Rickard’s Shandy from Molson Coors Canada pours a pale, cloudy straw colour with a loose white head that burns off quickly, leaves no lace and has minimal retention. This hybrid of lemonade and lager smells like freshly sliced lemon, lime juice and has a very light, grainy malt tone.
The taste of Rickard’s Shandy strikes a fine balance between tart lemon and sweet toasted malt flavours. There are notes of earth and lime as well. This beer has a very thin body and moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel has a syrupy quality, but the finish is tart and leaves my mouth feeling dry, with a mild and somewhat dirty lemon rind flavour in the aftertaste.
Robson Street Hefeweizen from Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver, British Columbia pours a cloudy, rusty orange colour with a medium-sized, frothy white head that burns off quickly, leaving a small collar and little to no lacing. The German-style beer has a dirty smell about it that mars the wheat, banana and mild clove aromas. There is a sweet, honey-like tone and one of light lemon zest in the background.
The taste of Robson Street Hefeweizen is very bland for a the style. There is very little in the way of traditional banana or bubble gum flavours and instead lemon zest, wheat and earth come to the forefront, accented by a subtle hint of cloves. The beer has an extremely thin, watery mouthfeel with a mild carbonation and it remains watery throughout. The finish is dry, with a syrupy and slightly peppery aftertaste.
This mass-market witbier from Anheuser-Busch in Baldwinsville, New York pours with a huge frothy white head that burns off within a few minutes on top of a typically cloudy and slightly rusty, iced tea-coloured brew. The smell of Shock Top Belgian White is mild, with banana taking the forefront, accented by bubblegum and a hint of spice.
Shock Top Belgian White has a rather mild, but crisp and refreshing taste. An orange-lemon-lime peel blend used in the brewing process is noticeable without being overpowering and coriander comes through on the finish.
The mouthfeel is quite thin and watery for a witbier, with very little carbonation after the head burns off. This is definitely a macro-brewed “BL Lime” take on the style that I can best describe as “semi-filtered”. An orange flavour lingers on the back of the tongue between sips.