Beer review: Pyramid Apricot Ale

From the August 23, 2012 edition

About the brewery: Pyramid opened for business in Washington in 1984 and grew to be one of the biggest craft breweries in the U.S. with restaurants in Washington, Oregon and California. The Apricot Ale, introduced in 1994, is one of their biggest sellers, but Hefeweizen is probably their most famous and recognizable brew. Cleveland celebrity chef Michael Symon is a fan; he demonstrates recipes with the beers, including Apricot Ale, on the Pyramid website.

About the beer: All of these Oktoberfest beers have already hit the shelves, but I’m not ready to surrender summer flavors yet. Apricot seemed like a nice transitional flavor — it has all those stone-fruit flavors we associate with the heart of summer and a depth that makes us think more of autumn.

A whopping punch of apricot is what you’ll get in this assertive wheat ale. The beer isn’t especially sour or acidic, but I’d call the apricot flavor bright — it’s not far from taking a bite out of a fresh, tangy apricot, minus the sweetness. The body is on the light side of medium, and the finish is crisp; it wouldn’t be a chore to nurse a few of these on a lazy afternoon.

I’d love to try this with spicy or spiced foods (think African, Indian or Moroccan) or use it in place of wine or stock for making rice or couscous with a Middle Eastern flavor.

Photo by Tim Johnson