Hartford Better Beer Co. Arch Sunshine
Six pack, $9.399++, 6.2% ABV
Harvest Fine Wine & Spirits, West Hartford
I wrote on the Hartford Better Beer Company’s Arch IPA review to “take a second to think about all the different definitions of “arch.” I then proceeded to use all the noun definitions in that review here. I went on to utilize all of the verb definitions for their Arch Amber (see my brilliance here).
Well, better than the beer anyway. So now, I finally got my hands on their fourth and (currently) final offering, the Arch Sunshine Kristall Weizen. In a very, very small way, this allows me to feel that I’ve completed a tiny little list – and that’s cause for mild CMTQ celebration. Prost!
Like all their offerings, this beer is pretty bad – but this time, it’s not really HBB Co’s fault. I just hate this style – and always feel badly for eastern European beer drinkers who seem enamored with this stuff.
A Kristall Weizen is a filtered pale Weissbier. It pours “crystal”-clear rather than yeast-hazey. Typically, Kristall Weizen is made with special Weizen yeast, German Noble hops and equal amounts of barley and wheat malts. Like its Hefeweizen counterpart, Kristall Weizen develops a richly-textured, firm, white head in the glass. Very light, spritzy-effervescent and refreshing on the palate, with creamy texture and gentle, lightly fruity character, it finishes with a touch of dryness.
Arch (ärch) adjective
1. Chief; principal: their arch foe.
These types of beer are my arch beer enemies. Truly, they are the class of beer I most detest. Even on the hottest of summer days, it does not do the trick for me. HBB’s version of it really isn’t all that bad; in fact, it’s pretty true to the style with a bit of a zesty lemony finish to it. It’s drinks easily and smooth, but that skunk taste is always there, as it always is with these beers.
Hartford Better Beer Company says:
Honey-blonde with grist >40% malted wheat. Unlike cloudy light ‘wheat beers’, ARCH SUNSHINE KRISTALL WEIZEN is brewed strong & filtered, retaining a slight chill haze. ALLSEASON & ALL WEATHER beer made with 2-row barley, hopped like a Pilsner, with Czech, German hops, and made with pure soft New England water. Features naturally-occurring flavors of nutmeg, vanilla, clove, green raisin, & pear, all topped by a spicy hop nose. Our lightest color beer- our strongest by alcohol content.
Come on now. And I have no idea why their description has to yell certain things to me. But I’m glad to know that it is made with “pure soft New England water.” That’s important.
Arch (ärch) adjective
2. Mischievous; roguish: an arch glance.
And now, after gone through all the definitions of arch, we come to my favorite one. For this is how I’d look the HHB Company owners. Good guys, for sure, who started one of Hartford’s first brewpubs way back in the early 90’s on Pratt Street. (Should have been over on Arch, but we can’t have everything.)
They brewed in Bloomfield for a while too and held on to the company’s name while contracting up at Shipyard in Maine. The beer landscape has changed immensely since those days and “hopped” beers mean an entirely different thing than it did 20 years ago.
I happen to love that about beer. And it’s unfortunate that labels like HHB’s haven’t moved with the times.
Oh well, sorta fits with it being named after Hartford and all.
Overall Rating: D
Rating vs. Similar style: B