Friday, February 23, 2024

Beer Review - Hawkes' Grog Ale

A Pint of Hawkes' Grog Ale

Maybe green beer should be reserved for only St. Patty’s Day!

First question, shouldn’t this brew be blue? I’m in Pandora, Avatarland! Isn’t blue really the thematic color?

Second question, shouldn't this brew scream natural flavors? I’m in Pandora, Avatarland! Isn’t the point of this place to be in harmony with imaginary nature?

Hawkes’ Grog Ale is the signature themed beer from Pandora - The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. I bought my draft at the snack stand, Pongu Pongu. While the drink may not have been blue the advertising sign sold me the promise of fruity hops with notes of apricot and peach. That sounded themed and refreshing. But the statement on fruity hops made it clear that the hop and not an infusion was the star of the 8 hour science fiction refreshment stop. And with a 5.3% ABV and 18 IBUs, it seemed like it would be a nice but not overpowering treat.

Now, I’m not an Avatar kind of kid. I’m just a smidge too old. I’ve seen Star Wars, loved it! But Avatar just never hit for me. But, I was enjoying the land really for the first time with a family member who loves this franchise. So I felt fully in the spirit despite my lack of connection. 

I found myself completely disappointed. 

Notes of apricot and peach could mean notes subconsciously transmitted into the beer. I got no fruit at all from this green grog. I wondered if maybe my taster was malfunctioning, so I took one down and passed it around, and everyone thought the same thing, fruity? Yeah, I don’t get that at all! Now it did remind me of Coors Light, or at least what I think Coors Light is since I’ve not had one in a decade. But I think my buddy who exclusively drinks Coors Light would enjoy this beer that tastes like an okay beer from a macro brewery. I do enjoy it when hops pass off fruit to a brew, but it failed here. Maybe the keg wasn’t being kept fresh, as this just came off tasting as a macro canned beer kept at room temp at a themed snack stand on the edge of a bioluminescent forest.

The style is not a pils or lager, no matter what I say. It’s a wheat beer. Now I say this knowing that I can fully see through the green liquid, so it’s filtered and then dyed, I guess. Untapped calls the style American Pale Wheat. This could explain how it tastes nothing like a Hefeweissen. Additionally untapped calls the flavor of the style grasslike and crisp! Yes, that sounds right. There’s no banana, no clove so definitely not a Hefe. The hops didn’t give me any fruit. But crisp, that I can buy!

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of me laughing. Now let me tell you why! Hawkes’ Grog Ale is brewed by Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens Georgia. Terrapin is a subsidiary of….Molson Coors Beverage Company! So yeah, maybe there are reasons taste-wise why my brain went instantly to Coors Light when I synced with this green beer. Maybe Coors Light is driving its green, geez not blue, genetic clone?

Hawkes’ Grog Ale to me is a missed opportunity. The beer should have been blue not green, I guess Walt Disney World already has blue milk (note: they also have green milk). It should have more distinct fruit flavors, not a homage to Coors. And it should make us feel fully immersed as I drink it, for heaven’s sake I lacked so many Avatar jokes here! I never claimed to drink it through my hair, if that is hair! I just quite simply can’t and won’t recommend this specialty beer.

Who’s drinks this? Your friend who drinks exclusively big beers. They are taking it, trying to be cool, drinking their green beer in an alien land. But as soon as they leave this land, they will have a Bud Light, but they really thought they needed a beer in Pandora. For me, I find it highly doubtful I will ever have another pint of this again. Or you are a giant Avatar fan, and despite the fact you find it the wrong color you order Hawke’s Grog Ale to fully immerse yourself. But me, I will focus on Star Wars’ beers instead.

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