You Get What You Pay For

Jeffrey Wiser, July 09, 2013

I’m occasionally a victim of the beer sale. While I primarily shop on taste, I can sometimes be sold on a decent beer at great price. If it’s a beer I’ve had before and know that I don’t hate it, plus it’s cheap, I’m game.

I stopped in at the local grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for dinner and thought to myself, “Why not just cruise by the beer aisle and see if anything’s on sale?” I’m sure you’ve asked yourself a similar question once or twice, so you know where I’m coming from.

Upon arriving at the beer cooler, which is small at this market, I noticed a beer from my college days that was marked down. Pyramid Breweries are a bit of a Northwest staple and their hefewiezen was on sale. “Awesome,” I thought, “I haven’t had that beer in a long time!” Man, was I wrong. About one of those things at least.

I don’t know if Pyramid has changed it’s mixture in the last few years or if my palate has changed dramatically, but this wasn’t the beer I remember sippin’ across the street from SafeCo Field before Mariners games. First the notes, then my thoughts:

  • Appearance: golden orange, cloudy, light foam head (3.25)
  • Smell: lemon, light hops, more lemon (2)
  • Taste: citrus, wheat, yeast, more citrus (1.5)
  • Mouthfeel: light, some hop on the front, lots of citrus and hops through the middle and back end, strong bitter and citrus aftertaste (2)
  • Overall: aside from the appeal of an unfiltered hefewiezen, this beer is out of whack with no semblance of balance (2.5)

The amount of citrus in this beer was unreal. It was so bitter and sour going down, especially the aftertaste, it made me think I somehow got a bad batch. I couldn’t figure out if the six-pack I bought was mistakenly left our in the Southwest sun for week or something. I just didn’t remember the beer having so much citrus and bitterness. What I remembered was the unfiltered nature of it and it having some really strong wheat characteristics. I found almost none of that the beers I drank (and tried to give away).

Needless to say, I was betrayed by the price tag. Shopping on price is destined to yield some sketchy results and while you may stumble into a hell of a deal once in a while, I won’t be making a habit of it. For three more bucks, I could have been drinking heaven but instead I wound up drinking something I wish I’d never experienced. Lesson learned.