You really never know what you’re going to get when you find yourself staring down a crossover or “mashup.” The experiment could go either way. Rappers who crossover to develop fragrances—usually not so good. Burger and sushi mashups—why would you do that? Anyone remember Eddie Murphy’s album? The crossover where he sings? I do, in a haunting, night sweats sort of way. Bud Light and Margaritas, no thanks. The Philly cheesesteak/pizza on the other hand, is a brilliant mashup. The bacon swizzle stick—the world is better for their existence. The world is also a little bit better thanks to Breckenridge’s Ophelia. For this Hoppy Wheat Ale, Breckenridge blurs the lines between two distinct styles, the American Pale Ale and the Wheat beer, and comes out with a crossover that’s as successful as the bacon swizzle stick.
The beer pours a cloudy orange with a hefty, white head, much like a wheat ale, and smells orange and sweet, almost exactly like Sunny Delight. The nose is misleading though, as the beer offers a massive wave of grapefruit upfront, without much sweetness. There isn’t a lot of bitterness either, though, so you get a beer that runs successfully down the middle of the Pale and Wheat styles. Ophelia is hoppy and floral, but not bitter; fruity, but not sweet; light and crisp, but with just enough malt to provide a more robust mouthfeel.
Ophelia does what most crossovers try so desperately to do—blends the best of two distinct styles, offering the floral, hoppiness of a Pale, with the light, thirst quenching attributes of a Wheat. Purists might be turned off, but in my mind, Ophelia offers the best of both worlds. Win/win.
City: Breckenridge, Colo.
Style: Hoppy Wheat Ale
Availability: Limited, through April