Natsumikan Ale
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Natsumikan AleNatsumikan Ale
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Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #97
Ranked #18,901
3.94 | pDev: 14.47%
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Very Good
Natsumikan AleNatsumikan Ale
Notes: Brewer's Notes: Baird Natsumikan Ale is brewed with whirlpool additions of ample quantities of freshly peeled and stomped natsumikans that were grown in the Heda orchard of our good friend Nagakura-san. Natsumikans are grapefruit-like both in appearance (large, round, yellowish orange) and in flavor (tart and sweetly sour). The tart natsumikan flavor is supported by a big, sweetly malty wort base that is accentuated by a high mashing temperature. Additional citrus and floral notes are provided by an All-American lineup of hops: Simcoe, Horizon and Mount Hood. ABV is approximately 5.4-6.0%.
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 35 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high bright white head that died down, but left a short head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of natsumikans are present in the nose, which seem to smell like lemons with hints of grapefruits.
T: The taste follows the smell, but is a bit stronger with flavors of lemons and limes with hints of grapefruit. No malts are detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The light-body and citrusy flavors in this beer make it somewhat refreshing, so it could make for a nice choice during the summer months.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 20, 2017
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hackmann from Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: misty golden orange body with a one finger white head

Aroma: wow, very aromatic, the fruity note is very nice and unique; berry like; white grape

Flavors: I don’t know what the Shizuoka Natsurmikans fruit smells like or taste like, let along how to say it, but it is flavorful. Let me do my best to describe this ale: it reminds me of a sweet-tart mango-apricot that is on the tart side; there is an herbal-spice note

Mouthfeel: fine fizzy feel from the carbonation, tart, dry finish, has a refreshing feel

To the Point: I am not a fan of fruit style ales but, this is very interesting and tasty. On fruity beers I am either giving the rest of the glass to my wife or pouring them on the grass. I drank this 633ml bottle and I would drink another one if I had one. I want to learn about this Shizuoka Natsurmikan fruit now. I would buy this again.

Jun 21, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

my first craft beer from japan. never heard of a natsumikan fruit, but now i want to find one and experiment. pours a neat pale amber/copper color with some haze and a one inch white head that fades in time. smells like acidic tropical fruit, pinepple, passion fruit, grapefruit. also lots of hops on the nose, from all aromatic families, and a mellow yeasty spice. flavor is very complex, lots of hops up front, getting tart half way through as the japanese grapefruit hits, somewhere between a lemon and a white grapefruit, rind maybe. tart, not sour, sweet as it fades, hoppy with some bite in the finish. feel is nice too, could stand a touch more carbonation to crisp things up, but not totally flat. nice cornered medium body, heavy sediment towards the bottom. overall a way out there beer, impressively hoppy. good times.

May 16, 2012
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SFLpunk from Vermont

4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Winooski Beverage Warehouse, $11/21.4oz (633mL). Brown glass pry-top.

Pours a crackly golden orange amber, a bit hazy, with some thin white head. Nose smells like straight up grapefruit zest. Seriously. Not like beer with zest in it, just zest.

Palate is grippingly bitter and "tart" up from for lack of a better word. Not tart in the funky way, but rather in a citric acid way. Lots of bitter yellow and pink grapefruit zest and juice flavor, lemon, bergamot, and bitter leafy hops run amok without any malt interference. Once the bitterness releases, the palate slides on out on a generic citrus rind note and then leaves the palate.

Notes: A truly unique beer and one for people who like aggressively hoppy and bitter beers. The citrus extraction here is uncanny and delightfully gripping. Well done.

Nov 05, 2011
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Florida9 from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clearish orange-amber in color. Forms a rocky, super-dirty whitish colored head that slowly reduces to a chunky surface coating. Globs of lacing coat the side of the glass.

S: Oddly complex: a mix of orangey citrus, some fruity malts, and grassy hops.

T: Okay, this flavor is quite unique and I'm having a hard time describing it. Starts off lightly sweet. Some toasty malts. It slowly and gradually develops a persistent grapefruit-like bitterness. A little dull orange in the mix. Grassy, peppery, almost spicy. Finish is different - persistently bitter and citric.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. Exceedingly dry on the finish. Leaves a persistent acrid feeling in the mouth.

