Blood Orange Wit
Refuge Brewery

Blood Orange WitBlood Orange Wit
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Refuge Brewery
California, United States
Wheat Beer - Witbier
Ranked #66
Ranked #19,614
3.82 | pDev: 10.99%
Jun 13, 2021
Jul 31, 2013
Very Good
Blood Orange WitBlood Orange Wit
Notes: This beer is the freshest to taste and the easiest to drink among others we offer, and it has also happened to be the best selling one. By using over 200lbs of fresh blood oranges in every batch, we came up with a beer that explodes with flavor yet balances its sweetness with just a pinch of tartness. It is this balance combined with an extraordinarily light wheat body that makes this brew perfect for any occasion, any time of the year!
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3.61 by simonrgilbert57 from California on Jun 13, 2021
Photo of ElCucuyBeerReviews
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ElCucuyBeerReviews from California

I am a man of the wheat/wit bier variety, club one would say; it takes a lot to satiate my thirst when it comes to this sub-brew.

Can Appearance
Right away, the can has one of the most exquisite and aesthetically pleasing designs by dimension and artwork on the label. From here, my expectations were incredibly high and Refuge did not disappoint, dude.

Opening and Pour Gravity
It's crisp upon opening, didn't flow out of the opening from rise like some beers, but did "snap" and some residual head shot off the corner of the top. Going into the glass you notice it's not a crazy heavy pour (compared to a black/tan or porter/stout) but not incredibly light either, it's balanced and easy like it was on a superb draft tap.

On the Nose
You notice once it's in your glass, during the pour it's easy to control the amount of head you want at the top of the glass. I used to prefer more head, now in my yonder years I prefer less so I appreciate it not turning into Mt. St Helens. You take a deep inhale or retrohale upon the beginning of enjoying this beer, and it's a twinge bitter from the citrus, with underlying yeast and some remote sweet fructose (think a full, rich orange vice a small tart tangerine) culminating a scant metallic essence on the back end.

The Taste
This is where it gets really good. You're now standing in an orange field, wind is blowing thru your clothes and it's about 65 degrees fahrenheit. It's full body has the immediate metallic twinge you left off on the nose, but without a bite that causes your jaw to clench like the strongest of IPA's or Cabernets. You keep going and suddenly it's just crisp, refreshing orange and yeast again (like going backwards on the nose).

The Feel
This isn't an overly heavy beer, you can't chew this very effectively, but we're drinking a damn awesome Wit here. There's no discomfort upon drinking quick, even when cold, and it doesn't sit on the teeth or tongue longer than you're comfortable with. After you finish this beer, you can think about it without getting scolded by your dentist (or spouse). In the belly there's no other beer I've had until now that offers a level of solidarity and comfort. This is one of those beers that are lifetime list worthy.


Nov 18, 2020
Photo of WilliamGustin
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
by WilliamGustin from Nevada

Start at the bottom review and work your way up, it’s been a story!

Second update!: It’s grown on me. I’ve learned how to drink it. Take my advice on my first update and multiply by 2. Ya gotta swirl that last 10%! Give it a chance to breath by pouring in a tall glass and waiting a good couple minutes. It’s a little strange to have some sludge on the bottom, but if it is reincorporated it’s a much better beer. Still don’t really get a robust blood orange flavor but it’s definitely more satisfying than my first attempt. Just proves details matter! Glad I bought four and gave it a real test. Taking my 2.95 avg score a bit higher into the 3s - it deserves it.

Update: I tried a couple more - I was a little harsh. Pour the WHOLE CAN, swirling at the bottom like they instruct on the can. Do NOT drink from can. Also, let it warm up just a bit, flavors/spice is better. Still not my favorite, but taking this from a 2.67 score up a bit to reflect a better test of this beer.

I agree with some of the lower reviews here. I don’t get it. Pours well, has a good look and head and...that’s about it. Kinda tart but quite watery and ‘thin’ to me. Didn’t get a mouthfeel much beyond liquid on the palate. Don’t want to be too negative here, maybe just me, but I’ve had better wheat beer and more flavorful blood orange options before. If you get it, buy just one to try it first. Drink by date on mine was 11/24/20 - well within range. 2017 Gold winner at ABF. Something just not adding up...hope others get more from it than I did.

Oct 10, 2020
3.97 by Jjl329 from California on Feb 24, 2020
3.06 by TrackBeer from California on Oct 30, 2019
3.37 by antihero404 from California on Sep 08, 2019
3.86 by rsuarez1982 from Texas on Aug 04, 2019
Photo of deranker
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by deranker from California

Neat looking can
Great smell
Decent mouth feel

May 01, 2019
3.51 by Waveoff from Pennsylvania on Apr 08, 2019
Photo of Nvrmind16
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Nvrmind16 from California

Very good blood orange beer

Mar 11, 2019
3.4 by Wontonst from California on Dec 17, 2018
Photo of Beginner2
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Beginner2 from Illinois

Interesting and reflects well on San Diego patrons that this is Refuge's bestseller.

