Meet Monarch, the classic American wheat beer by Grapevine Brewing. The brewery's attractive packaging has drawn me in again, this time with a stylized butterfly on a patriotic background of red and white stripes. The last time I took a look at one of their beers, it was the Lakefire rye pale ale, whose label I thought would make for a great T-shirt, but the beer inside the can left me looking for something more.
I have the same problem with this wheat beer, in that it does nothing offensive but does little to elate. It pours a nice honey-amber with a lasting head, but each sip left me searching for something I never really found.
Is that citrus? I landed on some acidity in early tastes, but those sensations never evolved into any flavor. When I suggested malt, my sipping partner looked confused. The only thing we could agree on was a general lack of personality. The Monarch drank like a slice of white bread in a can.
And that may be perfect for you. Like Deep Ellum's Neato Bandito, which exhibited exceptional drinkability, Grapevine's Monarch might be a great suggestion for friends who are put off by strong flavors. But any inquisitive drinker will certainly find themselves bored, whether they want an easy drinking beer or not. I'll certainly be looking for something more exciting the next time I fill my ball jar.
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