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Peter LaFrance

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Taste of… Angel City Vitzen

Angel City Brewing Company
Torrance, CA (USA)

This brew, accompanied by three others, came as a pleasant surprise last week. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Bowe, president/brewer of Angle City Brewing at the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston this year. On the heels of the Anderson Valley Beer Festival he took the liberty of forwarding this bottle of Vitzen, along with Charlie Parker Pale Ale, Lester young Porkpie Hat Dark Lager, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk Stritch Stout. I am interested in the story behind the names of those brews.

The label notes on the Vitzen note: “Angel City Vitzen is a true German style hefe-weitzen, decoction brewed with over 60% wheat malt and our own proprietary German yeast strain.”

The tasting notes for the Vitzen follow…

Appearance: In the style of a traditional Bavarian wheat beer, this is a hazy bright copper colored brew with a finely knit head of sandy bubbles that leave a well defined Belgian lace.

Aroma: The initial sensation had hints of cloves and a bread undertone. The second sensation is almost citric with the cloves still in front. The third impression is yeasty and still the cloves hang in there.

Mouth feel: The initial mouth feel is pleasantly effervescent, for such a well toned finish. There is no “flab” to this brew.

Flavor: After the first refreshing sensation the flavors of bubblegum and banana cut a sensual swath followed by less bubble gum and more banana.

Finish: The finishing flavors are echoes of the first flavors with a slightly sweet note lingering after the identifiable flavors depart.

Comments: This is one of two wheat beers brewed in the United States that I could wrap my taste and mind around and appreciate as a well made example of the style. I believe that most wheat beers brewed in the United States are not meant to be in the Bavarian or Belgian style and celebrate a style unique to North America. That said, I would enjoy this brew as an accompaniment to a serving of grilled firm fleshed fish and charred veggies. Throw in a steamed lobster and I would be a most happy fellow.

Angel City Brewing Company: http://www.angelcitybrewing.com/beer.html

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