I’ve Lost My A-Peel for Citrus in Beer

One of the great aspects of working on the Reviewing Tunes collective is drinking beer. I like beer, and for the most part I can say I have always liked beer. I remember being a kid of around 5-ish on a very hot summer day in swim trunks and the little inflatable kiddie pool running in and out of the reducing water supply trying to keep cool and making as much of a splash as I could. While I was doing all of this chaotic mayhem, parents and friends of the family were sitting in the plaid style nylon mesh folding lawn chairs drinking Black Label and Schlitz. All I saw was a bunch of people drinking something I didn’t have, and my Dad allowed me a brief sip to satisfy my curiosity. Actually, I think he eventually relented to shut me up about trying the strange liquid in the intriguing brown bottle. I took the sip, and the heavens parted, angelic voices sang and the universe imparted it’s secrets to me all in one second. Maybe it was the transistor radio playing the Supremes, but that little sip turned on some taste buds that still bring a great deal of delight and satisfaction to this day.

I liked the way beer tasted in my mouth. It reminds me of bread, and not surprisingly so. Look at the ingredients. I think that’s why I love to have beer with pizza and sub sandwiches. They seem to fit together like peanut butter and jam (never liked jelly all that much). There are other foods I like to pair with beer, and there are various varieties of beer I like a lot. Guiness Stout is probably one of my favorites. It’s not a snobby thing. I simply love the flavor. My first taste was at a pub in Downtown Lansing that had kegs imported before you could buy the stuff in the stores. The beertender knew how to draw it, too. Man, what a pleasure that was the first time I tried it. I’ve tried a lot of IPA’s (India Pale Ales), but I’m not a huge fan. I won’t turn one away if that’s all that’s being served, though. I like Pale Ales, Stouts & Lagers.

There’s been a trend over the last several years to add citrus to beer. My first experience with it was interesting. I’m sorry to say, it’s been so long now that I’ve forgotten what it was! But it was interesting, and I liked it. Until the third beer. Then, I moved on to something else. Since then, it seems like there’s a hint, touch or sledgehammer of citrus being brewed up everywhere, and it’s turning me off when I don’t know it’s a component of the drink and have the initial pull. I’d prefer the citrus element to be more of either a seasonal experience or at least loudly proclaimed in either a menu, bottle or carrier as having a sharp tang to it. It’s like grabbing what you think is a bottle of water only to discover it’s vinegar. I’ve actually seen someone do that, by the way. Funny as hell! But, I digress.

Why the over implementation of citrus? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the latest fad like Man Buns & Man Jumpers (LOL LOL LOL…sorry, I still think that’s funny!). I went online to see if other people are getting tired of it, and Mr. Google gave me a lot of hits showing how to brew citrus, who’s making citrus beers, what kind of citrus to look for in a beer…and only one guy I saw in ten pages said something about the fact that he did like a particular beer, but it was too heavy on the citrus. I’m glad I didn’t find that beer!

Has imagination simply begun to run out? I’ve tried different flavored beers over the years. I thought a Pale Ale Raspberry Wheat was good when I sampled one. It became boring towards the end of the first bottle for me, though. I’d rather have a wine cooler, or better yet…wine. I wish I had a better understanding of this phenomenon. Maybe I should just chug down a Miller Lite and yell at kids to stay off my yard. Don’t get me wrong, though. We live in a world of high quality craft breweries, and Knoxville has an excellent selection, now. Chris, Dave and I are due to go on a sample run here pretty soon. I hope to report more diversity and less orangey/lemony offerings. If we happen to run into too many bitter beers, I’ll have Dave or Chris write up the review. I’ll be flushing my mouth out with Guiness.



Co-Founder of “Reviewing Tunes”. At one time sold outrageously expensive Hi-Fi equipment after being hooked into quality recordings at the tender age of 11. (Still prefers vinyl) A prog rock fan from way back, but open to all music.

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