Beer Sherpa Recommends: Coalition Wheat the People
If I weren't being willfully perverse, I'd tell you to go to Coalition for the barrel-aged barley wine they're currently pouring. It is a decadent treat, one that even I--a drinker suspicious of bourbon-aged beers in general and barley wines in particular--loved. It is rich and intense but balanced (if chocolate mousse is your idea of balance), exactly the kind of beer most beer geeks seek out. But I
willfully perverse, and this sherpa therefore eschews the obvious soaring peaks and guides you to the verdant valleys instead. To where the wheat grows.
Coalition's Wheat the People is that lush valley. There is absolutely nothing flashy about this beer. It's a simple American wheat, with gentle aromatics, a soft body, and some stone-fruit esters that inflect the very light, grassy hopping. It's the kind of beer that presents itself, wholly and fully, on the first sip and does not evolve or change with a pint, or two, or three. If your attention wanders to conversation, when you return it to your beer, you will find all the pleasures you left there a half hour earlier. It rewards attention but does not demand it.
It's a timely beer because it illustrates the point about
. And, on a warm day like the ones we're enjoying now, a body pines for something less dense. Wheat the People is perfect sunshine beer. If you drop by the brewery, you probably ought to try the barley wine, too, but don't overlook this simple pleasure.
"Beer Sherpa Recommends" is an irregular feature. In this fallen world, when the number of beers outnumber your woeful stomach capacity by several orders of magnitude, you risk exposing yourself to substandard beer. Worse, you risk selecting substandard beer when there are tasty alternatives at hand. In this terrible jungle of overabundance, wouldn't it be nice to have a neon sign pointing to the few beers among the crowd that really stand out? A beer sherpa, if you will, to guide you to the beery mountaintop. I don't profess to drink all the beers out there, but from time to time I stumble across a winner and when I do, I'll pass it along to you.