My recent brewing class has left me inspired. No longer will I constrain myself to just water, grain, yeast and hops, no: I’m going to try some weird beers. Weers, perhaps. Or beirds.
First up on this slightly odd line up is Waggledance. As well as being named after my dad at a family wedding, this beer boasts honey as its fifth ingredient.
It’s not a simple matter of sweetening the beer. Honey contains some fermentable sugars, so the yeast will chow down on what nutrients they can handle. But the profile of sugars and proteins left behind once the yeast have done their work is very different to what you’d find after they’d eaten another meal – malted barley, say, or wheat. Just as you or I might struggle with the indigestible portion of a beautiful meal (read: curry bum), so do yeast with honey.
So how does that present in Waggledance? It’s a pale gold in colour, and effervesces with more energy than I can summon by this point in the week. There’s a slight smell of wildflowers and meadowgrass – other reviewers have said they found the aroma skunky, but I found no trace of that here.
The taste is interesting. Though you’d expect the yeast to convert most of the sugars in the honey into alcohol, Waggledance is still offputtingly sweet. The floral notes suggested in the aroma come through nicely, but overall the taste is of cheap supermarket honey. It’s not particularly unpleasant…but not great either.
2/5. There are other honey beers out there. Probably best to start with one of those.