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Bell’s Oberon Ale

June 30th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Bell's, Country: America, Grade: C plus, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen).

5.8% ABV on draught

Before going to the Nats game, my friends and I hit some Capital Hill bars, wanting to throw back a few quality pops before going to the stadium. The first watering hole didn’t have that great of selection but they did have a free taco bar because I guess they like giving their patrons the shits. Correction, the bar actually had mini-tacos. They were like fucking taco sliders! Awesome. Every food tastes better when it is miniaturized and allows a man to feel like Goliath. I won’t say they tasted great and they kinda creeped me out in the same way the free buffet at a strip club would, but they still hit the spot.

I “paired” my taco sliders with Bell’s Oberon Ale, the only beer on tap I hadn’t had before. I don’t know much about the Bell’s Brewery as we don’t have much distribution of the brews in New York. I certainly wouldn’t call DC a better beer city than New York, nor a better drinking town, but they probably get a more diverse selection of beers from across this country. Each state’s “best” brewery seems to be well represented in the District. I would assume this to be because each state is well-represented by humans in the area, each of whom want to feel like they’re back home by drinking the brews they were weened on. My DC friends tell me that Michiganders consider Bell’s God’s gift to beer-drinkers. And, I must admit, the only previous Bell’s I’d had, their Two-Hearted Ale, was pretty solid. My friends further revealed that Michiganders seem to consider the Oberon the pinnacle of the brewery’s line. They told me that if talk beer with someone from The Wolverine State, The Great Lakes State, The Automotive State, or the Water-Winter Wonderland (why does Michigan have so many fucking nicknames?!) they would yak my ear off about Oberon and punch me were I to criticize it.

Well, get your knuckle sandwiches ready, Michigan. I didn’t love the Oberon, despite the fact that because I’m a huge nerd that plays bar trivia I know that the beer is named after the outermost of the major moons of Uranus which is actually named after a fairy character in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Of course, it was served with fruit, one of my beer pet peeves. I found it lacked smell and was overly light in taste. Citrusy, but not much else. A little spice and a little hops perhaps. I’m actually shocked the ABV is so high. It’s better than macro shit like Blue Moon or Shock Top (though slightly different styles of course), but not much better, and it’s certainly worse than a Sam Adams Summer wheat. It goes down well though and I wouldn’t actually mind day-drinking outside with a few on some weekend. But inside, at a bar, give me something with a little more taste and bite.

C+

One Response to “Bell’s Oberon Ale”

  1. Nick | 09/18/08

    Two-Hearted Ale is the pinnacle of Bell’s line, and anyone who tries to convince you that it’s Oberon doesn’t know anything about beer. The Two-Hearted has a permanent place in my ‘fridge.

    Oberon is perfect, as you say, for having a pint or two outdoors on a summer afternoon. If you’re ever in Madison grab a pitcher of Bell’s on the Union Terrace, that’s where it belongs.

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