Time and Tide: Root Of All Evil Beetroot Hefe (England: Spice\Herb\Vegetable: 8 % ABV)
Visual: Deep cherry red with strawberry colour laced massive bubble mounded head. Hazy body.
Nose: Paprika. Wheaty and peppery. Slightly fresh air. Mild strawberry notes.
Body: Vanilla fudge. Strawberry. Wheaty and peppery. Smooth feel. Light carrot. Light beetroot. Cloves. Light earthy notes. Roots.
Finish: Strawberry. Mild beetroot. Fudge. Mild bitterness and hop character. Cinnamon. Carrot. Turmeric.
Conclusion: Ok, hands up, who expected this to be fucking horrible? Ok, now this is a text based medium, so you can’t see, but I assure you my hand is up right now. So, why did I buy it? Well, I don’t mind beetroot, so I had nothing too bad there, and frankly this looked like a beer to be “enjoyed” in the same way you enjoy Sharknado 2. or Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. By enjoying how bad it is and taking the piss.
So, erm, it is actually pretty good. I’m genuinely shocked. It feels much more malty than I would expect for a hefeweisen based beer, and that gives it quite a level of vanilla fudge backed against the wheaty and slightly peppery character from the hefe. The backing seems to be what makes the beetroot an interesting note rather than a dominating one. There is none of the real intense beetroot flavours I was expecting, instead it gives a dry spicy earthiness, and mild use of the more recognisable beetroot notes. With the sweetness they even seem to mix to give what feels like a very predominant strawberry characteristic. Very nice, especially to offset the dry spice.
In fact, now I think about it, between the spice and the peppery character this actually feels closer to a Belgian Wit that has been brewed up to 8% to give a more malty character, than what I would expect of the German hefe. Though I will admit the wheat character still does have some calls the German hefe feel, along with a moderate hop bitterness that you wouldn’t often see in the Belgian wit interpretation.
Overall, yeah I dig it, like a spicy Belgian Wit boosted with subtle root vegetable character, and with big malt balancing sweetness that keeps it all together. Possibly the most surprisingly satisfying beer I have had this year, if not longer. I wouldn’t just recommend this as a fun gimmick, it is one I could see myself having just as general drinking if I found it on tap. A very good beer that uses its unusual elements well.
Background; Listed at 30 IBU this canned hefeweisen is made with beetroot. Which is pretty much the reason I grabbed it. Found at my usual beer haunt of Independent Spirit. Drunk while listening to The Algorithm: Brute Force. What else can I say? It is a beetroot beer.