Sunday, January 13, 2013

1/13: Chameleon's Witty

WWitty, a wheat ale brewed with spices.  Like yesterday's 312 wheat ale, this one looks like lager.  But I would never confuse these two due to the spices.

These spices are right up front and in your face.  But what spices are they?  I could identify a lemon-y back end due to the yeast, but I couldn't identify the overpowering spiciness.  Maybe ginger, maybe rosemary, something sharp and bold.  So off to the internet I went.  The answer was "grains of paradise, coriander and orange peel."  I have had "Belgian White" beers with coriander and orange peel before, so the "different" thing must be "grains of paradise." 

Wikipedia (the previous link) says grains of paradise is an African spice in the ginger family that is rarely used in America except in some beers.  Also the article says that it can be used as a substitute for black pepper.  I can see that now.  An hour after I finished the beer, I can now identify a peppery tingle in my mouth.

Okay, so now that I know what that taste is, what do I think of it?  I think others might like this beer, but it isn't for me.  So that is a 2 on my rating scale.

Now on to "Chameleon Brewing Company, Glendale, Wisconsin."  I bought this beer at the gift shop at Sprecher in Glendale when I purchased the another non-Sprecher brew brewed in Glendale, Bucky Blonde. Bucky was attributed to Lithia Brewing, so I figured it was brewed under contract by Sprecher.  Maybe that isn't the case, because that is not true of Chameleon.  According to their website, Chameleon was founded by Randy Sprecher.  So Sprecher Brewery is making and selling Chameleon for Randy Sprecher.  Maybe these off labels are trying to be bold and be loved by a few, and that is a noble effort, but they don't connect with me.

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