Picnic Lightning
Brouwerij West

Picnic LightningPicnic Lightning
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New England IPA
Ranked #1,007
Ranked #5,081
4.12 | pDev: 7.28%
Brouwerij West
California, United States
Picnic LightningPicnic Lightning
Notes: Hazy IPA brewed with Mecca Grade barley and raw wheat. Hopped with Centennial, Simcoe, and Citra hops
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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 83
Photo of Sheppard
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.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
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!

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Photo of digboy
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.

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Photo of ichorNet
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.

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Photo of brewme
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

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Photo of Ronl12
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.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
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...

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Photo of Hendo03
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.

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Photo of stevepat
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
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!

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Photo of kflorence
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!

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Photo of TheSixthRing
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.

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Photo of superspak
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.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
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!

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Photo of pants678
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Turbid, opaque orange juice.

Orange, melon.

More Centennial than citra, IMO and more than a tad bitter. Needs to linger a moment for slight fruit/citrus. Needs some sting to it.

Dense like a stout.

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Photo of dertyd
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours out a murky full on hazy golden orange color, with 1 finger of bright white head---------- the aromas are of juicy citrus, herbal/basil and orange sherbet---------- the flavors are of citrus, orange sherbet, Flintstone vitamins and creamy vanilla, the beer has a full mouthfeel with a slight astringent bitterness on the finish---------- overall this beer was delicious, the mouthfeel was so thick and creamy giving the beer a creamsicle vibe, brouwerij west you guys been killing it--

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A: Bright citrusy hops with moderate tropical fruit notes.

A: Bright orange/yellow color, totally opaque, with a thinnish uniform white head that quickly recedes into the glass.

T: Lots of pulpy orange, citrusy hops with light tropical notes in the background, light sweetness, with a light acidity and faint hop bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and pretty smooth, soft mouth-feel.

O: Pretty solid' the beer has a great orange, citrusy hop character. The beer has a pretty smooth mouth-feel making it quite drinkable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Frosted pale yellow in color with plenty of foam in the Piraat tulip. Wonderful hop aroma. I am thinking tangerines, including the very tangy mouthfeel. I don't get the ground up crap in the back of the throat sensation, so I'm more happy with this than the usual cloudy murk (thank you, sages of New England, where ever that is).

Flavor is orange peel with severe carbonation. My tongue tingles. Oops, my throat tingles. There is some modest sweetness and more orange in the nose. Silky oat sensation and prickly in the mouth. Actually quite interesting, but quite acidic.

I just tasted Modern Times Geodesic, and this is surprisingly similar. It's also brewed with wheat. This one includes raw oats. Is that how you get the cloudiness? From the 16 oz can purchased at Krisp in San Diego.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16oz can into Spiegelau IPA glass. Canned on June 30th 2017.

L: Hazy light gold, with a wonderfully fluffy two finger head of off-white color. Great retention.

S: Lots of citrus and pine, really dank, makes the mouth water, I pick up some floral and grassy notes too. Really nice aroma.

T: So juicy, tons of citrus, a good note of herbal and floral as well as fresh pine. Good bitterness as well. Really a great IPA.

F: Super smooth and creamy mouthfeel of medium body with a nice crisp carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

O: Wow this is a damn good beer.

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Photo of beertunes
2.79/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Courtesy of 2beerdogs.16oz can poured into 12oz goblet. Poured an impenetrably opaque yellow orange color, with about 1/4 inch of white head that immediately dissipated to a thin ring, that left light-moderate lacing.

The aroma was fairly bland and neutral, although there was a bit of an orange-citrus scent. On the palate, there was an initial blast of bitterness on the first sip that wasn't there on follow-up quaffs. Definitely an orange taste, with no grain/malt flavors. A slight bit of hop bitterness on the finish was a pleasant surprise.

The body was very light, almost waterish, but was clean, and finished semi-dry. Drinkability was OK, I wouldn't want 2 in a row, but, YMMV. Overall, a somewhat substandard take on the American Orange Ale style. One and done for me. Try it for yourself if you see it.

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Photo of rudzud
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received as an extra in a trade.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a super murky greyish gold hue with a one and a half finger white head that fades very slowly to leave sticky lacing and a thick blanket.

S - Aromas of light creamy wheat, oat like, lightly grassy/floral hops, very nice citrus peel and juice, little bit of a tart stone fruit thing going on as well with just a bit of pineapple. Reaaaaally pleasant nose.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Nice creamy wheat, the grassy/floral hops are quite nice. Citrus and tropical notes are much more subdued/restrained than on the nose. Citrus peel bitterness on the finish, 'green' hops, under ripe mango, little bit of melon on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy full body but could be a bit lighter/fluffier.

O - Overall this was a really, really solid IPA. I absolutely loved the nose, and the fact that it was as good as it was ended up hurting the taste some as it was no where near it's level. Still, I would be completely content to have this as a local IPA.

Serving Type: Can

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Photo of BEER88
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can with no date poured into a large stemmed glass! Look is murky yellow almost green looking from being unfiltered, small white head and spotted lacing when consumed. Smell is grapefruit, pine, orange, light pineapple, and light malt but I can't describe what kind (the can says raw wheat). The taste is confusing for me but I almost get a smoky flavor and pine, very subtle fruit notes and lots of pith of orange and grapefruit. The feel is full and slick but not chewy to me. Overall, imo they need to work on this because its off but not by far for a NE style IPA!

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can.
White foam rises nearly 2 of my skinny fingers high. Fairly thick, almost milky. After a few minutes it descends to a consistent thin foam with a fluffy ring that holds on, leaving some solid lace. Nice! Color is pureed, slightly overripe peach. Hazy.
Smell is glorious. Pineapple, mango, candied dried apricot? Some peach. And a hint of sweetness akin to lactose.
Flavor begins with a gentle earthy tropical melange: mango, subdued pineapple, overripe peach (like my grandma used in cobbler-but without the cinnamon), and smooth blend of orange and tangerine juice all bask in the mix. Finishes with slightly bitter. All in all, I'd describe it as a smooth juicy ride.
Mouthfeel is soft, almost creamy, and it rounds out throughout my grinning maw. Carbonation initially participates moderately, but drops off toward the end.
Overall, a fine take on what has become the NE IPA. I wouldn't change a thing. Somebody in NBS will soon have one of these, cuz these babies come in 4's.

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Photo of jakecattleco
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can of unknown age into a tulip glass.

L: Pours an ugly brown bronze with 2.5 fingers of variable density white head with minimal retention and left scattered lacing.
S: Nose is nice, tropical and floral, possibly some cattiness hiding underneath.
T: Cattiness is more prominent in the taste, it battles with the tropical aspects for domination of the taste profile for my palate. Finishes with limited bitterness, and plenty of astringency some of which lingers on the palate.
F: Lighter bodied, higher carbonation and slick. The carbonation and the astringency lead to some tingling of the tongue and lips.
O: It's an OK attempt at the NE-style, but there's definite room for improvement.

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Picnic Lightning from Brouwerij West
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 83 ratings