Picnic Lightning
Brouwerij West

Picnic LightningPicnic Lightning
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IPA - New England
Ranked #1,345
Ranked #4,850
4.12 | pDev: 8.74%
Brouwerij West
California, United States
Picnic LightningPicnic Lightning
Notes: Always ready to ride, Picnic Lightning gallops across your palate with unrelenting notes of citrus, stone fruit, and pine through the use of Citra, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Smooth from start to finish, Picnic Lightning's soft, velvety mouthfeel is obtained through the use of Malted Barley, Oats and Raw Spelt.
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 121 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a can back in 2019 before it had the "Picnic Lightning" designation on the label that otherwise looks the same.

Pours a hazy yellow light amber of the darker, duller variety compared to say, canary yellow. Looks like I drank this one while disc golfing from the picture. 1/2" off white head. Aroma kicked around the new and old in parity, sweeter citrus notes from Citra, more bitter citrus notes like grapefruit and then pine, provided by Centennial.

Now normally I might look at a Simcoe and Centennial hopped beer with this SRM and think its gonna be an ibu arms race crystal malt laden call to yesteryear. But here, it pairs amply well with the flaked body of the beer, allowing a firm bitterness to be supplanted by citrus and pine notes, but without any harshness of booziness or bitterness to dominate the entire experience. Imagine tangerine, mandarin orange, lime, pine and pineapple notes going on here. Its good stuff, but at nearly $5 a can, prolly not a repeat, but a confirmation the brewery makes good hoppy stuff at least.

Mar 22, 2021
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BillAfromSoCal from California

4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can dated 7/30/20. Can shows 6.8% ABV and lists ingredients as malted barley, raw spelt, raw oats, citra, azacca, and simcoe hops. Note that the hop mix is slightly different from the brewery description. Bought off a room temp shelf at Trader Joes about mid-Sept. and refrigerated since then. Pours an opaque yellow-orange like someone mixed orange juice with lemon juice. Only about 1 finger of head, a little lacing. Not a lot of smell, but my nose typically does not pick up much that is subtle. Very tasty...complex flavor and having a hard time picking out a specific flavor. Nice balance of hops and malts, very subtle, fine carbonation in the mouth with a fairly viscous and very smooth moth feel that I like. Overall, despite my inability to pick out specific flavors and smells I really like this one.

Nov 12, 2020
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heydre from Oregon

3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A hop spicy bitterness is a good descriptor for this beer as it lingers. Up front it's lemony and almost malty like a lager? but seem to come around to a hazy in the middle. At points, I thought I was really going to like it but couldn't clear the hump.

Sep 28, 2020
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elNopalero from California

3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours cloudy. For a hazy it looks good.
Light aroma, maybe a hint of coconut husk? It’s chalky, with a harsh aftertaste to the pillowy feel up front. Miss.

Sep 15, 2020
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metter98 from New York

4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy to cloudy whitish yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down but left a narrow collar around the edge and lots of lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of gooseberries and lime are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of lychee along with notes of lime. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied, very juicy, and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This New England-style IPA had pleasant aromas and flavors of limes.

Serving type: can

May 24, 2020
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BucannonXC5 from California

4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. can
Reviewed as: New England IPA
Glass: Pure Project 14-oz. Teku glass
Price: $13.99 for a 4-pack
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa, Calif.
Purchased: April 24, 2020
Consumed: April 24, 2020
Misc.: Canned on April 6, 2020

Had Rachel pick this for me on a recent Coronvirus trip to Trader Joe’s. Had a quad from them before and liked it (4.07). Had this before at the 2019 Festival of Dankness but it was late in the day and I was trashed. Untappd description called it, “Always ready to ride, Picnic Lightning gallops across your palate with unrelenting notes of citrus, stone fruit, and pine through the use of Citra, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Smooth from start to finish, Picnic Lightning's soft, velvety mouthfeel is obtained through the use of Malted Barley, Oats and Raw Spelt.”

