Finding a fruit beer that's worth buying a six pack of can be a challenge. When done right, though, the fresh sweetness can be a welcome change of pace from hop bombs and impossibly rich stouts.
Grapefruit is a good starting point. You'll find shades of it in IPAs like Cigar City's Jai Alai or The Alchemist's Heady Topper, which don't use fruit but get a distinctly citrus-y note from their choice of hops. Schöfferhofer takes that idea and runs with it.
Admittedly is not really a beer. It's a shandy, which is beer that's been blended with some kind of mixer like soda, lemonade, or in this case, grapefruit juice. That means the beer flavors get pushed back considerably. There are certainly no in-your-face hops or toasty malts, and the ABV clocks in at only 2.5%.
There’s still a perfectly nice wheat beer base, though, that blends surprisingly well with the citrus. And while it might not be as impressively flavored as a quadruple-hopped whatever, a blend like this is your best friend on a hot summer day.
Appearance: Golden pink pour with a healthy white head.
Smell: Bright grapefruit and lime aromas that actually smell like fresh-squeezed juice, plus some subtle spicy hefeweizen grains.
Taste: The lightly malty base is definitely there alongside the citrusy sweetness. It tastes like there's a solidly flavorful hefeweizen —not some watery, meant-to-be-covered-up brew— behind this mix. The grapefruit is sweet and tart, but not overpowering.
Mouthfeel: It's got a fairly high carbonation, almost like soda.
Overall: The grapefruit is flavorful but not overly sweet or tart, and the hefeweizen lends a light malty flavor to remind you that this is, after all, beer. Or at least part beer.
Because of the low ABV and light profile, you can knock back a few of 'em without feeling bloated or getting dizzy. And while it may not be winning the favor of craft beer purists who are looking to overdose on hops, it's a great choice for a warm summer day.