Some people are beginning to think that “craft” beer is synonymous with “good” beer. While I would agree that, yes, this is mostly true, I can assure you that it is a dangerous claim. It’s difficult to find a craft beer that is less enjoyable than some of the cheaper mass produced beers (anything with lite or ice in the name) but that isn’t much of a challenge.
For a brewery to be considered a “craft” brewery, its not just a measure of the caliber of beer, but rather its a reflection on the structure of the company.
It’s about the size, the owners and how many barrels they roll out a year (among other things). If they meet the standards then they are a “craft” or “micro” brewery. This usually symbolizes that the people care about the beer, because it is an independent operation, thus better beer is a result.
Of course not all beer you will like. Never confuse “craft” for “good” or else you will just be blindsided by something weird. Independent tastes coupled with the near endless recipes will ensure that you will not like everything, and if you say you like everything then you are a scoundrel and a liar. And sometimes brands you have known and loved may surprise you. In this case I was surprised at my displeasure.
I was hoping the first time I tried this beer I just got a bad bottle. Unfortunately for me, that wasn’t the case. Now just as a disclaimer, not much of a wheat beer kind of guy, but that doesn’t mean I have never enjoyed a wheat beer. I have plenty of times. Just not this time.
This girl is called Dreamweaver by Tröegs Brewing Company. Lets talk basics…
Type of Beer: Hefeweizen (Wheat Beer)
Color: Cloudy Gold/Orange
It pours nice enough. Good golden color, pure white head. Cloudy — but it says unfiltered so thats to be expected. It smells like a cheap beer to me. That slight skunky smell that you expect from a bottom shelf beer you buy a 30 pack of for $0.89 and it comes with a free bottle opener and/or hat. Of course it has its citrus notes, and some cloves. It’s a bit bizarre. Sometimes I don’t smell that unpleasant cheap smell, and it comes off really pleasant, but when I do smell it, its very noticeable and greatly detracts from the aromas.
It’s taste, to me, is equally unimpressive. Fruity notes up front, but then it begins to taste a bit cheap, with a yeasty unfiltered taste (not a bad thing, just a observation) it really rounds out to making me feel… not refreshed. I actually feel kind of sticky… Though I will say its really light and goes down quick, but it just doesn’t have the flavor or complexity that I would expect. The crispness of the start of the sip is dampened by the way it ends. On a hot night I was expecting something more refreshing.
Beer in review…
Citrus and cloves aromas along with some unpleasant notes. Citrus flavor is crisp and refreshing but it drags itself down quickly. Light and easy to put back, but could be much more.
To me this is more like a test batch (If this were my home brew) and I would be seeing what I could add or change to make it represent something more complex and refreshing. Wheat beers to me have always symbolized summer, and I know other agree, and that means I kind of expect something refreshing. Dreamweaver hits with those crisp fruit notes and then bottoms out and drags itself the rest of the way down. Maybe its just a clever strategy. That crisp feeling is nice, but once it drags itself away, you want another sip to get rid of the weird taste and feel that crispness again.
If someone offered me one of these, would I turn it down? That depends… is it free? Then sure, I’ll have one. Otherwise I see this not happening again. Like I said, I’m not a wheat beer kind of guy, I prefer something more complex, that makes me not feel more sweaty.
Basically I give it a 4/10 because… well It’s better than bad beer, but its not quite my definition of a good beer.
Try the beer. You might like it. When it comes to beer, always let your curiosity get the best of you (If it is professionally crafted beer. Not if you buy it out of a strangers trunk it the back parking-lot of your local drug store). It can take you places and help define your identity as a drinker. Keep on boozin’ (with class of course).
Thomas Conner, the ‘Beer Dude’ has known to taste and make some of the finest beers in Charm City. He figures he has made more beer than he drank or is that vice versa. He doesn’t remember. If you catch him at a nearby Baltimore establishment drinking a beer, he reminds us sternly, it’s solely for research purposes. He doesn’t jot down notes. In fact, he highly recommends not drinking and writing because it interferes with the tasting. As always, he brings along a designated note-taker who also multi-tasks by driving him home. Drink and write responsibly and never at the same time is his motto. If you would like him to test out your establishment’s home brew, just pretend you’re at the O’s game, and yell, “Beer man.” He’ll hear you.