When it’s the best of times, a beer aficionado likes nothing more than popping a nice expensive bottle of maybe an Allagash or a pricey Chimay. But when it’s the worst of times, that would be totally inappropriate, thus wasting and squandering a potentially pleasurable experience. It is on these sad occasions when I act like Despondent Man #1 in a trite movie and head to the store, buying the cheapest six pack possible with some loose change. In my opinion they should cut out the middle man and make CoinStar machines that dispense cheap beers as opposed to gift certificates to Linens ‘n Things or Borders. After buying my cheap beer I return home to my bedroom where I don’t even refrigerate the beer, instead setting the six pack right beside me in bed as I polish off bottle after bottle in a dark room. The six pack selected for this episode was Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin’s (hometown of both Annie Hall* AND Jack Dawson**) Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat.
Nice name, nicer label, I was surprised it was literally the cheapest beer in my supermarket. I had no right to be. It was terrible. After the first sip I began to reanalyze my sadness, wondering to myself, “Am I really in that bad of place where I need to drink six of these things?!” I don’t truly think I was, but alas I am nothing if not a completest. Once I start a task, by golly I finish it!
I really do not like this beer at all. I hated it as much by the sixth beer as I did with the first. It did not “grow on me.” I should have donated my sixer to the bum on the corner that sleeps on a warm subway grate. I will say one thing, though, Sunset Wheat is definitely unique. I taste wheat and blueberry and, yes, I believe that’s hints of toothpaste. Seriously, I taste fucking Colgate in this beer. I almost thought this beer was like one of those mouth rinses you do as a kid where you gargle it and then a few seconds later your teeth are bright red where there’s tartar build-up.
I wish I liked this beer, Leinenkugel is America’s 7th oldest brewery and I was gobsmacked to see this one gets great reviews on Beer Advocate. Maybe I got a bad batch. I truly hope I did. But as for now, I can only find one positive about my first Sunset Wheat experience. By the time i was done with the sixer i felt like I’d visited my dentist and had a full fluoride treatment. And my gums have never felt so healthy!
*The eponymous character of my all-time favorite movie.
**Really wish I didn’t know that!