O: A interesting beer. Good. Enjoyable. Quite flavorful. Different, yet still familiar.

Jul 15, 2011
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Klym from California

3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: So much carbonation coming out of this one. Brownish orange with a fleeting, light head composed of large bubbles.

S: Tangerine and lychee smells dominate with some maltiness in the background. This actually smells amazing, smells like a perfect summer beer to me.

T: Maltier than expected. The fruit tastes take center stage in the after taste but are much more tame than they were in the nose.

M: Too heavy bodied for the taste. I think this wants to be a great session beer and in order to do so and fit the desired taste they need to lighten this one up a little bit.

O: I had to pick this beer up because I'm so excited for the prospect of breweries experimenting with ingredients we don't have here in America. I've lived in Japan twice and while I've never had a natsumikan (yes, it's its own fruit) I really like yuzu and was hoping a natsumikan might be in the same realm. Not sure if the beer did justice to the fruit but I think the flavor was original and interesting to see in a beer. If they toned down the maltiness and reworked the body I could see this beer being very popular. I hope breweries outside of the US continue to work with local ingredients because there is obviously outstanding potential.

Jul 09, 2011
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright orange color and a cloudy consistency. Lots of floaties. There was a big, creamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very sweet, fruity aroma. Also some traces of malt.

T: Tasted primarily of the advertised fruit, which is tart and sweet, but overwhelmingly so. Some malt also present. An interesting flavor. More robust than most fruit beers.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a surprisingly smooth and dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: A slightly odd, yet drinkable beer.

Mar 09, 2011
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snogglethorpe from Japan

4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly odd beer. Looks like a light whisky, a slightly pale but coppery color.

A slightly effervescent citrusy smell.

The name is no lie: the immediate impression is mikans! So much so that it really tastes more like mikan juice was added (as I guess it was, upon reading the description here...) than some sort of hop byproduct. The underlying taste is a slightly bland compared to that; it's not offensive, but doesn't have a lot of character compared to the mikan juice. Maybe a tad too sweet (but only a tad -- it isn't syrupy or anything, the level of mikan flavor is pretty well judged).

The end result is something that's quite refreshing and easy to drink, but not exactly a beer; might be a nice interlude between stronger-flavored brews. I think it could be a real killer if they'd add more hops: the mikan flavor would really go well with a fresh resiny hop flavor, and a bit more bitterness.

Feb 17, 2011
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

633ml bomber - neat to see package individualism in a foreign country's version of a local staple.

This beer pours a hazy pale orange amber colour, with two fingers of creamy eggshell-white head, which leaves a broken low wall of painted lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of sweet bready malt, exotic citrus fruit, beyond the normal grapefruit and orange, like the star fruit and its ilk at the supermarket, perhaps. The taste is musty toasted barley grain, a somewhat prominent tea-leaf earthiness, and a mild citrus variant edge. No booze overly evident. The carbonation is moderate, the body on the light side of medium, a bit airy, and too zingy to be considered outright smooth. It finishes fairly clean, the soft malt and residual Yankee-san hops mellowing nicely.

A decent citrusy ale, with the now welcomely expected side-shift in local ingredient variation from this brewer.

Dec 19, 2010
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scruffwhor from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright brassy hue with some copper highlights. Quick two finger leaves the party too soon. There's some sediment suspended, but mostly on the bottom of my glass, looks like bits of this beers namesake fruit. Only a few tiny bubbles rising to the top of this beer.

The aroma is a medium citric hop and ruity aroma. You can sort of smell some orange-like citric meat and only a little zest from the hops. There's also a soft tart aroma as well.

Interetsing flavors. You get the fruity citrus flavors from the natzumikans. But also the bitter citrus flavors from the hops. The malt adds some toasted tea biscuit subtlety to balance things a little bit. The palate has a little tart pop upfront, then resins out thanks to the hopping.

Dec 11, 2010
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Dawkfan from Canada (AB)

4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A hazy bright orange color with 2 fingers of white head. Retention is average, there's a thin ring of lace remaining above the body.

