Sean Suggests for June 2018

No June Gloom so far this month, so let’s dip our toes into some super light beers that also have left-of-center ingredients tossed in.

Abita/ Watermelon Lemon Shandy3.50% ABV
Inspired by the taste and aromas of summertime, this crisp, golden lager is brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and blended with refreshing watermelon and zesty lemon juices for a sweet, freshly squeezed flavor. All of our Harvest Series brews are made with the finest Louisiana-grown ingredients, keeping us Louisiana True.

Fritz Briem/ 13the Century Gruit4.60% ABV
Before the German Reinheitsgebot, in 1516, beer was not explicitly brewed with water, malt, hops & yeast through In fact the Reinheitsgebot was as much a ban against certain substances & adjuncts as it was a government instruction to brewing beer. Until then it was common practice to use a variety of different spices & plants instead of hops to flavor and prolong the shelf life of the beer. Some of the adjuncts that were used even had anesthetic & toxic effects. Gruit beer has roots in many cultures and each culture had its own “special ingredients”: Egyptians (Mandrake based), Native Americans (Corn based), Arabian Tribes, Gaulles, Germanic Tribes and the Vikings. Gruit beer became especially popular during the middle ages in Germany in the regions of Westphalia & Lower Saxony close to the borders of Belgium & Holland. During this time the ingredients for beer were very expensive, in particular hops. This interpretation of a traditional Grut Bier is spiced with Lorbeer (Bay Leaves), Ingwer (Ginger), Kummel (Caraway), Anis (Anise), Rosemarin (Rosemarie) & Enzian (Gentian). It is brewed with water, wheat & barley malt, “pollinated wild hops” and fermented using top fermenting yeast.

SoLArc / Straw Beer5.60% ABV
Straw Beer is a refereshing tart wheat fruit brewed with Yerba Mate, Hibiscus Flowers, Local Strawberries, and Foraged Prickly Pear Cactus. It pours hazy with a hint of pink as the wheat and oats in this unfiltered brew add a juicy mouthfeel The Prickly pear was picked young to add a bitterness that balances nicely with the tart flavors of Hibiscus and Strawberry. The level of Yerba Mate are not enough to keep you up all night, but just enough to invigorate the soul.

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)


There are many Christmas / Winter Warmer / Spiced Ales out there but the next holiday up has relatively few options. But Abita Brewing has a new one that looks to be a great way to ring in the New Year AND to celebrate 300 years of New Orleans to boot.

“Our tricentennial tribute was brewed to capture the diverse history and culture of this great city, with malted barley and wheat bringing the downhome charm and Sauvignon blanc grapes adding a distinctive touch of elegance. The result is light, crisp and dry, a refreshing “house white” that would surely make New Orleans proud.”

Hopefully this beer will reach distribution to California.

Holiday Beer # 30 – Christmas Ale from Abita

Our penultimate holiday ale comes from Abita (who will get more play tomorrow), this is a Louisiana Christmas Ale…

“Each year at the Abita Brewery we craft a special dark ale for the holiday season. The recipe changes each year so that Abita Christmas Ale is always the perfect gift. Its spicy character is excellent with traditional holiday foods such as gingerbread or spiced nuts.”

Featured Review – Pecan Ale from Abita

Switching from gourd to nut, here are my thoughts on the Abita Pecan Ale.

Here is the website description, “Pecan Ale is made with real Louisiana roasted pecans for a subtle, nutty flavor and aroma. It’s brewed with pale, Munich, biscuit and caramel malts, and Willamette hops.”

Pecan Ales is on the border of dark orange and brown . This nutty beer tastes light upon first sipping. It has some sparkle to it though. I like pie but the one I avoid is pecan pie. This has none of that sweetness. The roasted nut flavor takes the place of hops and there are no spices added to muddy this up. Just a straight up light brown ale with pecan notes to it. I didn’t geaux nuts but this is an easy sipper with personality.

Architecturally Speaking

I am a sucker for a good back story to a beer and when that back story weaves in the history and sense of place where the brewery resides.  Well, then even better.


Abita (which we thankfully get in LA) has done many charitable beers but this one should also endear a pride in the city and it’s splendid design.  Plus the packaging is pretty cool.  Good branding. And if you like Mosaic hops then you have another IPA to sample.