Today’s review is the Belgian wheat beer Hoegaarden.
What they say: “A delicious and surprising refreshing taste, naturally cloudy and brewed using a unique recipe of wheat, malted barley and a subtle hint of coriander and orange peel.”
What The Thirsty Beagle says: Hoegaarden is referred to as a witbier, or white beer, because of it’s cloudy appearance. Historically, witbiers are a staple of Belgian brewing tradition. This beer is cloudy indeed, and much sweeter than your standard larger or even ale. I would argue that the “subtle hint” of spices is a bit understated. This beer has a definite spiciness that hits you right off the bat. If you’re not used to drinking unfiltered beers, especially one this spicy/sweet, the taste and consistency may seem peculiar at first. I find it a nice balance to the bitter undercurrent in many mainstream beers. Hoegaarden is best enjoyed poured into a wide-mouth glass — the bottle even has directions for proper pouring technique, including a gentle swirling of the drink to spread it’s ingredients. Like other unfiltered beers, Hoegaarden can settle in the bottle and to drink it without disturbing the contents throws the taste out of line. Hoegaarden leaves a sweet aftertaste, but it’s one that is not overwhelming. A little Hoegaarden history: The beer originated in the Belgian town of — you guessed it — Hoegaarden. Overall, a solid choice to enjoy on a warm summer day when you’re looking for something a little more complex for your palette.
Score: 3 1/2 out of 5 beagles.