The "Wit" of Oberon

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 8, 2006 2:15PM

2006_06_BellsOberonLabel2006small.jpgUnless you're so daft that you're beyond help, you might have read somewhere that Chicagoist is having a party this evening. We're especially looking forward to getting our hands on some of those $3 Bell's Oberons the Pontiac Cafe is graciously supplying.

This started us thinking about wheat beers, and ales in particular. From a brewing standpoint, wheat is not an easy grain to work with. But beers brewed with wheat don't require a maturation period, like lagers. Wheat ales can be consumed shortly after production. The primary characteristic of wheat ales is their cloudiness in appearance, due to the proteins found in the wheat. With modern filtration techniques, that cloudiness can be removed from a wheat ale, but why the hell would someone want to not show the love?

Hefe weizens are the best examples of a wheat beer, and Chicagoist will expand on that in a later post. Today we're talking up the Oberon. Bell's Oberon is an American wheat ale, brewed with Saaz hops. It contains six percent alcohol by volume, so it packs a kick. If served on tap, the head of this beer has excellent lacing and good retention. That means it don't go flat quickly. It's color is a medium orange-yellow, with a light hazy quality. It smells of wheat on the nose, with nice touches of floral and citrus. Those citrus notes are immediately evident once you start drinking Oberon, with hints of spice as it begins to warm. Oberon is very light on the hops. Reviews we've read online compare Oberon to drinking a lemon square, but we find the citrus notes in the beer to be fuller, more akin to oranges.

So head on to Pontiac this evening, show us the faces behind the screen names, and lift an Oberon in celebration.