Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oshkosh Beer of the Week: Gumballhead Wheat Ale

Here’s something new we’re going to add to the blog. Each Thursday we’ll try (try being the operative word) to do a post called the Oshkosh Beer of the Week. It’ll be a quick note about a good beer that’s available in Oshkosh either on tap or at one of the local beer selling stores. Your thoughts on the beers featured here are always welcome and if you come across a great beer that you’d like others to know about, the comments section is always open.

Sunburn, mosquitoes, flooding and wheat beer. It’s all part of summer in Oshkosh. I can live with the other stuff, but I’ve had my fill of non-descript, light ales dressed up as wheat beers when they’re really nothing more than timid brews made with little-to-no character aimed at people who don’t much care for the flavor of beer. Here’s the remedy to all of that: Gumballhead Wheat Ale recently went on tap at Oblio's and it’s a breed apart from the typical Sally beer calling itself a wheat. In fact, you might have a hard time guessing it’s a wheat beer.

The beer pours golden and slightly hazy with an atypically thin head. But here’s where it really starts going it’s own way: The nose is all piny hops. The beer is definitely dry hopped making it an oddity among wheats. It drinks with a bright, juicy-citrus hop flavor, but it isn’t overtly bitter. Those hops match-up nicely to the slight doughiness of the wheat to make for a brew that’s easy to drink and thirst quenching without being dull. The beer closes with a pronounced dryness that clears the palate nicely. This is an interesting beer from start to finish.

Todd at Oblio’s says the tap version Gumballhead varies form the bottled variety and I’m with him on that. The bubblegum and bananas aspect of the beer that you get from the bottle is significantly muted on tap. That’s fine by me. It makes the beer much more drinkable and suitable for a good, long summer session. Finally, we’ve got a wheat that pairs nicely with our sunburn, mosquitoes and floods. Ahhhhhshkosh.

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