Thirsty Thursday

Watermelon-lime ale smells of melon but lacks original taste

Frankie Prigatel | Staff Photographer

Summer may have officially ended, but it looks like the warm weather isn’t ready to leave ‘Cuse just yet. If you’re a looking for a beer to tie together the fall season with the fleeting summer weather, New Belgium Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale may be the one for you.

When I first spotted this bottle in the liquor store I was intrigued. Watermelon and beer have such opposite tastes, so I was wondering: is it actually possible to bottle them together into a delicious beer? I decided to test it out and see just how successful this concoction was.

I found the most prominent fruity hints in the aroma. Watermelon, papaya and citrus scents all wafted out of the bottle when I popped off the cap. Once I got past the initial fruity scent, I noticed notes of malt and herbs.

The beer is a deep golden color, and a thin layer of white foam sat at the top of the glass when I poured it into the glass.

The most surprising part of this beer was the taste. The smell and color were about what I expected from watermelon lime ale, but was the taste going to be consistent with the watermelon? To be honest, I was a little bit disappointed.

With my first sip, I did not notice any watermelon flavors. In fact, I noticed an overpowering lime. But when I got past the sour taste of the green fruit, I noticed a fairly sweet undertone. This might be the watermelon, I thought. But while I examined the flavor, I realized that the sweet taste wasn’t reminiscent of watermelon, but more like strawberry.

The aftertaste of the beer also lacked watermelon hints. But while I missed the taste of the summer melon, I really enjoyed the final flavor, which just like the original taste featured an overpowering flavor of lime.

One similarity between the drink and the fruit is the underwhelming taste. Watermelon, by nature is a subtle fruit with a light and thin flavor — far from overpowering — and I guess that was reflected in the beer.

So how does one go about making watermelon lime beer? There are two crucial things done to this beer to make the watermelon lime ale different than your average bottled beer.

First, while the beer is boiling, lime peel is added to the liquid to extract essential oils. Then, during fermentation, watermelon gets added to capture the fruity flavors and ferment the flavors.

So would I buy this beer again? Probably not, but it was definitely an interesting thing to taste.

This beer is 5 percent alcohol and sells for under two dollars for a bottle.


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