A sweet success or a stinging mistake?
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned how much I love beer. I love beer so so very much.
Sometimes I think I missed my calling. Maybe I should have been a brew master instead of working in the food industry. Luckily, I have plenty of open evenings in my life to freelance as an unprofessional, unpaid beer taster — which is probably way more fun anyhow.
And happily, I live in a town known for its numerous micro-breweries and year-round beer festivals, both of which help me indulge my fondness on a regular basis. There are also quite a few upscale beer markets to frequent when I’m looking for something a little more unusual, like a fancy Belgium style beer or maybe a sour ale. I tend to shop mainly at the Belmont Station, because it’s the most accessible to my house, but there are plenty of other fun beer shops in Portland to explore as well.
My latest find was this beer, Uinta’s Hyve Honey Ale, which both excited me and made me curse. Why would a beautifully intriguing bottle of beer anger me? Well, I searched high and low back in February to find some honey ales to serve at my bee and honey themed birthday party and kept striking out. I ended up just buying a keg of an amazing honey orange wheat from Eugene City Brewing. I don’t regret that decision at all, but how freaking cute is this label? This beer would have made an excellent prize or party favor!
Even though my birthday has long since passed, I still feel the overwhelming urge to sample every honey-related thing I come across. So when I saw this beer last weekend, I immediately snatched it up, thinking how perfect it would be for the first chapter in my unofficial beer chronicles.
So how was it? I should preface this review by saying I wanted to fall in love with this beer. I really did. But that was not quite the case. The color was beautiful — clear and golden, though it didn’t have much of a head. The flavor was mellow but sadly lacking in the honey department. I was hoping it would a bit more pronounced, a touch sweet but assertive, and full of honey flavor. Unfortunately, this beer fell short. And after doing some digging on Beer Advocate, it appears many people share my opinion. The reviews were filled with tales of being unimpressed and underwhelmed.
But, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. It was not at all a terrible beer. In fact, if it was hot outside instead of pouring down rain, it would be a perfectly refreshing beer to drink at a BBQ or down by the river. Or if you’re a fan of light-bodied beers and want something more exciting than the usual suspects at the grocery store, this might be right up your alley.
But the next time I come across it, I would probably keep walking. I tend to like a bit more hop or bitterness to my beverages. Though I do give them serious props for the great label design — I absolutely love it!