Poured a pale-to-medium yellow hazy color with four fingers of white rocky-to-white head. Just a few bubble streams coming up along the sides of the glass. Outstanding uneven lacing. Almost perfect retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled Citra, guava, tangerine, peach, pine, Simcoe, papaya, passion fruit, lime and hints of dish soap. Better out of the can with big Citra, tropical fruit punch, papaya, Simcoe and pine. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste was not as good as the nose, but still solid. In order got Citra, guava, tangerine, peach, papaya, pine, Simcoe, black pepper, tropical fruit punch, passion fruit and mango. Big time hop burn. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Long, dry finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Outstanding New England Style beer overall. Certainly better than what I gave it at the Festival of Dankness. (Overall - 4.00)

4.07 | 91 | A-

May 20, 2020
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beersampler6 from Michigan

4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was not too bad at all, an unassuming looking can with some nice flavors for a New England style IPA. I had always been meaning to try beers from this brewery. 4/17/20 date printed on can. Looks good, slightly hazy golden color with some fluffy white head and small sheets of lingering lacing. Aromas of fresh orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and some melon. Also some malt, vanilla and bread. Taste follows the nose, good balance and depth. A little hoppy bitter bite at the end. Smooth, mild mouthfeel that was a little sticky with great carbonation retention. Very enjoyable offering.

May 17, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a hazy golden yellow color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This one pours a lightly hazy golden yellow color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like piney hop resin, golden citrus, grapefruit, grassy hops, marijuana, and pineapple.

This feels like a bit of hybrid of West Coast and NE-style. It's definitely got the NE-style big soft juiciness, with pineapple and soft sweet grapefruit, but there's also a significant resinous and spicy bitterness. It contrasts well with the softness up front and makes for an interesting beverage.

This is soft and crisp, with a great drinkability to it. It's the perfect ABV for IPAs for me at this stage of the game.

This was a random pick from Tavour that worked out fairly well. It was a really well done IPA for me.

May 16, 2020
Photo of Owlger

1.84/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This hazy IPA has a very slight flavour to it. It's not like biting into a hop pellet. It's more like they placed a hop pellet next to this as it was brewing and some of the flavor migrated over.

Jan 17, 2020
Photo of Highaltituderun

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy hazy sun yellow. Wonderful aromas on this one; pineapples, pears, apples and hops. Immaculate taste. Very drinkable. The hops are present, strong and delicious. Hay, lemons and orange. Great lacing and the head has dissipated to a nice thin bubbly white line. I love this IPA. this brewery hit a home run. Will buy again.

Nov 07, 2019
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Sheppard from Virginia

3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It looks like a NEIPA as it pours a hazy golden, but that's where most of the positives end. It's soft but the main hop character tastes literally like biting into a hop pellet. It is diluted, of course, but nonetheless a terrible drinking experience in every sense.

Aug 21, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 6/20/19; drank 8/7/19 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque yellow/orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE off-white head; thick, frothy tree-rung lace.

Orange citrus, lemon peel, mild banana & faint dry grass notes in the nose.

Soft, medium mouthfeel.

Orange citrus & mild dry grass flavors up front; mild cream & faint lemon notes on the finish.

A fruit forward, excellent NE IPA. Wow!

Aug 12, 2019
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digboy from New Hampshire

3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully bright gold color, nearly opaque, with a one finger head and spotty lacing.

Aroma has an odd mix of tangerine, grapefruit and mango - slightly off-putting but still pleasant enough and fresh.

Flavor is similar with the tangerine dominating but with a earthy tinge running through into the finish. Someone below mentioned squash... I can see that. The moderate sweetness may make it reminiscent of mango. Malt is present behind it but the hops take over completely. The finish is a pleasant semi-sweet tangerine.

This is a very soft beer, maybe oat flakes? Bitterness is low and there is a fairly strong seltzer up front and into the mid-taste.

This one has a great mouth feel - like a hefty NEIPA - but that earth flavor is a little tough to get comfortable with for me. Their skill seems to be significant in this category though. Will look for more.

Aug 04, 2019
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

These guys are really doing well at the hazy IPA game, and we only just started seeing their stuff in MA. I've had Dig My Earth and Falling Water before, and loved both of them, so when I saw this one I jumped at the chance to pick it up. Like with their other hazy IPAs, the brewery utilizes raw spelt and oats in the brewing process (though this page says they use wheat, my can states the ingredients I just mentioned), lending a unique nutty/earthiness that works alongside the soft palate and fresh hoppiness to deliver a solid, cohesive beer.

