Abita Lemon Wheat

Abita Brewery is the biggest name in independent brewing in Louisiana. While its brown ale, Amber, is its top seller, its seasonal Wheat has long had a cult following, its arrival associated with the start of summer. Abita Wheat was far more subtly spiced than most Belgian style wheats, with citrus notes that were brought out by the lemon wedge garnish.

This year, Abita relieved beer drinkers of the tiresome garnishing and added the lemon flavoring itself, now selling the beer as Lemon Wheat. Unfortunately, the squeeze of lemon that drinkers once added has been replaced with enough lemon to fight the wheat over the beer’s defining flavor. There’s also an unpleasant fizz that accompanies the lemon, and it leaves an aftertaste that brings to mind cleaning fluids. It’s a disappointing change to one of the brewery’s successes.