Seeing as a new edition of Six-Pack Saturday was long overdue, I decided to try a beer I normally wouldn’t pluck from the shelf. Those of you that know me personally or have followed my past Six-Pack Saturdays know by now that I generally prefer darker beers, IPAs, and anything with a strong flavor. This week’s beer, Abita Brewing Company’s Purple Haze, doesn’t hit any of these criteria, but still has a few surprises in store.
Abita Brewing Company was founded in 1986, in the piney woods area of Louisiana. Their brews quickly drew the attention New Orleans and the surrounding areas, leading to them needing a larger brewing facility in 1994. They now have over 20 brews on their roster, including eight flagship beers. They pride themselves on their use of unaltered water from Abita Springs, and avoiding all use of preservatives, stabilizers, or additives.
For this week’s Six-Pack Saturday I opted for Abita’s Purple Haze, a lager brewed with raspberries added during the filtration process. Abita suggests pairing Purple Haze with salads or fruits, chocolates, or certain cheeses. I paired mine with more Purple Haze and pizza as well.
At first sip, Abita’s Purple Haze has a very light and crisp taste that reminded me of some hard ciders I’ve had in the past. This crisp flavor is quickly followed by the aforementioned raspberries, which give the beer a sweetness not found in your typical lager. The raspberry flavor is rather subtle, not overpowering and fake like the fruit flavor found in many other beers I’ve tried (I’m looking at you, Wild Blue). Despite the light flavor and refreshing taste, I grew tired of the flavor and sweetness after my second bottle, making it a great dessert beer but not something I’d want to drink all night.
Like its flavor, Purple Haze is very smooth and easy to drink. The sweetness isn’t to the point where it induces face-puckering, and there is little to no bite to be found. It’s also surprisingly light and easy on the stomach, not giving that full feeling other flavored beers are often guilty of. This is likely due to Abita avoiding any kind of preservatives or additives. Other flavored beers I’ve tried often leave a sugary feeling in my mouth and leave me feeling like someone who just ate too much cake (again, looking at you Wild Blue). All in all, this is an easy drinking beer, if you can handle the flavor all night.
As someone who normally isn’t a fan of flavored beers, I enjoyed my time with Abita’s Purple Haze. The flavor was rather light and pleasant, the sugar content wasn’t overwhelming, and it had a fun purple tint when poured in a glass. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone looking for a beer to drink all night, but I’d gladly suggest it to those looking for a pleasant dessert beer or something unique. While I didn’t pair it with fruit or cheese (other than that on the pizza), I can see how the flavor would complement cheese and chocolate very well. Overall, this was a fun beer that definitely convinced me to try more of Abita’s brews.If anyone out there has any recommendations for other flavored beers, let me know and I will give them a whirl!