S- Tangerine & nectarine, really fruity. Mild citrus aroma, mainly grapefruit. I also get some caramelized sugars and bready malt. An American IPA with some Japanese flair from the Natsumikans??

T- Taste is clean and very smooth. Citrus dominates the flavor throughout with the finish having a nice lemony/grapefruit twang.

M- Medium body with low carbonation. The more you drink, the more this coates the mouth.

D- This really hit the spot for me, very "juicy". I look forward to trying more from Baird.

Sep 17, 2010
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canucklehead from Canada (BC)

3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer that has a mix of a hoppy ale with some citrus notes from the fruit. The beer is turgid in colour with a kinda unappealing brown colour but the nose is hoppy and kinda fruity. I liked the beer and found it very drinkable with quite a bit of complexity on the finish.

Sep 08, 2010
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augustgarage from California

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Poured from a 633mL bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler.

Cloudy orange peel and amber body with two dense fingers of ivory. Impressive sticky lacing.

Potent unique aromatics - somewhat similar to pomelo with a bitter/sour element (thus, fresh natsumikan). Lightly biscuity and hoppy smells as well.

Faintly toasted malt, lots of citrus, very juicy with mild bitterness on the palate. Supremely balanced. The finish is slightly earthy and suggestive of apple skins.

Light bodied, pillowy, well carbonated, juicy yet dry.

This may be the perfect session ale - elegant, singular, and very well crafted. Some of Baird's other concepts are more appealing to me, but the execution of this beer is unimpeachable.

Aug 24, 2010
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IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for this.

From a 633 ml brown bottle, abv listed at 6%. Cloudy amber in appearance, but not murky. Tall off-white spongy merrengue head with impressive retention.

Clean aroma at first, becomes a bit musty. Light bready malt, sweet fruit, and a grapefruit-like quality.

Clean flavour, dry neutral grains, something of an tea-like character in the middle, with a sharp spicy citrus-rind presence in the finish. Something like white grapefruit pith lingers on in the aftertaste, quite astringent. A more assertive citrus character takes over as it warms.

Medium-light mouthfeel, low carbonation but it still offers some spritz, dry.

It has its moments, the addition of fruit adds some extra puckering citrus notes to accentuate the hops, however beyond that it kind of falls short.

Jul 29, 2010
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure of the age on this bottle, but it's been available for a few months. Shared with Botham & co. at Local Option.

Murky glowing orange, white foam that leaves flecks around the edges of the glass. Smells faintly of citrus and floral hops, with some malt sweetness, though somewhat subdued overall.

Fairly average body and flavor, again some citrus hints, but not especially vibrant. Aftertaste has some bitter orange peel, which was nice. Fairly light feeling, it's easygoing and summery. Good one to share, hope the next time I drink it, it's fresher.

Jul 04, 2010
Photo of Jayli
Jayli from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at a tasting a few weeks back, and then had to grab a bottle at Gordon's

A: THis beer pours a hazy burnt orange with a two inch of white sudsy head that retains nicely. Head leaves wispy chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of major citrus hops - grapefruit (though more appropriately I believe would be Natsumikan) and tangerine notes come bursting through.

T: Taste is - wow this is tart, but not overbearingly tart. Piney hops really hit in the forefront and lends in to crazy tangerine and nectarine flavoring. The hops bite and tartness slowly fade out and in to a touch of malt in the finish that pulls the overall taste to this beer together nicely.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp feel with a slightly oily finish.

D: I was completely surprised by this beer. Nicely balance, great flavoring that plays off the hop and malt. This goes down very easily and would enjoy picking up another bottle or two.

Mar 12, 2010
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Halcyondays from California

3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

633 mL bottle, my first ale from Baird,

A: Pours a translucent orange with a soft white head, average retention.

S: Citrus, definite American hop feel mixed with the fruit.

T: Classic amber ale maltiness comes through in a hit at the beginning. Sweetness upfront, with a heavy citrus rind mid-palate. The finish brings more fruity citrus with lots of lemon, Silician orange marmalade and tangerine, with a Simcoe/pineapple tropical play in the aftertaste. Complex and tasty.

