Watermelon Everywhere and So Many Drops to Drink
So. Many. Melons.
150 to be exact.
That’s how many watermelons ended up in our batch of Watermelon Wheat this year. At an average of 20 pounds per melon, that’s a ton and a half of melons. “Now that figure includes the rind, which we don’t use,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink, “but it still a lot of fruit weight.”
That’s a big difference from our usual fruit beers. It took about 24 man hours (and woman hours, thanks to our magnificent intern, Paige) to cut and juice all the melons and pump them into the tank. “It took about four of us: JP, Nick, Paige, and myself with a few others on production filtering in and out.”
We add the watermelon at the very last second, just after fermentation stops, so there’s only a slight secondary fermentation due to the fruit. The result is refreshing, juicy, and perfectly watermelony — just the way we like to end our summers.
This is Brian’s fourth go-round with the Watermelon Wheat. We’re pretty sure we did it in 2012, as well. 2011 is anyone’s guess. (If you remember, let us know in the comments.)
The great thing about this brew, according to Brian, is “that it’s the real deal.” We don’t fake this with watermelon flavoring that tastes completely unlike watermelons. We have to wait for watermelons to come into season, then spend the better part of a day cutting them down, chopping them up, and preparing them for the brew.
“It’s ultra refreshing,” says Brian, “just the right amount of fruit flavor — not overpowering or fake tasting, and it’s a very sessionable 4.8% ABV. Perfect end of summer beer, and with the summers along the shore lasting into the end of September, it’s the perfect beer to carry us over into our fall favorites.”
Watermelon Wheat drops at the Ugly Mug on Thursday, August 11, and at our Tasting Room on Friday.
Check out the timelapse video below of the staff slaughtering those watermelons.
So. Many. Melons.