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Beer #60 – March 2, 2010: Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat

March 6, 2010

My flight home from Mexico offered a great surprise: craft beer served on the plane!  It was also an opportunity to get back on track to averaging one different beer each day this year…

Beer: Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat

Brewery: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Style: Witbier

Serving Type: 12 oz can

Price: $7 on United Airlines

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Plastic Cup

Strength: 4.9% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Big flavor, yet refreshing, especially for a beer on an airplane from a can.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Very hazy orange hue with a big foamy white head and bubbles rising in my cup.

Aroma: Strong and clean orange-lemon-citrus aroma

Mouthfeel: Very creamy

Taste: An initial mild caramel wheat sweetness is followed by a huge sweet candied orange flavor.  While the orange lingers, a more tart citrus note of slightly bitter lemon rind comes forward.  Spice notes of coriander and fresh-ground pepper provide a nice contrast.  Overall, extremely tasty and flavorful… maybe a little too much orange for my taste, but still quite enjoyable.

Pairing: Airplane peanuts?  Oh, that’s right, they don’t give those out anymore.  Not even pretzels.

Trivia: Good beer in the “friendly skies” is starting to become more common, especially with more craft brewers putting beer in cans.  In addition to my finding “Leinie” on United, apparently Alaska Air has been serving craft beer since 2000, and Virgin America is now offering Brew Free or Die IPA.  More about better beer in the air can be found on Beer Nation.

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