Bell’s Pooltime Ale

I love canned beer offerings for Summer. I’m a big fan of drinking by the pool, so I picked this up during a trip to New York. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pooltime Ale is a refreshing Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale with light clove notes. The truly distinguishing feature is the use of 100% Montmorency tart cherries grown in the Traverse City region of Michigan. These cherries add a subtle tartness and bright counterpoint to the other flavors, enhancing Pooltime’s fruity character and making it the perfect beer for all summer activities.”

Random: This is available on draft and in cans.

The beer poured with a two finger, thick, slightly off white head. It took a little while to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and was orange with a slightly red tinge. It had moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with wheat and orange segments, but quickly went into tart cherries. The taste was much of the same, except with a more significant cherry presence. It had red, tart cherries and a small amount of spice. Wheat and orange cleaner came through next. The body was on the light side, which was to be expected. It had a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick with cherries. A can of this was $2.03, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I thought this beer was above average, but I thought it needed the citrus dialed up.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


Stone Citrusy Wit

Today’s selection is a beer that reminded me of warmer weather, which I think is right around the corner.


ABV: 5.3%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “CLEVERLY TWISTED WITH TANGERINE & KAFFIR LIME LEAF. When it comes to our beers and the ingredients we use, we give a wit. So rather than spinning just the same fruit wheel of the classic orange peel, we punched up our wit with the dynamic duo of tangerine and kaffir lime leaf. The fruit-forward aromatics and flavors are perfectly balanced, so you don’t have to bother adding a slice (or leaf) to the rim of your glass. Even with this lack of unnecessary garnish, you won’t find an absence of intense fruit. In fact, each dryly refreshing, citrusy sip of this coriander-spiced, tangerine-infused, Mandarina Bavaria-hopped creation will satisfy even the most hardcore fan.”

Random: Stone seems to be really into the Mandarina Bavaria hops. I’ve already had a few of their beers that utilize them.

This beer poured with a two finger, thick, white head. It took forever to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and bright yellow in color. Despite the haziness, there was still some carbonation visible. The nose had wheat, lemon and lime zest. The kaffir lime leaves are quite apparent in the nose. The taste had a lot of lime and coriander. There was also wheat and lemon juice as well, but huge amounts of lime and kaffir lime leaves. It had a light and crisp body with high carbonation. The finish was quick with kaffir lime leaves and coriander. A bottle of this was $1.79 ($.15 per ounce). I enjoyed this beer a lot and it would make for a great summer beer. My only complaint is that it came in bottles as opposed to cans.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Ballast Point Thai Chili Wahoo

This is a beer that I was really excited to pop open when Val and I got sushi. I thought the flavors would pair really well and I’m always excited about a chili beer.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Wahoo Wheat is brewed with unfiltered, un-malted wheat and oats that give it a distinctive cloudy complexity.True to the Belgian tradition, this Witbier boasts a refreshing, citrusy flavor thanks to the orange peel and coriander we add to the boil. This makes Wahoo an ideal beer for year-round beach weather.”

Random: Getting up early for work during the week translates to me not being able to sleep past 7 AM on weekends.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated instantly. There was no lacing left on the glass. The body was very hazy and light yellow in color with minimal carbonation visible. The nose had a hot pepper note with orange peel and wheat. There wasn’t any other spice and the dominant scent was hot pepper. The taste was flat-out disappointing. It was all capsaicin heat, to the point that it burned the back of my throat. I couldn’t pick up lime, citrus or wheat because the heat was so intense. What annoyed me was the fact that the spice didn’t add flavor, but seemed to just steamroll every other aspect of the beer, which made it a bit gimmicky. The body was light and the carbonation was more significant than I would have guessed based on what I saw. The taste was all capsaicin heat. It burned the back of my throat. There was really not wheat characteristic because the heat was so overwhelming. The body was light with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and hot. This beer just wasn’t one I enjoyed. I felt that it was a bit gimmicky, and although the bomber was affordable at $6.99 ($.32 per ounce), I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Refuge Blood Orange Wit

This was the last beer I reviewed in California. I love blood oranges, so this was a no brainer for me.


ABV: 5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It had the humblest of beginnings. A simple offer from tasting room locals completed changed the direction of the brewery and our brand. Ken and Tina have property up in the hills behind the brewery, and their land was filled with citrus and avocado trees from east to west. Amongst the grove of avocados, navel oranges, and lime trees grew a tree unlike the others. Its fruit was smaller, with dark burgundy pulp. Not having much experience with blood oranges, or fruit in general, we were not exactly sure how to brew with them. Nevertheless, we went for it and just added the whole fruit, peel and all, into a batch of Belgian Style Wit. The result was amazing, and almost overnight it became our best selling and most popular beer.”

Random: My parents went on vacation in Temecula and didn’t mention this brewery being there.