Poured from a can, I get a pretty wit. Smells are mostly orange. Tastes start there and add a nice complexity with an effective yeast working the wheat. Sits fine in the mouth, though not as well as the body of this brew.

Went fine with lunch (sandwich) at the SD airport after 3 days of intense research on the local industry.

My first, I went on Refuge's website and they seem to have it together for a brewery just over five years. Distributed in three states, packaged in stand-out, attractive cans and what looks like a great taproom that I will have to save for next research trip.

Nov 24, 2018
3.28 by Flyte from California on Sep 27, 2018
3.25 by Gobzilla from California on Sep 23, 2018
Photo of GarrettB
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by GarrettB from Colorado

May 27th, 2015 - The Refuge Blood Orange Wit looks like an intense kaffir lime soda, practically green in its shade of yellow, with a haziness to rival the haziest New England IPAs. And the aroma shocks too. The cut of a twangy shandy slices at the nostrils. The flavor is much milder with a light palate and a light flavor, with some orange juice citrus notes that skate on the lighter mouthfeel. Refreshing but strong on the nose, I am glad the taste isn't as strong as the olfactory would suggest.

Jul 19, 2018
Photo of atomicbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by atomicbeer from New Mexico

Draft pint at Sheraton hotel bar on San Diego Bay. Cloudy yellow-gold with small white head. Medium carbonation is a good compliment. Light powdered orange aroma. Taste similar but orange flavor stronger than the aroma over a grassy wheat backbone with just enough zing from the blood orange. Refreshing on a delightful brilliant blue sky San Diego day.

Jun 27, 2018
3.75 by Hopsohard from California on Jun 24, 2018
Photo of Parmesan
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Parmesan from Colorado

L: Pours a slightly hazy, almost lemonade like yellow with a small white head and no lacing.

S: Strong note of blood orange, some wheat, and notes of a stronger Belgian yeast, some pepper, and lemon.

T: Strong notes of blood orange, some wheat, nice notes of some spicy Belgian yeast, a little pepper of coriander.

F: Creamy and easy drinking, medium body.

O: This is a fairly solid wit, it just is very orangey.

May 06, 2018
3.79 by BlueSpader from Washington on Mar 18, 2018
Photo of DFTKRFT91
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by DFTKRFT91 from California

very wit

Feb 22, 2018
3.75 by ntanner83 from Massachusetts on Feb 17, 2018
Photo of Beaver13
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5
by Beaver13 from Colorado

16 oz can. Pours clear straw gold with a small creamy white head that retains fairly well and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is sweet fruity orange creamsicle and wheat malts with a little bit of Belgian funk.

The flavor is sweet wheat malt with some Belgian funk and some fruit with a bit of an odd chemical finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK wit.

Jan 28, 2018
Photo of elNopalero
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by elNopalero from California

This pours a hazy white gold in color. Lightly spiced aroma with a whisp of coriander. There's a nuanced squeeze of blood orange that compliments the base beer. I enjoyed this tremendously.

Jan 25, 2018
Photo of hoptheology
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by hoptheology from South Dakota

Best by 7/18. Hazy blonde color with a rapidly descending stark white head.

Aromas of grapefruit soda, soft white wheat, and hints of melon.

Flavor is a bit thinned out compared to the aroma. Blood orange rinds hit first, followed by some polite peppery yeast, seltzer, some white pepper, juice of a blood orange, and tropical fruit/seltzer water finish.

Feel is very carbonated, appropriate for style, with a slight semi-dryness and a slight spiciness from the pepper.

Overall, could have gone with another 4 pack of Lomaland instead, but it was nice to try a new brewery. It's not a flop - just not as clean as say, Modern Times stuff.

Jan 07, 2018
3.25 by mpenske from California on Nov 23, 2017
Photo of Myrmo1
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.25
by Myrmo1 from California

This beer looks like an unfiltered hef, with a nice head forming when poured from the 16 oz can. It smells good, however is nearly unpalatable on the first sip. Very sour when tasted right away from a pint glass, I tasted it while the head was still settling. It was so bad that I thought to go online and message the brewery to ask if it should taste sour like old orange juice. I tasted it again and again, right away, to no avail the same taste.

After the beer settled for about 5 minutes, I tried it again. Thank goodness because I almost poured it out in favor of the Pacifico tall-can in my fridge. The second tasting was good. Not very good, but average good. It was very mellow on the tongue, tasty and somehow not sour anymore. I never tasted the "blood orange," just didn't happen. Towards the end of the beer, it becomes even smoother and tastier. It is slightly sweet, yet a touch sour at the same time.

