Hydroponic White Ale
6 pack bottles, $9.49, 5.2% ABV
Purchased at Amity Wine and Spirits, Woodbridge
As I choked this beer down, two thoughts weighed foremost on my mind: Why, oh why, did I buy a full six-pack of this stuff and why, oh WHY IS THIS CALLED HYDROPONIC?
To the first question: because I haven’t seen this in singles anywhere and since it’s oh-so important for me to try to review every CT beer, I took the plunge.
To the second question: I have absolutely no idea. And, to make it all even more ridiculous, the label itself says FOUR times in block letters, “PRODUCT NOT HYDROPONICALLY GROWN.” Okay. What?! Is that a Connecticut law? Like, do food and drink producers need to alert consumers to hydroponically grown produce? And, conversely, do they have to tell us clearly when it is not?
Or, perhaps, do food and drink producers need to clearly tell us when the name of a product is in no way a reflection of what the actual product is? Because this is all just so weird to me.
Discounting the fact that if the hops or the wheat or whatever were hydroponically grown, so what? With food labeling so willy-nilly regarding “organic” and “natural” these days, why pick on “hydroponic?” It’s not like the thousands of bottles of Chilean grape “Connecticut wine” sold in this state every year tell consumers directly on the bottles that the grapes were from Chile.
And City Steam doesn’t need to tell us that there were no actual “naughty nurses” used in the production of their popular Naughty Nurse. I just don’t get it.
(All this at a time – summer 2013 – when the state is allowing hydroponic marijuana growers to set up shop.)
If I sound bitter, it may be because I went to Amity Wine and Spirits hoping to score some NEBCO Gandhi Bot… and came away with a few other vastly inferior Connecticut beers when they had none. (Amity is sort of NEBCO’s “home store” … but rest assured, I picked up a growler of the stuff at the brewery down the street. Not all was lost.)
Southport Brewing Company says:
Southport in Summer! Born of earth and water, this white ale will tease your buds into a flavor utopia with hints of ripe banana and subtle clove. So don’t bogart this beer you tiny dancer, pass it on…
I hate this blurb so much I want to hit something. We’ll get to it in a minute.
In this age of craft brewing and new(ish) sort of fad beer types, “White ales” are the American name for witbiers (white beer). They are called white beers because they are cloudy due to the wheat used and the unfiltered yeastiness. Mmmm, yeastiness.
According to Beer Advocate, wits are “always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other oddball spices or herbs in the back ground.” And that’s been my experience with them… until now. This beer has no spice. No herbaceousness. Nothing but grainy grain and bleh.
I’m not one to ever put fruit in my beer… But since I have five more of these things to drink, I think I will be adding a lemon slice to it going forward. Because this beer is bland and boring and rather lame.
You didn’t think I’d end this without discussing their description of this beer, did you? Look, I have nothing against marijuana. While heavy smokers are quite often dirty hippies, and I DO have an issue with dirty hippies, I don’t care about pot. (Nor do I care for it.) But I find this type of marketing embarrassing and corny and lame and ridiculous. (Besides, we already have Weed Brewing here in Connecticut.)
So this beer is called Hydroponic White Ale to attract idiot stoners who are so dopey that perhaps they will miss the whole part of the label that clearly states it is not hydroponic? (As if, again, being hydroponically grown would matter one iota.) Like how they gravitate towards stuff made with hemp for some reason? Come to think of it, that’s a good market for SBC to chase… because you’d have to be high to like this crap.
Overall Rating: D
Rating vs. Similar style: D-