Beer Journal

A quasi-daily examination of beer and things related to beer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Now on Tap: Well's Banana Bread Beer

Note to the Reader: This is the second review of Well's Banana Beer, for the first one check here.

A Brief Overview

Wells and Young’s Brewery began as a small brewery in the city of Bedford, UK. Originally founded by Charles Wells in 1876, it has stayed within the same family for 5 generations. Combined in 2006 from the separate parts of Charles Well’s LTD and Young’s Brewery, it has the distinction of being the UK’s largest independent brewer. Beyond carrying their own line of products (notables including Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Well’s Banana Bread Beer), they are also the UK brewer and distributor for Kirin Ichiban, Red Stripe and Corona. While they are most well-known in the US for their speciality brews, in the UK their big money line is bitters.

Some Thoughts on Design

I don’t know what to think of this fact, but many brewers claim that water makes all the difference in the final product. The website for the Wells and Young’s seems to place much stock in its water source: a well dug by the original Wells.

My Experience

So the time came for me to have a shot at this beer. Pizza had been consumed, followed by cheesecake, and Cranium was spread out across the table. I must note that prior to my subject de jour, I drank a bottle each of Spaten Dunkel and Kirin Ichiban (I had a couple of sixers in the the fridge to choose from). So I poured this fruity beast into my favorite glass for sampling beer. The first thing I noticed was the insane head on this beer. Thick, frothy, and super white. Almost like a soda, but with much more staying power.

The first taste was sweet, a little sickly sweet, a tad contrived (not sure why this surprised me, its a banana bread beer. How much more contrived a thing can I imagine?). Lots of banana, touch of hops and spices on the backside of the swallow. Its a light empty beer without much going for it except bananas. Lots and lots of bananas. I had to force the final couple of swallows down.

Final Thoughts

I realize that when you try to create something original there is always the chance that the product may be unappreciated by the masses. I don’t consider myself to be the masses. I enjoy beers from the smallest of craft brews to the big boy breweries, but Well’s Banana Bread Beer did not impress me at all. It’s a gimmicky beer that’s more gimmick than good beer. If you are bored and itching to waste 4 bucks on a beer that tastes like bananas, be my guest.

Rating: 2.3

Pair it with: Dessert

Wells and Young’s




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