Monday, September 19, 2011

Abita Purple Haze - bEARsom Buddies

Today's bEARsom Buddies begins to explore the brews of the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! I must admit, I picked this beer for the guys to try because I thought the name was cool, and I hoped that it might be something that I could sip without making horrible faces. Yes, that's how it goes when I pick out beers for the menfolk to try. Obviously, they don't let me pick the beer very often. However armed with a list of brews being offered at the "Craft Beer" Marketplace Booth I headed off to the market to find something for them to drink. Thanks so much to Erik for writing today's review of Abita's Purple Haze. ~Kristen
As I continue to broaden my horizons and palatte, this time I looked to Disney's upcoming Food and Wine celebration for my next beer. And what a beer I Found! The folks at Abita Springs Brewery, out of Louisiana, are showcasing Purple Haze.

Purple Haze is a wheat beer that has had a raspberry puree added after the filtration process.  Now, I can probably guess what you're thinking "a flavored beer... really?"  Let me tell you, I thought the exact same thing.  I have tried flavored beers over the years (pumpkin, vanilla, creme brulee) and have been horribly disappointed at the total lack of flavor, or by the overwhelming flavor that drowned out the beer entirely.  Purple Haze is none of these.  The raspberry in Purple Haze adds some wonderful component to this beer.

Just looking at the color you can see the difference as it's golden tone is slightly hazy with a purplish hue (hence the name I assume).  I was  hoping for a darker shade, but the lightness of the purple was a definately a conversation starter in the house,  The aroma is a perfect blend of hops and berries, nothing that overpowers the other.  It doesn't seem to come across as "raspberry' per say, but it does have that fruity, berry quality that I was hoping for.  Flavorwise I was very pleased overall.  Purple Haze lets the tartness of the berry speak for itself.  It starts out as a flavorful, crisp wheat beer that leaves the mouth with that wonderful, raspberry tartness that really compliments the overall lightness.

By no means is this beer heavy, sitting at 4.2% ABV it is one of the lightest beers that I have had.  It's perfect for summertime drinking.  Abita suggests pairing Purple Haze with salads, fruit, and chocolate desserts, foods that will draw out the raspberry flavir,  I think, however, that they are missing out on spicy food.  Since Purple Haze is so crisp, bright and fruity I think it would pair exceptionally well with a hot and spicy food profile.  However you plan to enjoy this offering, you won't be disappointed.

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