Thursday, July 9, 2009

Harpoon Crystal Wheat

Does anyone remember Crystal Pepsi? It came out in the early 90s, tasted just like Pepsi, but had no color. Totally a gimmick. Thinking back on it, the biggest question is probably "why"? Why introduce a see-thru soft drink that tasted just like your biggest seller? I doubt that people were clamoring for this type of thing...

Harpoon Brewery in Boston, possibly in a fit of nostalgia over Crystal Pepsi, has introduced a new Crystal Wheat beer to their lineup. It's not a bad beer, by any means. It basically tastes like a Harpoon UFO that was filtered and flavored with lemon. It is a good example of the German Kristallweizen beer style, which is wheat beer with the yeast filtered out. The only downside is that the strong lemon aroma is somewhat "chemically", similar to how Pledge is "lemony fresh". It tastes fine in the beer, but it smells off.

But, the same question for Crystal Pepsi needs to be asked: Why? Harpoon UFO is already a very good Hefeweizen (German for unfiltered wheat beer), and a lemon wedge is typically added to UFO when you order it at a bar. (I'm told that you can also add your own lemon wedge at home, but this couldn't be confirmed in time for publication.) Crystal Wheat is basically the same exact thing.

In reality, this was probably a very easy beer for Harpoon to brew - take a UFO, filter it, and throw in a lemon. Done. Maybe there is a lot of pent-up demand for something like Crystal Wheat, but based on the fate of Crystal Pepsi, I'm going to go with "no".

On the other hand, it is a pretty good beer. I can see how it would be refreshing to down a Crystal Wheat on a hot summer afternoon. Never mind that Harpoon already makes a superb Summer Beer...

Rating = 2.0

I wouldn't turn it away, but I'm not planning to purchase any more Crystal Wheat. Oh, and don't forget to sign the petition to bring back Crystal Pepsi.

1 comment:

eileen said...

This post made me think of that old SNL spoof of Crystal Pepsi- it was an ad for Crystal Gravy.