Kronenbourg is a decent enough beer (for its type), but until recently, I’d never really been tempted to try their wheat beer version – Kronenbourg Blanc. All that changed during last week’s heatwave when confronted with a selection of what would usually be a mouth-watering choice of ales in the pub. It was just too bloomin’ hot! My eye was drawn continually to the shiny chrome, ice-cold, condensation-saturated font of the aforementioned beer. So I ordered a tall one.
Kronenbourg started back in 1664 when Jerome Hatt produced his first barrel of beer in Strasbourg. In the 1800’s the brewery moved to the district of Cronenbourg – the K was added to make it sound more Germanic and hence to appeal to beer lovers, in 1947.
The company attribute their growth to the period after WW2 when they began selling their premium Bièrre d’Alsace in small bottles when most other lagers were low in strength and sold in litre bottles. Following many mergers and acquisitions, today the company is in partnership with Scottish & Newcastle Brewers of Edinburgh.
I had a quint squint at their website to see how they described the beer, but I’ll be jiggered if I could get much info from there. Your welcome to look yourself, but my guess is they’ll say it’s a quality brew…quality ingredients…yadda yadda yadda…
This beer pours a greyish, murky, homemade lemonade colour – the palest of pale, watery yellows. Masses of minute, fizzy bubbles rise to form a decent head of creamy foam that lasts well and leaves a respectable amount of lacing on the glass. It certainly looks the part.
The aroma is sweet and sour. Fruity, there are traces of mangos, apples and a big flush of citrus – more orange than lemon. There’s also a heavy feel of bubble-gum which is slightly overpowering. All in all, the aroma seems a little ‘full-on’ and perhaps a little artificial leaning, as it does, far too heavily towards a sugary sweetness with hardly any hint of the spiciness which one would expect from a wheat beer.
The taste follows along in much the same vein. It’s fairly light bodied with a spritzy, zingy mouthfeel. Sickly sweet, there’s no real bite to it. There’s lots of citric flavours, a bunch of fruitiness, plenty of tartness and more than enough sweetness, but the whole somehow seems deficient. It finishes clean with a touch of dryness.
At 5% ABV, this is a refreshing enough pint. In hot weather it can certainly refresh the parts that other beers can, and can’t reach. It’s not a classic (it’s not even close), and there’s no way I’d compare it to some ‘proper’ examples of the style. But, it was cold and wet and did the job so I can’t really complain.
In conclusion, an average beer. Nothing special, but certainly not to be turned away. I don’t think it’s worth the premium price that’s usually asked for it (I paid £2.85 I think) though.
Would I drink it again? – Actually, I could murder one right now, but I probably won’t.