Immense, fluffy head that leaves excellent lace and sports some showy legs sits atop a smoothie-looking opaque body with an orange-pineapple juice-like quality to it. There are some light "peach bellini"-like hues around the edges as well, almost reddish in a sense, if I hold this up to light... great!

The nose is built from a combination of old-school West Coast hops: Centennial, Simcoe, and Citra. These three together give off an immense, sticky citrus scent with individual qualities of white grapefruit rind, pomelo, tangerine, and underripe mango. Some light pine and resinous elements are noted as well. A touch of a light floral note here and there melds with a very modest grassiness, and... that's basically it. It's a simple yet stately scent that is approachable and easily-understood. This kind of thing is sort of uncommon when it comes to NEIPAs, as they usually use uncommon/new-world hops. It's good to be reminded of what the classics can produce at times, and this does just that.

On the tongue, this is soft and supple with a heavy nutty/earthy note from the spelt, along with a raw yet creamy complexion from the oats. The hops are mostly grassy and earthy, as opposed to how the nose came across citrusy and bright. I don't know how much I like how they translate on the tongue, honestly, but this is still really solid mostly because of how drinkable and balanced it is. It's not a juice bomb, nor is it overly bitter or anything. I think this is the more muted of the three IPAs I've had from BW so far. I would likely reach for the others before having this one again, but it's definitely worth a drink.

Jun 24, 2019
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brewme from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked-up a four-pack of cans at Kappy's in Norwell for about fourteen dollars. Have never seen or heard of this brewery before. Decent brew, nothing special

Apr 05, 2019
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Ronl12 from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can into dogfish IPA glass. Dated 2/21/19.
Look is nice hazy golden yellow. Smell is strange apricot lemon citrus. Taste follows nose and is a weird mix of fruits. Feel is light to medium. Overall a very different beer. Not the usual juice bomb that most NE IPAs are. Glad I tried it but don't know if I could do more than one at a time.

Mar 26, 2019
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Can. Never heard of this brewery but I love the aesthetic. The artwork and minimalist stickers on the cans is cool. Also appreciate the homage to the best brewers from Belgium. Anyway, this pours in spec. Hazy and light-averse. Flavor and aroma is unique. Smells like some tangy citrus experiment. Flavor is honest to god pumpkin flesh. Squash? Gourd? There is a very specific flavor here. It’s potentially awesome. But I’m teetering on being grossed out. I think I like it? Well at least I get something that’s not derivative and unique. Points for that. Might need to sleep on the flavor and get back to you...

Mar 23, 2019
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Hendo03 from California

3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted like a fermented orange juice. One was pretty good, the second was too much. It tasted like rotten fruit juice and left a bad citrus sting after. Drank like a stout. A tad bit overrated imo.

Dec 31, 2018
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful sunshine like golden orange with a thick white foamy head with wonderful staying power. Some genuine california sunshine in a glass.
Bright citrussy and candy nose. Hints of ginger, orange, lightly caramelly.
I think this is about what you are looking for if you like the juicy IPAs, tastes like orange juice with a bit of a bite. Bitter hints like lemon and grapefruit. Some spiciness that is loosely reminiscent of ginger and cinnamon.
Feel is also pretty spot on for the style. So smooth and velvety. Rich feeling without coating the tongue too heavily.
Overall this is a fine example of the style. Bright and citrusy and juicy. Some real so cal sunshine in a can.

Nov 14, 2018
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augustgarage from California

4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 10/17; consumed on 10/26 - poured from a tall-boy into my Bruery tulip.

Turbid harvest gold liquid supports a mousse-like magnolia cap. Sticky milky lacing; above average retention.

Rather catty Simcoe notes dominate the nose, offset by some earthy notes and a punch of orange blossom and honeysuckle.

Mild bitterness throughout, palate entry is citrus-forward and faintly spicy/herbaceous (some hints of scallion perhaps). The malt-bill comes forward on the mid-palate, very distinctive and faintly bready (not dough-like or grainy). Finishes medium-dry with white tea, white grapes, tangerine, and herbs dancing around the edges. Well balanced and unique.

Soft, medium-full bodied, yet the bright notes in the flavor keep it refreshing and creamsicle-like.

An unusual, slightly odd, but tasty hazy IPA.

