Long Trail Hefeweizen (bottle)- American Pale Wheat Ale/Hefeweizen- Long Trail Brewing Company, VT, USA
The first thing that hits you is the incongruous fruity smell wafting from Long Trail Hefeweizen. As you pour there is the unmistakable smell of ripe bananas which your brain refuses to accept. Alas it is the truth: Long Trail’s hefe just happens to smell a lot like bananas with a tang of lemony citrus and earthy yeast underneath. Of course smell and taste being so closely intertwined the banana is still there in the front when you take your first few sips confusing the taste buds, but that’s not to say it is overpowering. No, it’s just out of the norm so your brain keeps coming back to it, but by the time you are through the first quarter of your beer everything settles down into balance and you will find the notes you expect from an American wheat/hefes: hints of clove, lemony zest, and yeast with a nice bit of crispness at the finish.
There’s solid flavor to the Long Trail though it does lack complexity and its mouth feel is a bit on the thin side. Those minor slights aside, this would be a nice session beer (I envision this being my go-to grilling beer come summer), but those slips keep the Long Trail Hefeweizen from the “Duuuude, you’ve gotta try this!” category.
Overall, I’m thankful I stumbled onto Long Trail’s hefe in the cooler at Woody’s. It won’t steal any thunder from the upper echelon wheat/hefes, but it’s a solid brew that in my ranking I’d put in the second tier just ahead of Blue Moon and Harpoon’s UFO.
Find it, try it.