Glassware: The flavors of Smoked Peach Short Weisse are unique and require glassware that allows for the best experience to fully understand the complexities in this beer. A perfect choice is the standard Weizen glass with its elongated shape it is perfect, another great secondary choice is a goblet glass that will allow you to slowly sip on this beer.
Description: Smoked Peach Short Weisse pours a pale straw yellow with slightly off white head that leaves small traces of lacing on the glass. The aroma is more peach forward in the nose with subtle tart notes in the background with a bit of smoke, the smoke aroma will get stronger as the beer warms. The flavor is where the smoked malts comes through more, but is not as dominant as other smoked beers tend to be. Instead, the bright peach flavors still come through with a refreshing sour note with the smoked malts present throughout. They are most discernible at the beginning and end of each sip. The thin body and moderate carbonation are lacking a little, but do not take away much from this interesting beer. While smoked beers are certainly not for craft beer newbies, this take on the style is approachable for many.
Food Pairing: The combination of two differing styles makes for very interesting pairings with dishes. The Berliner Weiss style is typically a great go to for lighter dishes such as salads while smoked beers go perfectly with barbecues. These two clashing styles coming together make a dinner pairing wonderful. If you are a cheese fan this is a phenomenal beer for you to enjoy with even the stinkiest of cheeses but goes especially well with goat cheese. The creamy texture of the cheese will melt into the beer and the beer will highlight the bright flavors within while also having the smoke balanced perfectly. This is still a great beer for salads. A salad topped with some steak, blue cheese, and bacon will absolutely knock the pairing out of the park. The biggest thing to be aware of when pairing this beer with food is what flavors you would like to have shine through. If you are looking to experience more of the smoked beer profile then meats of all kind are a great go to. However, if you want the peaches to be front and center then look for some with a more acidic based with citrus fruits in the fold to grab onto the peaches and dull the smoked malts.
The Final Word: While the smoked malt flavors can be a bit much for some who are sensitive to them, they are not too overpowering and give this slightly tart beer a unique kick. The peaches are the most present flavor which is a great balance against the tart Berliner Weiss style making this a refreshing beer. Smuttlabs is an off branch from the Smuttynose Brewery where the brewers experiment with styles and flavors. Smoked Peach Short Weisse is a perfect example of such an experiment, the beloved Berliner Weiss style is known for its bright, refreshing characteristics while the less popular, but equally beloved rauchbier (smoke beer) style is known for its malty flavors with rich smoked malt notes. These two varying flavors are rarely thought to go together, but somehow this beer makes sense as a balance of yin and yang for a unique experience that you may not have again, definitely seek this one out if you are an adventurous beer drinker!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company (Smuttlabs)
Beer: Smoked Peach Short Weisse
Style: Berliner Weiss