June 8, 2009

Walt Wit Belgian Style White Ale

Before I begin to review this beer, I'd like to write about my night. I came home and made dinner - something I've done far too little of recently. I decided to eat dinner at my dining room table. Without the TV on. Without reading a magazine or talking on the phone. Just me and my food, the way the experts say you're supposed to eat.

It was the quietest, most boring meal I've ever eaten. I don't know if it was the deafening silence or the fact that I was starving, but I think I can say without hesitation I've never eaten as quickly as I did tonight. The experts can say what they will - I will not go through dinner like that again. TV, radio, phone, magazine - you are all my friends when I'm dining alone.

On to the beer...

While I usually like much hoppier beers, I liked the Walt Wit. It's made by the Philadelphia Brewing Company (which in no way influences my review). I also like the play on words - Walt Whitman was a famous playwright who spent the last years of his life at a house in Camden, NJ, which is right across the bridge from Philly. There's a bridge connecting Philly to Jersey named after him. There's a lot more to Walt Whitman than just a bridge, but you'll have to look on wikipedia to learn more - this is a blog about beer!

Wit, or white beer, originated in Belgium about 400 years ago. While there were once a number of brewers in Belgium brewing this type of beer, in 1954, the last of these breweries closed. Then, in a moment of genius (and nostalgia) Pierre Celis started brewing the wit beer again and he called it Hoegaarden. Anyone out there who hasn't enjoyed a Hoegaarden on a hot summer day should make sure to do so at their next opportunity.

The Walt Wit is brewed with grapefruit and chamomile, giving it a light, citrusy taste. There's a hint of pepper in there, too, but overall it's very refreshing. The beer pours a light, golden yellow. It may not be the best beer I've ever tasted, and while I'm not sure I could spend a day drinking it, I can imagine enjoying a couple out on a deck before switching to something with a little more hops to finish off the night.

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