It’s an awesome Saturday afternoon outside and as I crack open this beer and reheat leftover pizza, the biggest decision I have to make is whether to watch the NCAA basketball tournament or the National Lampoon’s Vacation marathon on AMC. This beer was sent to me by my friend Betty who lives up in the Northwest. When I won the brewmaster “Cuisinternship” with Full Sail Brewing, I brewed with John Harris, a well known brewer (who also developed many of Deschutes’ recipes). A couple years ago, John left Full Sail to start his own brewery in Portland – Ecliptic Brewing. Therefore, I asked my friend Betty if she could send me a beer or two from Ecliptic when she was able to find them.
The bottle says “The brilliant Spica is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. Spica HefePils is brewed in the unfiltered Kellerbier style. Exclusive use of Pale malt gives this lager a pleasing my body and light golden color. Sterling hops bring a rich herbal hop character and work with the unfiltered yeast to end on a nice spicy flavor.”
Location: Poured into a half liter Hefeweizen glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 5.5% ABV, 38 IBUs, 130 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s golden-yellow in color and fairly hazy. There’s a decent amount of carbonation in it, leaving a huge, fluffy, bright white head with great retention and lacing. The aroma is somewhat grainy-bready with an earthy-herbal hop smell.
Taste & Feel: The body is light and the mouthfeel is mostly smooth with a bit of carbonation crispness. The flavor up front is lightly lemony with a bready maltiness behind it. The lemony citrus flavor grows a bit in the middle along with some bitterness. The bitterness peaks in the finish with a lemony spiciness. The spicy hop flavors last for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: The lemony flavor and spiciness would pair nicely with a grilled chicken dish or something light like a pork tenderloin or turkey dish.
Overall Impression: It’s a light, unique beer made for summer. The light lemony flavors and smooth drinkability make it great for a refresher on a hot day. Overall, it was a good, light beer with a complex lemony and spicy hop flavor.