I was trying to decide which beer would be the first I review here on The Tap Takeover, but given the time of year, I decided to go somewhat seasonally appropriate with a local beer I had about a month ago and enjoyed a great deal.
Demented Brewing is less than 5 miles from where I work, I’ve visited quite regularly, and the fast growing, well-received brewery celebrating two plus years of crafting “insanely flavorful ales” was recently named NJ’s best craft brewery by famed NJ Food writer Pete Genovese.
On to the beer…
Brewing Company: Demented Brewing
Location: Middlesex, NJ
From the beer’s description on Demented Brewing’s Web site:
As the warm weather starts to arrive, our palates start craving a light refreshing drink. Our Belgian Wit blossoms classic esters & lemony flavors rounding out a unique experience. Enjoy this beer with poultry, fish, and when you need to reward yourself.
Witbiers, a Belgian style wheat beer with a long history and cousin to the German Hefeweizen. Where the German style is often unfiltered and leans towards banana and yeast hints, the Belgian style is a bit more crisp and leans towards citrus and coriander hints. Let’s face it, if you like beer at all, love it or hate it, you know Blue Moon’s Belgian White. If Blue Moon’s is the best-known Witbier, then Allagash White is easily the epitome of American Craft Beer take on the classic Belgian style and one of the landmark beers of American Craft Beer.
Demented has been brewing beer in NJ since late 2015 and they’ve grown very impressively in that time. Their range of styles on their chalkboard menu any given day is impressive and each beer I’ve had from them has been quite good.
Vila…Vila is something different. I stopped in for a flight and a growler fill one day on my lunch break thinking I might get the Vila since the refreshing, light profile of a Witbier is perfect for warm/spring weather. I didn’t expect this beer to be so perfectly matched for what I sought. I was expecting a tasty refreshing beer, but Vila exceeded the already high expectations I had for something brewed by Demented. The sample was enough to convince me to fill up my growler. The next day I had some friends over and it was a tad warmer and Vila went down perfectly and very quickly.
The beer pours a bright yellow with a lovely white head that epitomizes the style so well, and screams Drink Me Now. With the crisp, citrusy flavor profile, finishing one beer only makes you want to pour yourself another. With a relatively low ABV of 4.8%, you can throw back a few pints on a warm spring or summer day and still have your (pun lightly intended) wits about you to lounge in the pool. (Of course, if you are driving, still be sure to hand over those keys)
With Demented canning more of their beers (three at this point), Vila seems a logical choice to can and distribute. If for no other reason than I can grab several packs to keep in my cooler when my pool is open in the summer.
I’ll close out this review with a request to the fine folks at Demented Brewing: please add Vila to your canning program!
Recommended, link to Untappd 4.25-star rating.