Wheach: Peach Wheat Beer
Your humble Beer Geek is on hiatus and is digging deep into the archives for some reviews to give a second showing. Some beers get better with age, but does my writing? Wheach was one of the first beers I drank that really hit the balance of a fruit beer—not so fruity it was a gimmick, not so weak it might as well not have the fruit at all. I’ve used this to get many friends started on the road to liking craft beers, and I find myself going back to it often for a summer day kicked back relaxing.
Now that summer is upon us, I’ll be reducing my reviews to only every other week. This will free up more of my beer budget for beach drinking. All of you should be doing that as well, by the way. So in honor of the spirit of summer I’m reviewing another beer from O’Fallon. You may remember them as the ones who brought you Cherry Chocolate Beer back around Christmas. I sort of consider them the “Willy Wonka of Beer.” Unfortunately, there was no golden ticket in my bottle — but sweet wheat with peaches? Awww, hell yeah.
The Brewer’s Pitch:
Brace yourself. Wheach, the peach wheat beer, tastes like … O’Fallon’s wheat beer with added peach. It’s refreshing, it’s cool, it’s a summer beer. But what about the wheat base? Well, it won a bronze medal for American wheat beer in 2005, so it can’t be too bad. O’Fallon also doesn’t filter their wheat beer, so yeast remains in the mix to give a smoother texture and creamier head. UFO Raspberry was an unfiltered beer whose weak flavor couldn’t match up with the pleasant texture. Here’s to hoping that O’Fallon Wheach fares better.
Wheach is a pale, slightly cloudy yellow that darkens to the color of an underripe peach where the glass is thicker, slightly cloudy from the yeast remaining. There is also a luxurious, creamy head. It smells almost exactly like peach yogurt, the smell of peach extract rather than an actual peach. When you first taste Wheach, it is a classic wheat beer: crisp, cold, and a trifle sweet. There is no hint of the peach, although the beer seems to slowly become sweeter than expected as it rests in the mouth. There is a silky texture from the unfiltered wheat that contrasts with the crisp bite of the wheat and the fairly high carbonation. Once I swallowed, though, the peach became much more evident. It flooded my mouth as an aftertaste, along with the lingering flavor of the wheat.
This is a simple, tasty beer. I was worried that the peach flavor might make it too sweet, like they candy-coated flavor that makes O’Fallon’s Cherry Chocolate hard to take seriously as a beer. Instead, Wheach hits the mark dead-on. Wheat beers make great summer drinking, since they are a bit sweet and very light. This prevents them from leaving a bitter or unpleasant aftertaste, which isn’t what you’re looking for when you’re out enjoying the sun. Even without the peach I’m sure the plain wheat beer is worth it, but that extra kick of peach flavor is just amazing. If you like peaches, buy this beer. If you don’t, buy the plain wheat. End of story.
The Bottom Line:
This Labor Day, I’ll be drinking a six pack of my favorite Weekly Beer Geek approved beers, and using every one to toast to everyone else who doesn’t get the day off. Won’t you join me?
While you drink, listen to our boozy podcast!