Many breweries all over the country have a fruit beer of some sort as a summer seasonal, but for whatever reason tangerines are not even close to being one of the most popular fruits to use.
Founded in 1990 by Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom, Lost Coast Brewery is one of the only breweries in the United States that is both female-owned and female-operated. Now employing over 80 people, its beers are distributed in 22 states and 12 different countries.
Lost Coast Brewery’s Tangerine Wheat is a 5.5 percent ABV ale fruit beer that uses the brewery’s Lost Coast Wheat as a base and is brewed with crystal malts, Perle hops and “natural tangerine flavors.”
The beer was first released in 2006 as a draft-only beer before being bottled in 2009 and is one of only two fruit beers that Lost Coast produces. The other fruit beer is Raspberry Brown, which is the brewery’s Downtown Brow beer with an infusion of raspberry and chocolate malt flavor.1
Tangerine Wheat pours a hazy golden orange color with a white head that disappears quickly, leaving almost no lacing behind at all.
The aroma from the glass is a combination of strong, sweet nectarine, almost fake smelling, like an orange Jolly Rancher candy. I also pick up a faint lemon zest note, and there is very little carbonation evident in the glass.
As I noticed when I poured the beer, there is close to zero carbonation, a slightly odd attribute when I was expecting a more crisp profile. The dominant taste from the beginning is a combination of mealy wheat and tangerine essence. There is a grassy note that comes and goes, and I am tasting almost no sweetness at all, but what little there is has to fight with an obvious metallic bitterness that is present on the finish.
As I continue drinking the beer, the tangerine note starts to become almost medicinal on the finish and a herbal note in the profile picks up steam. As I noticed when I poured the beer, there is close to zero carbonation, a slightly odd attribute when I was expecting a more crisp profile.
LOST COAST TANGERINE WHEAT
BREWERY: LOST COAST BREWERY
LOCATION: EUREKA, CALIF.
STYLE: FRUIT BEER
ABV: 5.5 PERCENT
RELEASE DATE: 2006
AVAILABLE IN: 22-OUNCE BOTTLES
BEERS POURED: ONE
Tastes like tangerines? Yes. Refreshing? Sort of. Balanced or complex? Not even a little. The Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat is exactly what it says it is, a wheat beer with obvious tangerine flavors added. While I mildly enjoyed the combination at first, the profile quickly became grating and the medicinal note on the finish became more obvious as I kept drinking.
A bit more carbonation or sweetness would have increased the enjoyment slightly overall, but in the end, there are too many better fruit beers on the market for me to drink this more than once.