How much do you like the flavor of bananas in your beer? If you do, you probably know about Wells Banana Bread Beer, which emphasizes its banana quality in its name. But if you pick up a beer that just calls itself a Bavarian-style wheat beer on the label and yet you smell a bunch of bananas from the moment you open the bottle, what then?
That was my reaction to Brooklyner Wheat Beer, which is also called Weisse Beer on some labels. An overwhelming scent of banana emerged as I poured it into the glass. A deep yellow, almost brown, filled the glass and was crowned by a light foam that slowly dissipated into a lacy ring. The hefeweizen was unfiltered, so it was slightly cloudy, yet the golden color gleamed in the light.
Take a deep sniff and you’ll notice there’s plenty going on under the banana, from honey and citrus candies to grass and wheat. But the banana is going to be the make or break element for many beer drinkers.
Many of those characteristics, including the banana, carry over into the flavor with the addition of a pleasant bitterness to cut a little of the sweet. They are further enhanced by a slice of lemon or orange. By itself, the mid-palate had a slight sour quality that the citrus would also temper leading to a lengthy wheat-filled finish. The mouthfeel is fairly full with plenty of fine carbonation.
This is a beer that speaks of summer and would be great with summer food, whether you pair it with watermelon or a green salad. Think of pairing it with simply prepared fish or roast chicken. And don’t forget the banana pudding for dessert; they’d be great together.