On a recent trip to Gainesville, Florida, I happened to find a decent beer bar with some locals on tap. Previously, I had tried Swamphead’s IPA, Big Nose, and thought it was fairly decent. Well, the bar, The Top, had two of Swamphead’s other beers on draft, so without consulting the menu, I settled in and ordered the one with the flashiest name, Cottonmouth.
When my beer arrived, I instantly knew I made a mistake as the bartender had placed an orange slice on the rim. Shit. If a beer is served with fruit, it means the beer is not good by itself, which in turn means — it’s not good. Just for thoroughness’s sake here’s the low-down:
Type: Belgian Wheat Bier NOTE: SHINTERN IS BIASED AGAINST BELGIAN WHEATS — IT’S LIKE THE FRENCH TRIED TO MAKE A BEER.
Pours with a very thin white head and is quite golden-yellow in color with a lot of carbonation (it looked like a brighter shade of ginger ale).
The aroma comes off as a very fruit-zesty and reminded me of Blue Moon (another clue I was not going to be impressed by this beer).
The body was extremely light with less carbonation than I was expecting. It had coriander and orange in the taste, but I’ve had better beers with those two flavors present.
As I was drinking it, some guy ordered an Oskar Blues Gubna and received a Cottonmouth but said it was no big deal that the bartender messed up the order — Dude couldn’t have been more wrong; I haven’t had the Gubna, but it’s hard to imagine that it’s worse than the Cottonmouth.
Most of the contributors to this site can verify, I’m not the most adventuresome beer drinker. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll peruse beer menus and look for something new to try, but if either nothing grabs me or I’m being lazy, my drink of choice is Shiner Bock, which is readily available at most beer-oriented bars in the District.
Unfortunately for me, this is not true for Gainesville, FL – home of the University of Florida, Shintern’s Mom, and, until this past weekend, most of Shintern’s furniture and possessions. Without my fallback favorite beer being served, my epic-sized moving weekend was not looking good, but then I had dinner at Satchel’s Pizza, a local Communist structured restaurant (it is owned by the employees) that served the following draft beers: Sam Adams Seasonal, Widmer Bros Hefe, Stella Artois, and Swamphead Big Nose IPA, a locally brewed beer.