Well, it's the World Cup.
Continuing this trend of 'painfully obvious, you may have also noticed my beer reviewing has been a lot less frequent. Three games a day (while working in a bar), plus a dearth of new brews at the LCBO, plus planning for some upcoming nuptials (holy crap, I can't believe it's less than a month...) have made June my lowest beer-reviewing month yet. Seriously, I checked it out on Beer Advocate, where I usually post about 18-22 reviews a month (think about that for a moment), but for the month of June, I only managed a paltry seven. And four of those happened before the World Cup began, so you can see where the state of my attention span is at right now. It's hard to drink objectively when all you can hear are 80,000 vuvuzelas....
So, like a couple who's got a few minutes before their dinner reservations, I offer you a quickie!
Beer: Erdinger Hefeweizen
Brewery: Erdinger (Erding, Germany)
Yes, that's my new kickass World Cup glass. Pretty impressive, really. It came in a five pack purchased for me by my one-and-only (I knew I was marrying her for a good reason...), and when held to the light it kinda looks like the Jules Rimet trophy, which is all kinds of awesome.
(That's the opening match between South Africa and Mexico in the background, by the way. You may recall it started at 10:00AM. Gotta toast in the World Cup right!)
Pours a light, opaque yellow, typical for the style. When first poured, it produced a truly majestic head, pretty much filling the entire soccer ball section of the glass. Looks about right for a hefe. *MRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
The nose is subtle. A bit too subtle... All the usual suspects are there -banana, clove, yeast, wheat, lemon, coriander - albeit in a very muted form. I might even be stretching a little to say that I can detect them at all. Hmmm...
I was right to 'hmmm....'. The taste of this brew is decent, but quite one-sided and uninteresting. It's essentially a weaker-flavored hefe - still tasty to drink, but unimpressive. The wheat and malt pair well with the citrus, but that's about it.
Mouthfeel is slightly watery, decent effervescent crisp to the finish.
I was a bit disappointed with Erdinger; it wasn't quite the experience I was going for to ring in this happy occasion. To make sure my opinion wasn't swayed by the moment, a second sampling a couple days later confirmed by diagnosis. I do have to clarify this point, however: I would more than happily drink an Erdinger than most brews out there, but when compared with the big boys like Weihenstephaner, Schneider or Hacker-Pschorr (and even a few locals, like Mill Street's Belgian Wit), it doesn't hold up as well. I'll certainly enjoy the last few bottles in the gift pack - and will relish drinking them out of my super-awesome glass for the duration of the Finals, but I don't think I'll be picking up Erdinger too often in the future. (Grade B-)
Cheers to South Africa 2010!