Oct 27, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

i have had a couple of hazy ipa types from these guys now, and while this is overly hoppy and fresh and interesting enough from a hop profile standpoint, it doesnt stand out among them, at least for me, part of it is the hop bite it finishes with, its vegetal and green and almost harsh to me, i couldnt imagine having more than one of these. i do like the raw wheat density and smoothness it has, it seems like a perfect grain base for the hops, its thick and hazy, but its not sloppy, its calculated. the hops have pineapple in the nose and tangerine essence too, but in the flavor a higher alpha intense thing, still fruity, now peach and wine, and brandy and pine, its odd, oily, and a little hot for me. its pleasant, but its too much of a good thing i think, and remembering some of their others in the style, this seems a little less refined. i think the centennial hops are dominant in the finish too. this drinks like its 9% abv, shockingly enough, its a slow one for me, fresh and right for the style overall, but not one of their best so far in my experience. still, these guys remains among one of my unsung favorites!

Sep 29, 2018
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kflorence from Texas

4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 9/4. Drank on 9/21.

Pours a beautiful, hazy orange/blonde with plenty of head and lots of lacing. Smells sweet and fruity; peach, pear, apricot and tropical fruits with a buttery undertone. Taste follows the nose pretty well. Light and zesty fruits, pear, apricot and pineapple are the most apparent, subsiding to a lingering peach/pear hop bitterness on the tongue. Zesty carbonation on the tongue with a medium body and a bit of creaminess but it doesn't finish dry. Really enjoyed this one, quite tasty and very drinkable. I could see this being a refreshing picnic IPA. I would seek it out again. Cheers!

Sep 22, 2018
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TheSixthRing from California

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

No canned date

Appearance - Pours murky and dirty orange with an off-white, near finger width head that displays good retention before settling to a thin, consistent layer of suds on the surface.A few broken lines and small spotting make up the lacing.

Smell - Aroma hits on notes of orange, peach, guava and faint evergreen.

Taste - A little more tame than the nose leads on, but good flavor balance. Even keeled peachiness which blends well with the citrus character that drinks more like tangerine than orange. Hints of mango, guava and pineapple. A touch of oat and wheat rides beneath, briefly surfacing before a quickly fading finish. Aftertaste rings with ghostly traces of peach, tangerine and pineapple.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Soft, smooth silky and slightly creamy texture makes this a damn near chuggable brew with a clean, easy drinking finish.

Overall - Butt-ugly color, but this is a really quaffable brew with a nice, easy going flavor profile. This is something I'd pick up a few times a year, but I don't think it's getting NorCal distro of yet.

Jul 12, 2018
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superspak from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with RaulMondesi. 16 ounce can into tulip glass, no can dating. Pours very hazy golden orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Thick foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big peach, pear, apricot, pineapple, tangerine, orange juice, lemon, red apple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus zest, wheat, white bread dough, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical hops and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big peach, pear, apricot, pineapple, tangerine, orange juice, lemon, red apple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus zest, wheat, white bread dough, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Absolutely zero bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of peach, pear, apricot, pineapple, tangerine, orange juice, lemon, red apple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus zest, wheat, white bread dough, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical hops and bready malt flavors. Minimal dryness and no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and creamy/silky/grainy mouthfeel that is fantastic. Zero warming alcohol for 6.8%. Overall this is an outstanding NEIPA! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical hops and bready malt flavors; extremely smooth and refreshing to drink with the lack of any bitterness. Amazingly soft feel, one of the softest I've had as with their other IPAs. Extremely juicy Centennial/Simcoe/Citra hop showcase(though lacking on grapefruit); perfect wheat/oat/malt balance. Not overly sweet. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example. Didn't love it as much as the other 2 NEIPAs I had so far, but they definitely have stellar consistency.

Jul 07, 2018
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RaulMondesi from California

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kind of like a summer rain storm in Boston, it’s pretty standard. Cloudy, hazy, yeasty...Yeah, it’s boring like your Creative Writing class if you forgot to smoke a bowl before it, but it’s still ok for what it is.

Raul gonna add an addendum to this piece. Again, the main man doesn’t think it’s an end all be all elixir like Indiana Jones trying to take out Nazis, but it’s pretty hot dog good! It is Raul recommended!

May 30, 2018
Picnic Lightning from Brouwerij West
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 121 ratings