Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bristol Brewing Beehive Honey Wheat review

Bristol Brewing Beehive Honey WheatA wheat beer in winter? Why not! The last beer to review from the mixed 12-pack just happened to be one of Bristol Brewing's year-round brews - Bristol Brewing Beehive Honey Wheat. A beer brewed with local Black Forest honey.

Every time I see the label for this beer I just have to chuckle at it's simplicity. A rather retro looking image, but for a year-round flagship beer it seems to fit what this beer is trying to portray.

Bristol Beehive is one of the lowest ABV beers I've seen in a long time weighing in at just 4.06% ABV. It's built to be very low in bitterness at just 16 IBUs and highly sessionable. For you calorie counters, this beer will only set you back 131 calories.

Bristol Brewing used 2-Row, Wheat and Munich malts in this brew and bittered them with Chinook and Mount Hood hops.

Appearance: Bristol Beehive poured a beautiful golden color with a slight haze. There was a nice frothy 2-finger tall white head with excellent carbonation and a clingy white lacing that stuck to the glass. There was no visible sediment in the bottle or in the glass with a full pour.

Aroma: I could pick up on a slight honey and citrus aroma upon the first whiff. There was also a hint of lemon, bread and hop spice in the nose. The brew overall had a very pleasant aroma. There wasn't much of a yeast aroma present. I could also pick up a slight butterscotch hint as well.

Taste: Bristol Beehive was a light bodied beer that seemed to be very easy drinking. The low ABV rating made this to be a perfect session-type beer. Up front there was a creaminess and a pleasant wheat taste. In the back, there was a definite bitter finish with just a very mild sweetness. The honey didn't seem to add any extra flavor as the malt and hops seemed to dominate here. As far as wheat beers go, this one didn't have as much "wheat funk" as most other brews have. This beer had been brewed over 2 months prior to sampling so some of the freshness had worn off, yet it was still very drinkable. The grains take center stage, the honey added just a bit of distinction.

Overall: I came into this tasting not expecting much from a low ABV wheat beer, particularly in winter. While Bristol's Beehive didn't get me "buzzing" with excitement, it's still a solid wheat beer that makes for some fun sessionable drinking. If offered this beer again at a party I would gladly accept it. I probably wouldn't buy this as a go-to summer brew however, as wheat beers aren't on the top of my list. Still, for what it was designed to be, I enjoyed it and had no problem finishing it.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer at my local liquor store as part of a 12-bottle multipack.

Related articles:
- Bristol Brewing Mass Transit Ale review.
- Bristol Brewing Company IPA review.
- Bristol Brewing Red Rocket Pale Ale review.
- Bristol Brewing Laughing Lab review.

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