Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wheat Beers — Grieskirchner vs. Pike

Grieskirchner Weisse
ABV 5.1%

Hazy light orangish yellow.
Phenolic yeast aromas (band-aid, banana).
Smooth, creamy, refreshing and lemony.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Grain and cloves.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good +

Pike Dry Wit
ABV 5.0%

Almost the exact same color but less hazy.
Cardamom, coriander, cheese rind.
More of the same — cardamom and coriander.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Balanced.
Grain with some bitterness and tannins, like an over-steeped tea.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good -

Winner by unanimous decision
: Grieskirchner.
In honor of the World Cup starting tomorrow we thought we'd stage an international battle. Unfortunately, we could not procure any English wheat beer to battle the Pike Wit. Instead we had to settle for an Austrian Weissbeer from a brewery with a name that is nearly unpronounceable. Sure, Austria isn't actually in the World Cup, but based on this battle it's apparent that they make up for their lack of futbol talent with some serious beer-making talent.

It wasn't exactly a "fair" fight, as the Pike Wit is an interpretation of a Belgian-style witbier (flavored with orange peel, coriander and other spices), while the
Grieskirchner is made in a German Hefeweizen style. Sure, they are both made with wheat, but aside from that they vary greatly in aroma and flavor. However, fights don't have to be fair — the battle goes on without regard to categorization or style. And in this battle, the one that starts with a G was clearly the winner. Its smooth, creamy mouthfeel and classic hefeweizen yeast characteristics made it a joy to drink. If the weather in Seattle ever gets hot again (big "if"), this would be an excellent beer for a BBQ or picnic. The Pike, on the other hand seemed harsh in comparison. The coriander and other spices came through a bit too much and it finished with a strange tea-like bitterness. It wasn't a bad beer (and actually, it might go quite well with Indian food or other boldly spiced fare), but it just didn't match up well with the Austrian Weisse.

And finally, we'll answer the question you've all been waiting for, "Does this mean that the US will lose to England in the first game of the World Cup?" I hate to break it to you, but the results of the battles on this blog have yet to provide any meaningful sports predictions. However, if you do plan to have a beer while watching the game we suggest that you have two:
Grieskirchner during the first half and Pike during the second.

In the interest of full disclosure to satisfy the FTC’s law, this battle features a sample bottle received from the Pike Brewery.

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