Allagash has been experimenting recently with a range of inventive ingredients and styles, creating beers that are exciting and distinctive (you can see reviews here, here, here, and here). Their newest release, River Trip, is a bit more conventional. The can provides a description: “This Belgian-style table beer packs an array of melon, citrus, and stone fruit notes. Brewed with coriander. Dry hopped.” Also, whereas the more experimental beers have been limited releases, River Trip will be a year-round offering.
Let’s give it a try.
Poured aggressively into a glass, this bright, slightly hazy, lemony-yellow colored beer presents a 1.5-inch head that is slow to dissipate. The beer’s carbonation can be seen in the steady stream of bubbles that continuously rise to the surface of the glass. On the nose, we first get notes of the Belgian-style yeast coupled with coriander and a touch of grapefruit. On the palate, the carbonation is not as strong as the bubbles suggest. Instead, the flavor of coriander leaps to the front, followed by yeasty notes, and a nice long, hoppy, dry finish of grapefruit pith. I didn’t really pick up melon or stone fruit notes (as the label suggests), but I did enjoy it.
River Trip is ideally suited to the summer months: the carbonation, citrus notes, crisp character, dry finish, and low alcohol will make it a winner in hot weather. It should be noted that River Trip does not really drink like a session beer, or at least not like a bad session beer: There is no sense that it is a watered-down version of a fuller bodied beer. It has character and flavor that sets it apart from many other session offerings. Also, the fact that it is sold in cans makes it easier to take on summer trips — might we suggest a trip on the river?
B+ / $11 per 4-pack of 16 oz. cans / allagash.com