John's Generations White Ale | Millstream Brewing Company

very good
156 Reviews
John's Generations White AleJohn's Generations White Ale

Brewed by:
Millstream Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
White Ale's are Belgian style beers, often refered to as "Wit" beer. Our version of this classic style is a wonderful spicy brew, infused with orange peel and coriander spices. It has a crisp refreshing flavor and a slight 'white' haze from the large percentage of wheat used in the mash.

14 IBU

Added by Todd on 05-01-2002

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Reviews: 156 | Ratings: 278
Photo of hero27
2.6/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden yellow. Small head with little to no lacing.

Smell: Smells of spices (coriander) and a hint of fruits, possibly oranges or lemons.

Taste: Sorry, but it isn't to my taste. The spices are just too much. I like flavor but it tastes like I mixed nutmeg, coriander, cilantro, and pepper with water.

Mouthfeel: Average mouthfeel. It's light, grainy, and smooth.

Drinkability: If you like the taste, you'll be able to easily throw down a few of these without too much trouble.

I'm from Iowa, but I just can't give my home brew a high score. I don't care too much for the taste or the style, but that's personal preference. If you don't mind spices and want a nice White Ale, pick up a case of John's...but if you're not on the adventurous side or don't like spices, stay clear.

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Photo of marvin213
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Initially it came out crystal clear white and looking like a pure beer. By the time I finished the pour, however, it turned kinda cloudy and I actually saw sediment floating thru the liquid! I hardly ever notice sediment. It seems almost too cloudy to be a "white" ale, but I'm wondering if the muddiness might make this one better...

The smell is a lemony burst--it approaches pungency. Despite its carbonation and fizziness, it's like old lemonade. It smells more like lemon PEEL than lemon--really more like discarded lemons/peels. I'm picturing the morning after an obnoxious Cinco de Mayo party (replace lime with lemon). The smell of this beer definitely has character, and I respect it for that.

The taste is like everything else so far: interesting, but not quite good. In fact, further sipping leads to more associations with the stale lemonade. I want to respect John's Grocery and Iowa City, and I do. I want to like this 50th anniversary production, but I can't. I just don't think it's very good. It's over-carbonated, under-filtered, and totally unpolished. That might be what they were going for. Still, it's too acidic--like it's corroding my teeth. Oddly, however, I continue to drink it. I wonder if it'd be better if I put an orange in it. Without one available, I'll have to conclude that more sugar and citric acid won't offer too much help.

I'm amazed I continue to drink this while I continue to confirm the stale, sour qualities. It's funny because it's still not a bad beer. The feel isn't great but, as with the smell, I respect a beer that's trying to do something. Though I don't really like it, the mouthfeel is a distinct one.

Though I can talk about and give credit for uniqueness in every other category, the bottom line is I wouldn't really ever want to drink this beer again. All this description...and then that;)

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Photo of Beer_Borg
2.71/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I was not very impressed with this beer. There was no head to speak of and the color seemed a bit pale even for a witbier. The taste was a bit yeasty (I noticed yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle so I left that last part in the bottle). There were other notes of citrus but overall it wasn't great.

Reading another review on here I'm thinking I may have had a bad batch so I would't rule trying this one again but if given the choice on a regular basis I would drink a Banquet over this one. The only reason it's 2.74 is because I was ranking it compared to the BA description of a Witbier.

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Photo of wcudwight
2.72/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Hero27 for the brew.
Pours a hazy pale yellow with brite golden hues at the bottom of the glass. Light thin head fades pretty fast.
Heavy citrus aroma. Lemon and some grass.
Taste like a like lemon juice with a touch of pineapple. Loads of lemon in the finish. Alcohol seemed pretty noticable for a light abv beer. A touch of Belgian yeast in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is light and crisp.
I had trouble finishing my glass but it gave me the oppertunity to share with Enola (my friend and fellow BA).
This was my least favorite of the Iowa beers, but overall Millstream is a very solid brewery. This review is also a result of my personal taste and not the beer overall, as Enola liked it a lot and he doesn't generally like witbiers.

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Photo of tayner
2.77/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz stubby bottle with A marked on the side.

Poured into a shaker pint glass and got a cloudy, dark urine yellow liquid with nearly no head, only a slight white ring.

Smell is banana, cloves, and wheat husks.

Taste follows suit of smell. Very up front bready yeasty character with banana and clove. There is some residual huskiness to it as well. No alcohol to be tasted at all, and no hops i could pick out either. Almost a doughy, belgian yeast character finish on this one. Very sweet.

Slightly thin up front, but finishes sticky and sweet with no alcohol or hops to dry the palate.

This one is drinkable but just not my style I guess.

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Photo of aquatonex
2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

BOTM offering...

Pours slightly hazy amber with a short creamy head that quickly dissipates. Good carbonation, slight lacing but rather thin. Nose is acrid yeasts and sourness, slight wheats. Taste is quite light, not enough wheat in this one, the yeast overpowers it and makes it very sour, especially towards the end of the sip. Lingers on your mouth with lemony sourness. Burping up odd yeast tastes as well. Overall, I've had better witbiers but this one isn't the worst.

