Lowtide: Are Wheat There Yet? (England: low Alcohol: 0.5% ABV)

Visual: Pale lager yellow coloured body. Some small bubbled carbonation. Medium sized white head.

Nose: Milky. Coriander. Crusty white bread. Light peppery bitterness. Slight sulphur. Orange skin.

Body: Peppery bitterness. Lightly milky. Wheaty feel. White bread. Mild bitty orange juice. Mild iced tea. Coriander.

Finish: Peppery bitterness. Dry. Slight sulphur. Crusty white bread. Mild orange skin. Coriander.

Conclusion: Ok, while this is most definitely recognisable as an American style wheat beer, the dry, clean mouthfeel actually reminds me of some of the more attenuated lagers. It is very crisp, very easy drinking and always has a nice peppery bitterness ready to kick out from it.

There is, just to mess with that, a contradictory milky character to this early on, and that milkiness returns in the finish – but in the centre, as the bitterness comes out to play it seems to push that out of the way. With that milkiness pushed away, the aforementioned dry character is plain to see, along with just a slight wheaty roughness that gives some grip to the whole thing.

The peppery character is matched notably by the coriander used to make the beer. Though the other uncommon ingredient (well uncommon for beers that aren’t wheat beers) used to make this – the orange skin – seems to be mainly coming across as gentle freshness rather than a heavy part of the beer. It is out of the way for the most part of the beer. Though I will say as the rest of the beer fades away in the finish, the orange definitely sticks around a tad longer to show itself alongside the returning milky character.

This is a really good low abv wheat – not as showy as most of the full abv wheat beers, but lovely and crisp – bitter with little subtle notes of interest dancing around. It doesn’t taste high abv, but neither are there most of the usual tells for a low alcohol beer. There is a small iced tea note but even that is integrated well, so it just feels in the lower end of a normal beers abv, rather than nigh alcohol free.

A bitter refresher with a bit of flavour to add. I’m getting seriously impressed with Lowtide’s output. If they can keep this up then they may be a new high bar for low abv beers. We can but see, but I hope so.

Background: After very much enjoying my last encounter with Lowtide I grabbed this as part of another batch of Lowtide beers from Beercraft. Since drinking that beer I did some googling and it looks like Lowtide use contract brewing to make their beers. Now, I have no idea where they make them, I will however point out they are spitting distance from the Electric Bear brewery, soooo, maybe? Who knows? I mean apart from Lowtide and whoever the brewer is. From the can this has oats and wheat in it, as well as coriander and orange peel. Nothing too unusual for a wheat beer, but still nice. I had recently picked up Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes’ last album, in preparation for their new one coming out soon. Very different from the super heavy style of the first album, very varied in styles but I am super enjoying it.