Elba | Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
American wheat ale, spiced with lemon grass, grains of paradise, and bitter orange peel. elba is the first member-owner designed Black Star Co-op beer

Added by t0rin0 on 10-18-2011

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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 4
Photo of sd123
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Pxlwix
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mig100
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DerekSmigelski
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of wisegreensoul
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with minimalist neck label and unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at the brewery for $4 USD a few days ago and served into a pilsner glass in low altitude Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; the other three beers I've had from Black Star have all been above average. 4% ABV. 15 IBU. Batch: 2014Mar6-EL-224. Bottled: 4/7/14.

Served at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Head: 3 fingers in width. White colour. A bit too thin for my preferences. Not real creamy or frothy. Fairly fluffy. Spotty inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is good - about 5-6 minutes (though admittedly the low ABV makes this less notable).

Body: Cloudy yellow in colour. Translucent. Transparent. Good vibrance. Clean looking; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Flaked wheat, soap (indicative it spent too long in primary), vague faint lemon, and some bitter citrus peel. It's pretty timid, though, and I might even call it weak. I guess there's some floral hop character?

No yeast character or overt alcohol is detectable.

T: Lemongrass, floral hop character, off-puttingly bitter citrus peel and pith, faint lemon, flaked wheat, clean barley, and a kiss of yeast-derived banana.

There isn't as much happening here as I'd hoped for, and the balance is spoilt by the overdone bitterness and hoppy soapiness, but it's a likable brew for what it is. I'd prefer more complexity and intricacy, though. Not a real subtle or well layered beer either. Shallow depth of flavour. Subpar flavour duration and intensity.

Mf: Just a biteen coarse, but mostly smooth and wet. The coarseness lends it a lightly stale, rough feel on the palate, and prevents it from being as refreshing as it should. A bit overcarbonated. Medium-bodied. Decent thickness. It has too much heft and weight on the palate for the style and flavour profile. Decent presence on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but it's hard to make a 4% beer in this style that isn't. I'll easily finish the bottle, but this isn't worth $4 per 12 oz bottle. I won't be getting it again, but it's a decent little wheat beer for what it is. Certainly above average. I'm glad I got to try it once.


 2,463 characters

Photo of rdooley
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of zbooks
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Locapour
4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Elba was featured in Episode 1 of Locapour: http://locapour.tv/austin/blackstarcoopelba

This is one of the most perfect beers I have ever experienced for the Texas heat. Served with a fresh slice of cucumber the beer's presentation immediately lets your brain know that cool refreshment is coming your way.

It is a very mild flavored beer but not in a watered down light beer type of way. You definitely know you are drinking a wheat beer but it isn't the musty gym sock flavor with banana nose you a lot of wheats give off.

There is a definite citrus and floral nose and taste. Once the cucumber is added to the equation, either by eating it or dropping it into the glass the beer changes a bit and that frankly is fun.

I would pair this beer with fish tacos or some other light, but spicy foods.

 802 characters

Photo of bbadger
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. It was served with a slice of cucumber on the rim. The aroma is mainly wheat, with not too much else going on. The flavor is more complex. I get some wheat and lemon notes, as well as some juicy orange notes. I also get some cucumber notes, but that may only be because the beer was served with a slice. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 422 characters

Photo of largomason
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 10/9/2011 at the brewpub.

The classification could be either APWA or Witbier on this one. It's got all the spices of a wit but it uses American yeast and they describe it as an "American wheat ale, spiced with lemon grass, grains of paradise, and bitter orange peel. Elba is the first member-owner designed Black Star Co-op beer! 4.4% abv. 15.8 IBU".

Pours hazy dark yellow/orange with medium white head, some lacing but no real retention.

Aroma is lemon, orange, grass/leaves, and sweet.

Flavor is sweet, citrus, bitter, wheaty, and some oddball spices mixed in that arent strong enough to detect individually. Fairly bitter.

Body is thin, drinkable.


**note: on tap available currently is something called Able, with the same description as Elba. Not sure yet if these are different beers but I'd guess not. Also, the ABV I chose is what the batch that I tried was, which is slightly different than the description on the website.

 959 characters

Elba from Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 17 ratings