Review: Half Pints Kristallweizen (15th anniversary beer)

I still remember the very first time I ever tried beer by Winnipeg's Half Pints Brewery - it was sometime in 2006 or so. I knew of the brewery at the time but at the time I felt there's no way a brewery in Manitoba could make good beer (fast forward 15 years: I was wrong). The first beer I ever picked out.. I don't even remember the name of it, all I remember was that it was *I think* a German-style beer that all I can remember is it tasting like bong water.. it was very heavy on the bitterness, very cannabis-like, so I didn't like it at the time. Over the years Half Pints became one of my favourite breweries to the point that when certain releases came out, I would buy as many bottles of said release as I could.

I was at Half Pints a couple months ago right before their 15th anniversary and Dave was telling me about this beer, I could see he had a big grin underneath his face mask when he showed me the label - it was classic oldschool label.. nostalgia galore! 5.0% ABV / 13 IBU

From the label: After 15 years in the game, you learn that sometimes you don't choose the beer, the beer chooses you. So, when we learned that 15 is the Crystal Anniversary, we had to brew a Kristallweizen. Pouring out with a soft, fluffy head that rests upon a filter-clear beer, this refreshing wheat beer is made with a select yeast culture which brings subtle aromas of banana, bubblegum and clove. Thanks for choosing Half Pints for the past 15 years. Here's to 15 more! (And 30 will be Pearl Anniversary, so no doubt we'll brew an Oyster Stout).

Appearance: This beer is whispering at me "Driiiiiink me, you know you want to!" It's got a vibrant golden straw body with a light-to-mild cloudiness to it. LOTS of carbonation in the body and a thick fluffy off-white head on top.

Aroma: Very crisp, moderately sweet and definitely hop-forward. I get a graininess of it - wet barley and wheat. Notes of honey, straw and lemon at the end. Not overly clovey or bananalicious like a Hefeweizen (like Weizen Heimer)

Taste: This is a sweet one! Lots of honey sweetness, notes of the grain, a slight tartness to it, moderate hop presence that gives off a slight bitter, slight floral presence to it. I can't really describe what else I get in this beer, maybe a bit of a yeastiness but it's been filtered out so not sure.

Overall Thoughts: Very smooth, easy to drink, but I find that their Double Standard will be the gold standard for crushable beers. Quite sweet, notes of honey, straw. Decent stuff!

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