When you tell a guy that there are flowers in his beer, you get “THE LOOK“. At the Rails to Ales Brewfest, I watched them line up to the Snipes Mountain Brewery table and give the pourer the look when they hear Lavender Wheat is on tap. You know the look I mean, the one that says
“No way am I drinking some wussy flowery beer!”
John didn’t get his job of sales at Snipe Mountain because of his good looks. He excels at his job because he can convince people to try the crazy brews that Brewmaster Chris Miller comes up with, even Lavender Wheat beer. Whenever John saw the look, he was quick to step over to the the tap and offer a free taste of the Lavender Wheat. 80% of the time the taster gave up a token to get a full glass of the tasty brew. This Washington beer was so popular that the keg was gone in a little over an hour! We tried to drain the very last vestiges of the keg to bring home to Nancy but there wasn’t more than a sip or two left to spare.
While other Snipes Mountain Brewery staff were running the taps, we talked to John about the Lavender Wheat beer. Chris Miller made this unfiltered wheat beer as a one-off in an eight barrel batch.
It is true that this beer has a floral nose but it isn’t overtly lavender. I heard more than one person say “Thank God it doesn’t smell like soap!” The lavender plays nicely with the hop aromas here and takes a supporting role instead of hogging the spot light.
It has a really crisp, almost laser crisp flavor, making it extremely refreshing on a hot summer day in Eastern Washington. This Washington wheat beer has bright acidity on the tip of your tongue before it offers you a glimpse of honey mid-palate and concludes with a pleasing bitter finish. This is not some wussy wheat beer. It has character but it isn’t so complex that you can’t just sit back and enjoy it. I wouldn’t call the Lavender Wheat a session beer but both Vivian and I were dying to pair it with food. We just need to convince Chris Miller to make more!