Saugatuck Starburst Wheat

Senior Editor – John Fahrner @fahrn13

A few months ago I opened my mind to a plethora of flavor and introduced myself to Saugatuck Brewing’s wonderfully unique Neapolitan Milk Stout.  I’m not going to claim that beer as my favorite, but I will say that the beer was one of, if not the most, thought provoking beers that I had the pleasure of enjoying over the last year or so.  Neapolitan Milk stout was recommended to me by a family member and after she nailed that recommendation I was excited to check out her next beer she talked up that happened to also be from Saugatuck Brewing.  Since we broke into stouts last time and we just might be out of winter, finally, let’s go for a change of pace with a refreshing witbier.

Starburst Wheat, as you could likely guess from the name, is a fresh and fruity wheat beer that packs in a refreshing and tart citrus flavor while finishing mildly bitter to balance everything out.  The beer itself pours hazy and holds a thick white head that lasted as long as I had beer in my glass.  This witbier has a densely copper, almost orange which compliments the tropical aroma that that teases your nose as you enjoy this beer. Starburst Wheat is a full bodied brew that manages to sit light on the stomach making it refreshing and a good option for hot and sunny days.  With a 5.1% ABV the beer is in a good range to share a 6 pack with a friend or two outside by a bomb fire.  I imagine this beer would also pair well with a number of different BBQ dishes or surprisingly well Chinese food.

If anything were to be a drawback for Starburst Wheat it would simply be that I expected more out of this beer.  Perhaps this is my own fault for building up an expectation in my head of what this beer would be; thanks in part to my experience with Neapolitan stout and the track record of the person who recommended the beer to me.  The flavors that I expected in this beer are all there (malty wheat, tropical fruits, etc.) but considering my last experience with a Saugatuck beer I anticipated more.  I expected more intensity of this beer, although I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it I wanted the experience of drinking an alcohol enriched piece of fruity candy and that’s not what I got.  This is probably for the better because the idea of drinking a Starburst really doesn’t sound all that appealing but I had said the same thing about drinking something that was flavored like Neapolitan ice cream. Starburst Wheat is not bad at all, in fact its a very well crafted beer that I could easily see myself buying again. It is however a reminder that it’s best not to let your expectation on a beer alter your perception before trying the beer yourself.

Overall Beer Rating: 3.5/5

John Fahrner
Twitter: @fahrn13

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Senior Editor at
Fan of Hockey, Football, and Mexican Food. Preferes beers in the style of Stout, Porter, IPA, and Red Ales.
Not a fan of Pumpkin beer or Sours