This business of flavoring beer with fruit, which started with the Belgian cherry and peach lambics, has the potential to go too far. Sooner or later, some American brewer (face it, it'll be a Californian) is bound to produce a kiwi-mango beer that will embarrass us all.
Citrus, however, has a true affinity for wheat beers, which need to make up for their lack of barley roundness, and a dash of lemon syrup is traditional with
. Taking the clue, Lost Coast Brewing has come up with a tangerine-perfumed wheat beer -- as usual with Lost Coast, not erring on the side of the subtle; it's a whole lot of tangerine on top of a crisp, mildly hopped wheat. This is going to be a charming outdoor sipper as the weather warms, and it has real potential as a food beer, particularly with fried fish. I'd also try it out in sauces where you might use wine, maybe boiling some down with butter and shallots to go with that fish.
-- Charles Perry
a mild, dry wheat beer with an explosive dose of tangerine aroma; fun in the sun
$3.69 for a 22-ounce bottle
Where you find it:
Beverages and More (for locations visit
); Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463 or (800) 331-3005,