Reviewed: Rhinegeist Slangria
Official description: Poms away! Pomegranate, blueberry and lime collide in an effervescent blend of ruby red refreshment. Luscious, slightly tart and full-bodied, Slangria sows scarlet seeds of juicy delight. Malts: 2-row. Hops: Cascade.
Rhinegeist Brewery – Slangria Ale with Apple, Pomegranate, Blueberry & Lime – 12oz can served in Rastal Harmony glass – 5% ABV
Rhinegeist excels at fruit beers and ciders, so the combination of the two with Slangria piqued my interest. Last year, I reviewed Little Bubs, a similar beer made with apple, peach, and cranberry. That beer gained mythical status in my household as one friend proclaimed it as his new favorite beer of all time. Other beers I’ve reviewed from Rhinegeist include Peach Dodo, a peach gose, and Science Fiction, a fantastic barrel-aged sour blonde ale. And even though The Full Pint focuses on independent craft beer news, I’d love to write about Rhinegeist’s ciders, which are stellar in their own right. They even bear a “spinoff” brand name: Cidergeist.
I’m sampling Rhinegeist Slangria from a 12oz can with an easy-to-read packaging date on the bottom of the can. (This particular can is from September 2019. However, I sampled this beer in both October 2019 and February 2020 and there was no difference in aroma or flavor.) Into my glass, Slangria is crystal clear fuschia-colored with roaring carbonation that generates a modest head of stunningly purple foam. Given the acidity and low hop oil content of this beer, head retention is predictably poor: fizzling out like craft soda or hard seltzer in less than 30 seconds.
Bringing up the glass, Slangria greets you with fresh ionized air, soft blueberry, and melted fruit popsicle. As it warms, blueberry pie notes start to seep in. Flavor-wise, Slangria meets every expectation and then some. It’s salty, tannic, and medium acidic with insane levels of fruit juice to the point of having to step back and make sure this actually counts as a beer. Slangria tastes far more like a berry-flavored cider than any beer I’ve had. With that said, it finds incredible balance through modest sweetness and surprisingly solid bitterness derived from the fruit skins themselves. It’s a tannic, slightly wooly balance more often found in red wine. And unlike most others in the fruit beer segment of late, there’s no lactic acid component or kettle-soured funkiness. Slangria relies solely on fruit juice-derived citric acid.
Perceived Specs for Rhinegeist Slangria
Slangria is a pure fruit beer in a craft scene dominated by fruit gose, fruited Berliner Weisse, and other no-name kettle-sour concoctions. There is firm citric acidity to this beer thanks to tons of fruit juice including a possibly unnecessary lime addition. But it lacks any sort of milkiness, fat, or funk characteristic of hot-fermented, lactobacillus kettle sours. That makes Slangria less polarizing and squares it up against hard seltzer and hard kombucha. However, purists looking for a beer with some fruit in it will find Slangria to taste more like a wine cooler or straight up berry cider.
New Glarus fruit beers come to mind especially Serendipity, which is made with apples, cranberries, and cherries.
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