Shebeen Brewing’s Pineapple Wheat Ale
12 oz can, $2.25, 5.5% ABV
Purchased at CBC, West Hartford
Since no one really cares all that much about a fruited beer from Shebeen, let’s get it out of the way right off the bat.
This beer, when I had it, was okay. Relative to my expectations, it was actually pretty good. I like pineapple just fine, but actual pineapple in my beer is not something I’d seek out.
But heck, with the overload of fruity hops, including those with pineapplely pineappleness, pineappely beers are the new normal. But if we ignore the IPA-family of pineapplely beers, a wheat beer is clearly the proper style which to introduce pineapples.
I think I was expecting way too much pineapple from this particular brewery. As it turned out, there wasn’t much pineapple at all. But it was discernable. But something was a bit “off” about the flavor to me.
Deep golden color. Cloudy. Zesty. Then the pineapple hits. Beautifully balanced unfiltered fruit wheat beer.
It IS a “deep golden color” which is sort of weird the for the style, but whatever.
Over the past couple of years, Shebeen has been trying to sort of rebrand themselves a bit. This is a very positive development for the brewery. Some good decisions were made from hiring a solid brewer (who left after a year or so), to limiting public expression, to shifting towards the darling IPA’s the consumer demands… to changing labels and packaging formats several times.
Many breweries have gone from glass bombers to 12-ounce to 16-ounce cans, owing to the whims of the consumer. Shebeen is no different. Here’s the “new” Pineapple Wheat can:
The other day my son asked me why a pineapple is called a pineapple.I had to admit that I didn’t know. So I did what any good parent does – no, not make up some lie – actually look it up so we both learn something.
The word “pineapple” in English was first recorded to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers encountered this tropical fruit in the Americas, they called them “pineapples” (first referenced in 1664, for resemblance to pine cones).
As my wife said, “it’s too bad that dumb name stuck.” I agree. There are so many dumbly named things, thanks to European imperialism.
Curious, I looked up “pomegranate” too, since I knew enough to know that “pomme” is apple in French. And also because there are enough fancy beers now that include the impossible-to-eat fruit these days as well.
(And let’s not excuse the French here. After all, they call potatoes pommes de terre which would be “earth apples.”)
The name pomegranate derives from medieval Latin pomum “apple” and granatum “seeded”. Possibly stemming from the old French word for the fruit, pomme-grenade, the pomegranate was known in early English as “apple of Grenada.” This is a folk etymology, confusing the Latin granatus with the name of the Spanish city of Granada, which derives from Arabic.
There are many dumb folk etymologies. But here’s where it gets fun: The French term for pomegranate, grenade, has given its name to the military grenade.
So… if you ever have a “pomegranate bomb” beer, you are saying “apple grenade bomb” sort of. But not really. Anyway, can you believe that a store in New Jersey was selling bootleg Shebeen Pineapple Wheat cans? DON’T BUY BEERS LIKE THIS.
If you’ve read down to here, I am rewarding you with a very interesting article about the naming of the pineapple and the butterfly.
Overall Rating: C
Rating vs. Similar style: B-