With the second pint (rested in fridge for 30+ min after delivering cold from the store), I saw the directions to "swirl the last 10% of the can before pouring into a glass." I got the same vibe on the first sip, then it calmed down after and tasted good, yet sour. About halfway though, it started to again taste better. It seems this beer needs to breathe, like wine, before you drink it.

I am going to drink the rest of my $7.79 4-pack of these pints (after letting them breathe), however I would not buy this beer again or offer it to a guest (well maybe my drunk neighbor who drinks anything that is free). I prefer European beers in this category, specifically from Belgium and France, which I think are some of the best beers in the world.

Nov 23, 2017
4 by krome from Illinois on Oct 21, 2017
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

Acquired via trade from Wasatch so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light cloudy yellow color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains blood oranges, wheat, lemon, Belgian yeast, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of wheat, Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some tart and sweet flavors of blood orange, lemon and other citrus fruits come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Jul 30, 2017
Photo of thebeers
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25
by thebeers from Pennsylvania

Cloudy pale yellow-orange with almost a pink tint to it. Over two fingers of airy, bright-white head that leave modest lacing.

Big Belgian aroma of yeast, wheat and clove, along with some very distant citrus. Similar tasting with a flash of orange juice sweetness to it. There's a relatively clean finish, interrupted by some chemical solvent in the aftertaste (which shows even more in belches).

Light-bodied with just enough carbonation.

Pretty refreshing as you drink it, but the cleaning-solvent aftertaste definitely isn't my jam. I did sort of get used to it after a while though. Love the can art from these guys. No canned on date, though.

Jul 17, 2017
Photo of TwoThreeBrews
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by TwoThreeBrews from California

Belgian Style Wheat Beer 5.0% ABV | 16 IBU

This beer pours a hazy, gold with some light 1-2 inches of foamy head that vanished almost instantly.

This beer really lacks a profile scent for me. Usually, as a beer warms the profile really opens for me but with this beer I took on some light citrus that reminded me of limes.

This beer follows the nose for me. I don't catch much blood orange to be quiet honest. It is a light, refreshing beer that finishes with some citrus. No lasting taste and a malty profile for sure.

On the mouth this beer is very light and refreshing with medium carbonation. It goes down super easy but doesn't really leave anything making you want more.

Overall, this beer is a refreshing summer beer. I feel as if this is a beer you could easily drink 4 or 5 of without even noticing. It doesn't bring a ton of smell to the table but it does give you a nice citrusy almost floral finish. This is a good beer for any occasion and isn't really going to disappoint. Sang one for a day by the pool or relaxing in the sun.

Jun 24, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Wasatch from Colorado

16 oz. Can

Poured into a Tired Hands glass a pretty nice hazy yellowing color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger white head, which also leaves some pretty nice creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, kinda yeasty, with some citrus, wheat, banana, slight cloves, slight spice. The taste is malty, slight yeast, some citrus, wheat/grassy, with some slight banana/cloves, spice. Medium body, ABV hidden very nicely. Overall, a pretty tasty brew. Kinda addictive, easy drinking.

Jun 16, 2017
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Jugs_McGhee from Texas


Jun 11, 2017
3.5 by CJNAPS from California on Jun 04, 2017
3.94 by Lucnifter from California on Apr 28, 2017
3.64 by Blazer22 from Colorado on Mar 15, 2017
3.88 by smithj4 from New York on Mar 10, 2017
3.8 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey on Feb 10, 2017
Photo of TruePerception
3.19/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
by TruePerception from California

Refuge's Blood Orange Wit. 5% ABV.

A: About a finger and a half of white head. Opaque, hazy yellow in the glass. Hazy white in the dimple. Nice, solid, barely multi-tiered lacing. Solid sheeting.

S: Actually smells like blood orange flesh, with a bit of peel. Just a hint of hops.

T/MF: Hops are more noticeable in the mouth. Mostly grapefruit-y, which is a fitting choice. A bit ashy. Not much blood orange. Maybe a touch of pith and a hint of zest bitterness.

Not bad, but not great. Fairly average, really.

Poured from a 1 pt can, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Jan 11, 2017
Photo of MFMB
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by MFMB from Idaho

Hmmm, fresh clean citrus nose and taste. Classic wit spices and Belgian yeast profile to taste. Light mouthfeel. Excellent summer/mower beer. Would have again.

Dec 07, 2016
3.81 by mmoriarty from Rhode Island on Nov 15, 2016
Blood Orange Wit from Refuge Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 134 ratings