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Photo of cdkrenz
2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dirty peach colored body with no chance of transparency. The pure white head is bubbly and standing about an inch and a half tall before fading slowly to a quarter inch.

S - Banana, apricot and a spicy hint.

T - It has a mix of malt and subtle banana to start. There's an odd flavor in the middle that has a somewhat stale taste to it. Unfortunately, it's carried out through the rest of the brew.

M - Smooth, silky and creamy to start. The middle offers a slight coarse texture and the finish is again soft and easy.

~ That sad part about reviewing beers is when the everything goes well except for the taste. The truth is, it is hard to give a beer a high drinkability value when the flavor just isn't up to par.

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Photo of drpimento
2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Aroma's mostly yeast with a bit of spice. Colossal head that settles shortly. Flavor's like nose plus fruit and a little malt. Something about this beer rubs me the wrong way.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not really impressed with this witbier. The citrusy taste was a little too tangy for my likings. Even though it is bottled by Coors, I prefer Blue Moon to this. Everything about this beer seemed average, thus I wouldn't recommend it except for those who simply must try everything once and will drive all the way to the middle of nowhere, Iowa to prove it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pale, straw-colored yellow body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Lightly doughy aroma with a major infusion of cloves. Scents of citrus and bananas, though light, get points for making it past all those cloves.

Taste: Sweetened wheat dough flavor with mild hints of lemon peel and bananas. As with the aroma, there’s a hearty dose of spices, mainly cloves. The sharp spicing provides most the balance against the sweetness. Still manages to finish sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body, though somewhat syrupy.

Drinkability: It’s fine. For a wit, that is.

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Photo of Zorro
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Obtained in a trade with hero27 as an extra in the box.

The pour rewards me with a clouded gold colored beer without much head formation; this is very dark for the style.

The smell is very malty and you can tell this long before you get it near your nose. The scent is sweet and very malty with a very fruity scent and a strong orange aroma and eucalyptus scent to it.

The taste begins strong on the malt for the style but not as sweet as it smells. A bit on the sweet side for the style there is a decent amount of spice in the taste and coriander is present.

The mouthfeel is thick.

This doesn't taste like the Witbier style; really this tastes more like Belgian Strong Pale ale. Sorry this just isn't going to be a go to beer for me there are many others I prefer in the style.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on 07.30.09 from a 12oz brown bottle into a 14oz pint glass. Part of a BOTM club gift.

A: Light, golden yellow w/ a beefy white head.

S: Good coriander w/a hint of citrus. Some bready yeastiness around the nose.

T: Strong; wheat, bready flavor with with citrus and spice.

M: Light-moderate and well-carbed w/ a dry spicy end.

D: Good wit. One of the better BOTM club brews. Good on a summer evening...

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A monstrous "four finger and then some" head roiled uncontrollably over the lip of my big ass snifter. The beast of a head is snow white and looks rocky and eggshells. It slowly, and i mean SLOWLY recedes to about two fingers and stays put. Lots of powdery posts of dusty lace is left on the glass after big sticky gobs of foam slide down the side. The brew itself is a peach apricot hue and very hazy with lots of particulate yeast chunks floating around. Wow...this perfect example of a witbeir looks great! I've got a beer-boner!

S - Mellow lemon-meringue pie...I'm not really sure what chiffon is, but if it's what I think it is, then this smells like lemon chiffon. Mellow a lemon flavored icing or donut glaze. This is pretty weak though. I'd like a bit more power out of this nice nose.

T - This is reaching the lemon-oriented end of the wit spectrum, although there are some mellow spices there too. Something here reminds me of cinnamon, while other notes remind me of lemon scented candles. This is pretty intricate stuff. A lot is going on here, but like the nose it seems a bit under powered.

M - Light bodied and chiffon or that airy sugary icing found on crepes. The finish is neutral, with a little hint of lemon left after the swallow.

D - A nice tart thirst quencher for the summer months. It's pleasant enough, but nothing special. Looks great though!

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Photo of mnwags
3.14/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

All Hail John's Grocery!!

For getting great beers around Iowa this is one of the few places to go.

Poured a nice golden color with clouds in the deep. There was literally no head and little carbonation with this bottle. But it did light up the smellers. A very grainy, yeasty smell. Took me back to drinking right out of the fermenters in some of the Belgium breweries. The taste was tamer then the smell and had the buttery flavor. Almost like putting corn on the cob in the blender or something. (hmmm...Brewed in never know) The brew felt good in the mouth. Will try next summer and maybe have a piece of good ole Iowa corn too.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, light yellow color with no head.

Aroma contains sweet honey, wheat, and sour biscuits.

Flavor matches the aroma exactly. A sour, wheat beer base, sweetened with honey, and thickened with biscuits or yeast.

Mouthful was hampered by the heaviness, and I felt it was too carbonated.

