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Beer Reviews

Lost Coast, Stargaze Wit Belgian-Style Beer With Orange Peel & Coriander, 4.5% ABV

 

Nestled in the heart of the Redwood country of Eureka, California is Lost Coast Brewery which was founded in 1989 by Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom. Wendy had a background in marriage and family counselling, while Barbara had been a pharmacist for over two decades.

 

Barbara Groom's work was pivotal to Lost Coast Brewery's success.

 

The inspiration to open a craft beer café came to Barbara after a visit to the newly-opened Hopland Brewery back then, a trailblazer as California’s first brewpub. At the same time Barbara was feeling that her job as a pharmacist didn’t quite live up to her expectations and was more effective lulling her to sleep than popping two Ambien tablets. A craft beer café was the perfect outlet for Barbara’s stifled creativity and brilliance.

 

(Source: Ukiah Daily Journal)

 

This realisation led the duo to embark on an exploratory journey into craft brewing.

 

 

Because America’s craft beer movement was still nascent back in the 80s’, the women visited numerous breweries across England and Wales, immersing themselves in the rich brewing traditions of these places. They returned to California and opened Lost Coast Brewery and Café in a spruced-up 100-year-old building that dates back to 1892. Their homebrew was popularly received and Wendy and Barbara's venture swiftly grew, becoming one of the most successful female-owned craft breweries in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Their expansion continued with the opening of a new facility in 2014, further cementing their legacy.

Lost Coast’s beers have distinctively vibrant and quirky labels, often showcasing Picasso-style fragmented or distorted faces of beings. They are best known for their Great White Ale, a crisp and refreshing Belgian-style white beer that delights people with subtle notes of citrus and coriander.

The beer we’re reviewing today is another Belgian-style white ale called Stargaze Wit. This is made with wheat, rolled oats, Belgian witbier yeast (said to be the secret sauce for high phenol content and herbal aromas), orange peels, coriander and Sterling hops. From the looks of it, this appears to be a more robust version of the brewery’s signature Great White.

 

 

Let’s taste it.

Lost Coast, Stargaze Wit Belgian-Style Beer With Orange Peel & Coriander, 4.5% ABV – Review

 

Nose: Clean but multifaceted and aromatic. Begins with a distinctive pop corn, toasted tortilla scent complemented by a bright, lemony undertone, a combination reminiscent of Italy’s Peroni beer. Followed by a light herbal bouquet of lemon grass and coriander delicately intertwined with fresh orange peels. Turns slightly richer with a backdrop of biscuity maltiness and lemon shandy, subtly accented with a hint of peanut butter. Very complex.

Palate: Light textured but the flavour profile is robust. Initial taste is a harmonious blend of clean, sweet malt and zesty citrus, followed by an increasing presence of cereal notes and some buttered pop corn. As it continues to develop, a yeasty, bready character emerges along with vanilla and caramel, as the background turns towards a dryness.

Finish: Moderately short. It’s got clean barley notes that gradually give way to a lingering lemon zest, accompanied by sour patch candy (those mouth watering candy gummy strips dusted with sour sugar) and once gain… an enduring pop corn note which slowly fades.

 

My Thoughts:

The Stargaze Wit is very intriguing with a lot going on. It has a light body and zesty citrus notes that are true to the Belgian witbier style with a nice distinct popped corn flavour that makes it really stand out. Yet it also has a light dryness that makes it refreshing and an excellent accompaniment to rich and hearty foods.

That said, this is perfectly satisfying to drink on its own which makes it a good versatile brew that you can't go wrong with. It’s flavourful, nuanced, yet highly sessionable, refreshing and a pleasure to drink.

My Rating: 7/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

 

For Singaporean readers, this beer is available on Thirsty.com! Search “Stargaze Wit Belgian-Style Beer” to locate this product.

@CharsiuCharlie