The beer poured with a three finger, pure white head. It dissipated rather rapidly, but still left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, lemon-juice color. I could discern some carbonation. The nose was bright with not only blood oranges, but wheat and coriander and cracker. Citrus was the dominant scent. The taste was crisp with the same blood oranges, but the spice note was almost absent in the taste. The yeast was present in the form of biscuit, more than cracker on the taste. It also was missing the wheat, which made the beer a bit boring for me. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was quick with citrus peel. A can of this was $5 ($.31 per ounce). Although I enjoyed that blood orange was highlighted here, it would have benefited from the spice being more present.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Estrella Damm Inedit

Tonight’s selection comes to us from Spain. I think this is one of the first beers from Spain I’ve ever tried. A single of this was on the mix-a-six shelf at my local beer store.


ABV: 4.8%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inedit fue creada en 2008 por Ferran Adrià y el equipo de sommeliers de elBulli con el convencimiento de que era necesaria una cerveza capaz de acompañar la variedad de sabores existentes en la gastronomía moderna. Conocida por sus rincones, calas escondidas y pequeños pueblos históricos, en la Costa Brava se encuentran algunos de los mejores restaurantes del mundo, y, además, aloja a elBulli, donde se creó Inedit en el 2008. Inedit es una cerveza única elaborada con malta de cebada, trigo, lúpulo, cilantro, regaliz y piel de naranja. Se recomienda servir en copa de vino blanco, y no llenar más de la mitad de la copa, para apreciar mejor su intensidad y complejidad aromática. Inedit fue creada para combinar con multitud de elaboraciones culinarias, incluso las más complicadas a base de cítricos y elementos amargos. Espléndida con entrantes, ensaladas y pescados de textura grasa, su versatilidad permite también combinarla con agridulces y sensaciones picantes. NOTA DE CATA: de alta intensidad y complejidad aromàtica, con un aspecto ligeramente turbio. Muy afrutada y floral, con sensación de levadura fresca y reminisciencias de especies dolces. De textura cremosa y fresca, volumen suave y carbónico delicado. Tiene un postsabor largo y un recuerdo afable. En cada composición esta Cerveza cambia de bouquet y adapta sus cualidades: un caràcter suave con personalidad compleja.”

Random: I went to Spain when I was a kid in the middle of summer. I liked heat as much then as I do now.

This beer poured with half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, lemon yellow color. There was some carbonation visible, although not much. The nose had white sugar and lemon wedges. It wasn’t very tart. There was also some wheat as well. The taste started with lemon and went into the same sweet, white sugar note. There was also a raw, honey sweetness with ripe bananas. The body was very light with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with sugary sweetness. A single bottle of this was $2.50, which came to $.21 per ounce. This beer was drinkable, but the flavors were not overly complex. I wouldn’t rush back to this beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Avery Liliko’i Kepolo

In the summer, a witbier always hits the spot. I started seeing very positive reviews of this one, so last time I went to Half Time, I was hoping that they had this beer so I could give it a shot. They only had a few cans left of this beer, so one came home with me.


ABV: 5.6%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to, “Avery Brewing Company will release Liliko’i Kepolo, a new beer in the lineup of beers available year-round. This witbier features tart Hawaiian passion fruit, so Avery is throwing a luau in its honor, complete with leis and surf rock music. Liliko’i Kepolo ‘adds a tropical island flair to a spicy tradition witbier, erupting with monumental passionfruit aroma and acidity along with a sublimely succulent finish.'”

Random: Why is this not distributed in Jersey? I could see this being incredibly popular.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose was really bright with citrus and yeast and passionfruit. The taste had tartness up front and quickly went into citrus and yeast and a burst of passionfruit. The flavors were really balanced and the beer was incredibly crisp and refreshing. The body was light with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with fruit. Since this beer is only available in New York, I paid New York prices for it at $3.50 a can ($.29 per ounce). This beer was outstanding and a great summer beer. I could put a few of these away without a problem. This is worth searching out and keeping stocked in your fridge.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

La Trappe Witte Trappist

On Monday, Isaac Newton’s had a King’s Day event featuring all sorts of beers from La Trappe. This was a left over from that, so the other half got a tulip glass full of it and I gave it a try.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The world’s first and only white Trappist ale that continues to ferment slightly after bottling. Brewed using only water, wheat and hops. No herbs are added. Saphir hops give the ale its citrusy aroma. A real thirst-quencher on a hot summer’s day that also makes for a delicious drink at any other time of year.”

Random: Why can’t their food just be better? I really wish Twin Light Tap House reopened.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly, yet left no lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a hazy yellow with light carbonation visible. On the nose, I picked up lemon and lots of yeast. Some coriander was present as well. The taste was almost like witbier-flavored seltzer. There was barely any lemon or citrus, some yeast and a touch of coriander. There was also an odd note of very light anise that was completely out of place on this beer. The flavor was way too light on this. The body was also bordering on thin and the carbonation needed to be dialed up. The finish was quick with yeast and anise. This beer was really boring. I wrote in my notes the word “boring” at least three times. I would avoid this one. There are so many other examples that are better.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0