This was better than I expected, but not for me. Don't get me wrong, I love John's Grocery. But when it said it was being brewed by the Millstream Brewery for John's, I figured it might have been a generic lager relabeled with John's name on it. I was wrong. This is a unique flavor that I didn't find in any other Millstream beer I sampled - and I grabbed them all. Kudos for the truth! Lots of flavor in this beer, but I'm just not a wheat fan. Also, if I was to try this again, I might either pour it aggressively or even let it set in my glass for a while due to the carbonation. How can there be too much carbonation, but no head?

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Photo of WJVII
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

BOM sampler "Malt Beverage brewed with spices" noted under picture. The color is a straw yellow, very transparent. A foamy white head explodes but settles to very active carbonation. The aroma is strong with banana, citrus, and sweet spices. Not much of a malt balance to be noted. The taste is a little off from the smell. There is a strong pepper taste in the front, thin mouth feel with a lot of carbonation. Once the carbonation allows the flavor to travel back in the mouth, you can taste some of the spice and the banana from the nose. This is a OK brew. Definitely a winter brew as the name states so might be accepted better in the cold, rather than a mild summer day.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

serving size 12oz brown bottle poured into a tulip glass. poured a cloudy light golden color with a thick white head that fades quicky. the smell is strong of brett yeast and slightly sour wheet malt. the first sip is just as it smells, up frount and slightly bitter in the finish. the malt comes out more as the beer warms. this is better as it warms and is a beer i would drink agan if i ran across it. worth a shot if you find it

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jwale73 for this one
Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass
A - Poured slightly cloudy pale yellow with a smallish white head that falls to a skim layer.
S - Yeasty, mild spices and wheat.
T - Starts with a little sweetness then I get wheat. Light spiciness follows and the aftertaste tastes a little soapy?
M/F - Light in body but carbonation is a bit course.
D - This one is a little hard to pin down. Sometimes it tasted pretty good then I'd get a slightly strange aftertaste.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark gold beer, like 1000 ppm you'd think when looking at the haze. Soft white head on it in the 3/4" range. Mild flowery citrus hibiscus coriander thing going on in the aroma, which is what the style is usually going for, so it has that going for it.

A thickness I did not see coming. Wow, if you prefer your wheat beers on the sludgy side, this is the beer for you. I'll give it credit, this is pretty chewy. It has a mineral flower thing in the mouthfeel that isn't my favorite aspect of the beer. Maybe its a minor presence of the alcohol.

This beer truly has been around for generations. The Amana colonies and John's grocery in Iowa City together for this one homies. One of my first Midwestern beers I had ever tried at the close of the 20th century, an interesting time revisiting the beer tonight.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Super chunky haze going on in a darker yellow beer with a white head just under an inch. Aroma had plenty of flower power spice rack and citrus fruit bowl.

Taste was just a chunky experience, like unmalted wheat or something. Too much flowers. I think if you're a white beer fan this might be up your alley because it drops a lot of that genre's hallmarks. Thought it was a little heavy handed myself but a worthy addition.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Cloudy pale amber color. Very light carbonation and light bodied. Orange citrusy nose. Starts balanced, yeasty orange flavor, clean finish. Nice summer beer. Best before Dec 2006. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

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Photo of Vixie
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy yellow with almost no head, just a bit of lacing.

Hard to tell exactly what I am smelling here. Seems to be wheat and malt, and liekly a mix of spices.

Can taste the wheat up front. There is a bit of banana and clove, maybe a hint of orange peel and coriander. Finishes with a bit of a hop bite.

Fairly solid feel, decent amount of carbonation makes itself known.

This one is a bit hard to review. It is a bit different, has a lot of flavor, but hard to pinpoint exactly what. It goes down easy, and has a nice flavor to it.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with a thin, consistent white skim of foam that slowly lost its cohesion, forming a soapy swirl; no lacing on this one. Mild nose - a hint of coriander and wheat. Taste follows nose, but finishes a little buttery; really muted flavor profile. Mouthfeel is a little prickly and burned the back of my throat a bit; a little too carbonated. Decent brew, but the mouthfeel is too off for me - it just doesn't go down easy enough considering the style and the abv.

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Photo of scalffd
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I owe this beer to the great gift of Beer of the Month Club. Pour is a light orange/golden, cloudy, with a small rather fizzy white head that diminishes quickly to a smooth ring with light lacing. Definitely citrus dominates the aroma, oranges and lemons. The taste is nice and light - a great summer type beer. For those who have never had this beer, think Blue Moon, but in my opinion, higher quality here. Mouth feel is light-medium with a slight bite in the aftertaste. Nice example of the stye.

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Photo of bsp77
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received in June shipment of my beer of the month club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into new Summit Pint.

Appearance: Pale hazy yellow that is very active with a fast forming head.

Smell: Major orange peel, with some coriander and wheat.

Taste: Tart orange is dominate with nice coriander notes. More tart than the typical Witbier, but not much complexity beyond that.

Feel: High carbonation and light body. Maybe a little too fizzy.

Drinkability: The tartness makes it quite refreshing, like lemonade. Otherwise, a fairly average Wit.

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John's Generations White Ale from Millstream Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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