Picaroons Dooryard Summer Ale

Reviewed by on July 29, 2014 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Picaroons Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Fredericton, NB, CA

  • Rated On: July 16, 2014

  • Best Before: Bottled June 20, 2014

  • ABV: 4.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Wheat Beer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Picaroons is a brewery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, that makes, in their words, traditional English Ales.  Dooryard (an East Coast word that is pretty literal in its meaning – likely the place where one might find the deck or patio) is their summer seasonal wheat ale – and just for fun, get a native Maritimer to pronounce the name to you – I still can’t recreate in my mind how I heard it when I did.

This 500ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium golden straw colour, with two skinny fingers of puffy, rocky, and lazily bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some spooky haunted forest lace around the glass as it swiftly abates.

It smells of sugary pale and grainy wheat malt, applesauce, pear compote, lightly spiced orange rind, earthy yeast, and mild leafy, grassy, hay-like hops. The taste is more sweet orchard fruit – the usual suspects of apple, orange, pear, and lemon all representing their cause, alongside a decent grainy, bready, and somewhat crackery pale malt, a sort of separate yeasty wheatiness, and soft piney, leafy, and earthy noble hops. The bubbles are quite understated, barely raising the hackles of any of my various palates, the body medium-light in weight, and actually fairly smooth, with a certain well-bred creaminess to boot. It finishes off-dry, the breadiness of the blended malt maintaining some hefty staying power, while the fruit, yeast, and old-world hops bonk heads on their slow, meandering way out.

Without the wheat on the malt bill, this would surely fall into the catch-all category of new world blonde ale, which is strangely growing its own personality of late – sweet, fruity, bready, low alcohol and meek hops. Sound familiar? Yup, but this hardly a bad thing, in fact, it’s what the doctor (should have, at least) ordered for days like this – uncomfortably hot in the rooms where the oscillating fan isn’t, with some wafting Northern forest fire ash to breath, just for fun. Yeah, give me another one of these right now, no matter how you spit out its name.

Brady White

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