Name: 3 Citrus Peel Out
Brewing Company: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Location: Lakewood, NY
Style: Fruit Beer (per untappd) / Pale Wheat Ale (per STBC)
From the beer’s description on Southern Tier’s Web site:
We’re proud to present this high-gravity Wheat Ale brewed with blood orange juice, grapefruit & tangerine peels. This special ale is brewed with 35% Wheat, 3 types of hops & coriander.
We’re making this one obviously refreshing with tropical citrus and grapefruit aromas from the Mosaic hops along with the addition of over 4 & a half pounds per barrel of grapefruit & tangerine peels. And to get extra juicy, we ferment with blood orange juice concentrate.
Not overly bitter, this brew sits around 30 IBU and its nice citrus pith rounds out the bitterness. Residual sweetness helps accentuate the fruity character and masks the 8.5% ABV well. Enjoy straight up or served on the rocks with soda & wedge of fresh fruit.
Sometimes a beer will hit your tastebuds in an unexpected way and surprise you by how much you enjoy it. That surprise for Southern Tier’s 3 Citrus Peel Out comes from one of the prominent ingredients, grapefruit. I may have mentioned in previous posts that I typically loathe grapefruit and find it to be somewhat disgusting. Imagine my surprise when this beer hit my palate and the right buttons were pushed despite the presence of grapefruit. On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed the majority of the two dozen or so beers I’ve had from Southern Tier, especially their stouts, so I shouldn’t have been too surprised.
Southern Tier has been making fantastic beers out of Northern New York for a decade and a half, with this beer initially releasing in Spring 2016. This is a pale wheat ale enhanced by the addition of fruit, which is fairly common for this style of beer. I enjoy Pale Wheat Ales quite a bit including Bell’s Oberon Ale, Schlafly’s Yakima Wheat Ale, the sadly out-of-production Wolaver’s Wildflower Wheat from Otter Creek, and of course the old stand-by Samuel Adams Summer Ale.
What sets this beer apart for me, and why it is a beer I’d drink again in a heartbeat is how well-balanced it is. The hint of bitterness from the grapefruit is present only slightly and stabilized extremely well by the addition of the blood orange which provides an excellent sweetness. The tangerine is pleasant and noticeable, too, but that blood orange sweetness and slight grapefruit bitterness on top of the wheat base make this (like a lot of the beers I’ve recently reviewed) an excellent summer beer.
Southern Tier is calling this an “Imperial” Wheat Ale, largely because of the substantial ABV of 8.5%. The 8.5% wasn’t too noticeable on the warm day I was drinking the beer, but I imagine throwing back a few of these in quick succession might catch up with you. Despite the lovely sweetness and “drinkability” factor of the beer, you may want to ease yourself through a couple over the course of a slightly extended timeframe. If I hadn’t been driving the day I had this beer at a friend’s house, I probably would have thrown back at least one more of these delicious beers.
Since I drank this one straight from the bottle, I can’t comment on the look of the beer. Quite honestly, that’s usually the least important element of a beer for me, though I do appreciate a nice looking beer. Again, the surprise of how much I liked this beer factored into me writing about it and I only had the one beer pulled from a cooler at my friend’s house.
I’m going to get a little pedantic here…untappd is usually spot on with what they call each style of beer, but I’m not so sure they were quite as accurate on this beer. They call this a “Fruit Beer,” and granted, the presence of three fruits in this beer is unmistakable. But when the brewer has Wheat prominently on the label and description, I’d think this would fall under “Pale Wheat Ale” category.
Finally, reviewing beers from Victory and Southern Tier in back-to-back weeks was by no means planned, the beers in my cycle happened to work out this way. I say that because, as some of you may know, in early 2016, the two breweries came together to form a partnership Artinsinal Brewing Ventures, which some may say takes them both out of the independent category of brewing. Regardless, both breweries make excellent beers and 3 Citrus Peel Out is another fine example from the brewery in Northern New York.
Recommended, link to Untappd 4-star rating.