m okay with.

How’s this for irony: I just discovered a leak in our upstairs a/c unit that was going through the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom. A few runs of the shop-vac and sweep of the mop and now I’m all hot and sweaty.
As usual for this time of year, wheat ales and weizenbiers are all the rage due to their thirst-quenching qualities. They’re always lighter-bodied and either crisp or slightly creamy in texture. A citrus flavor profile really satisfies the palate and never leaves behind heavy bitterness or strong tastes. Belgian witbiers and French biere blanche usually incorporate dried orange peel and coriander seed to provide a spicy sizzle whereas German weizens stick to the four ingredient rule and let the Bavarian yeast turn the wheat to lemon, clove and banana.

And guess what? We’ve got a darn good wheat ale being made right in our backyard. Pensacola Bay Brewery’s summer seasonal, Sawgrass Wheat, is making that long trip down Zaragoza Street to purveyors of fine beers all throughout Florida’s panhandle. Brewmaster Mark Robertson has done it again coaxing the perfect flavors out of the ingredients… actual sawgrass not being one of them. Here we’ve got a honey-gold ale with a nice cottony head of foam. The nose is delicate and light with lemon and fresh dough plus a touch of orange zest. What sets Sawgrass apart from other wheat ale is the finish. Call me weird but I pick up some watermelon after the citrus, hay and spice. Seeing as how watermelon is another ubiquitous summer staple it really works in this beer.

Very clean and flavorful, Sawgrass Wheat provides just what you need to slake your parched palate on a boiling Southern summer day.