21st Amendment

Summer Beer Review #2 – 21st Amendment Hell Or High Watermelon Wheat


“You know those juice filled wax bottles that you would have as a kid? Well… this beer tastes like the wax bottle.”

– Mrs. Wookie

Since we have not yet crowned the winner of the 2011 Great Summer Beer Challenge, I thought I would take this opportunity to review a beer that I first had two summers ago (once again, this was courtesy of The Alemonger). When I first tried the 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. A watermelon infused wheat beer? I’d never heard of such a thing!

Here’s what 21st Amendment Brewery has to say about this beer:

“Like Lady Liberty, we stand for independence and perseverance. In the pursuit of innovative beer, there is no obstacle too great. No journey too long. No fruit too gigantic. This American wheat beer is brewed with real watermelon, for a flavor that’s surprisingly crisp, dry and refreshing—summer in a can.

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat is our summer seasonal beer available from April through September in six pack cans and on draft. We start by brewing a classic American wheat beer, which undergoes a traditional secondary fermentation using fresh watermelon. A straw-colored, refreshing beer with a kiss of watermelon aroma and flavor.”

Let’s see what I think of this beer two years later…

  • Appearance: Golden yellow. Very little head which builds up and dissipates rapidly. No lacing. Lots of fast rising bubbles.
  • Aroma: Faint smells of watermelon, cucumber, citrus, and yeast.
  • Taste: Very good carbonation. Light and refreshing. You can taste hints of citrus, watermelon, and even some faint spices. Clean, crisp finish.
  • ABV: 4.90%

This is a unique beer that get’s very mixed reviews on The Interwebs. If you’re tired of the usual Summer Beer, i.e. Lagers, Pilsners, Summer Ales, etc., then the 21st Amendment Hell Or High Watermelon Wheat may be just what you’re looking for. When I took my first sip, the words “Thirst Quencher!” immediately came to mind. This beer is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. Some people like it (The Wookie, The Alemonger, and Yours Truly), others hate it (Mrs. Alemonger and Mrs. Wookie) . With those types of extreme reactions, there has to be something special going on here! Give this very interesting beer a try and let us know what you think.

One last thing…

The Wookie posted a list of seven requirements to qualify in the 2011 Summer Beer Challenge. Let’s see how this beer stacks up…

  1. Must Be Available In Cans: Yes
  2. Must Be Refreshing And Tasty: Yes
  3. Must Be Widely Available: Depends upon where you live
  4. Must Be Below 7% ABV: Yes
  5. “Big Beers” Will Be Considered, But Must Be Full Flavored: N/A
  6. Must Cost Less Than $8 per 6-pack: I paid $10 at Wine Works, but have seen it for $8 at Total Wine.
  7. Must Not Be A Light or “Lite” Beer: Yes
With the exception of the availability and cost requirements, I think this beer is a definite contender, but since these are The Wookie’s requirements, I’ll let him be the judge.

18 replies »

  1. Thoughts from the Wookie:

    A – Don’t take any brew evaluation by Mrs. Wookie seriously. She thinks Blue Moon is a “nice beer” and, while she was once a bartender, she is not much of a drinker or booze connoisseur.

    B – I think this meets all of the summer brew constraints just fine. The pricing limit, at $8, makes this a tough challenge for a lot of crafty brews. If a brew is close it will be considered.

    C – I liked this brew, as a thirst quencher. I don’t think I would reach for this one to compliment a meal or when I want a tasty hoppy brew but on a hot day it’s a nice light crisp drink.

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  2. While I have not had the pleasure of trying this brew, I was present when the Wookie dumped a load of watermelon into a glass and poured this over it. The image of the resulting concoction is now seared into my brain and I don’t think I will be reaching for one of these any time soon.

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  3. Totally did not expect the results you posted! I really enjoyed this beer when I tried it a few weekends ago, and I agree with you in that it was very refreshing and light – perfect for a hot summer day. I agree with the comments though, I most likely wouldn’t pair it with anything other than a fruit salad or some light sandwiches, but who needs more than that on a warm day anyway?

    Regardless, I think it’s pretty funny that the men liked the (somewhat) fruity beer more than the women. Way to completely overthrow the gender stereotypes!

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