M: Nice medium-full body with a note of acidity. Has a heavy citrus/limonene feel on the tongue which is quite unique in beer and which I enjoyed quite a bit.

D: An intriguing ale. Definitely one of the most authentic tasting fruit beers I've ever had, there's nothing artificial here. It's pricey, but is certainly a palate expander and very good ale, so it's worth a purchase.

Mar 09, 2010
Photo of rallison
rallison from California

4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy light orange color with a nice white head. This interesting beer has a rather pleasant floral citrusy nose. Some nice flower notes are also present.

The taste is surprisingly decent. Tangerine like taste against a juicy, soft malt body. Grapefruit. Just a touch of sour character, as expected given the description of the natsumikan fruits used.

Very pleasant as a summer fruit beer. I generally hate fruit beers (aside from lambics of course) - I wish they all tasted this decent.

Feb 22, 2010
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ShogoKawada from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this one, I'm a sucker for pretty labels. 22oz into flute. Had to google Natsumikan... some Japanese fruit somewhere between a tangerine and an orange.

A- Golden amber orangey, zesty, vibrant beer. Really shimmering in the glass. Head is impossibly thick, white as snow.. I'm really surprised there's such a huge head on a fruit beer. Thick as any DIPA. Lacing us unreal. I don't think it could get any better... really blown away here.

S- Tangerine sweetness... citric bite, mild grapefruit, white grapes, and a bit of hops (simcoe, but without the harshness). Very faint, though.. incredibly fruity and a bit floral. I guess it's a Natsumikan-esque profile... (translated 'summer tangerine).

T- Wow! Bitter, tart, and sweet, but not nearly as leading in the nose. Like grapefruit rind, white grapeskin, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Actually, the bitterness subsides about 1/3 of the way in. Becomes more floral (lilac, hibiscus) and sweeter, but never crosses the line into 'too sweet' territory. A wonderful beer... I'm really digging this.

M- Good carbonation, crisp enough to keep the sweetness in check. No complaints here.

D- High.. a unique beer that I really enjoyed. I will buy more of this.. I see this more of a summer beer, but it did me fine on a cold winter night. If you see it, buy it... a one-of-a-kind drink. My first Japanese craft beer.. a smashing success!

*note.. I guessed simcoe before I read the beer description that identifies simcoe.. I guess my tastebuds are finally going places!

Jan 07, 2010
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Captain Couger and rated at 6%. Medium orange with a soapy white fead. Fruity aroma. Appropriate understated carbonation. Taste is tangerine and orange, with other citruys.Fruity aroma. Easy drinking, sweet but not too sweet nor too malty.

Sep 03, 2009
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chinabeergeek from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

633ml bottle. no date found. tasted in early/mid may 2009.

honey straw w amber tones. decent off-white head, fades to wispy layer and ring. nice 1st ring of lace, but fades away. the rest of the lacing down the glass is splotchy and sparse.

aroma: fruity and citrusy, mostly juice and flesh, then some zest and pine. faint bready malt, lightly caramelized. more mild pine and citrus again in the back.

taste: fruity again, sort of like orange and tangerine, with similar lightly tart tones, peaking before the finish and meeting the moderate bitterness, citrus zest and resins from the hops. just enough caramel and bread underneath, keeping the focus on fruity refreshment. a bit more pith/rind character in the aftertaste than i desire, but not enough to detract significantly.

medium body. tart acidity gives mild texture. carbonation can be crisp at start, but matches with the acidity.

interesting and refreshing.

Aug 09, 2009
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JohnQVegas from Tennessee

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into red wine glass. served at 43 degrees and up.

Pours a murky dark copper, with a fluffy one finger head, which settles after a bit to a dense cap. Very prominent solid lacing.

Nose shows off the natsumikan with some fresh, tart grapefruity aromas, a bit of lemon, a light musty chalkiness, perhaps from the peels, and a slightly toasty underlying malt note.

Taste is tart up front, juicy under-ripe grapefruit and a bit of an astringent, chalky presence, with a complementary light bitterness from the hops. The chalkiness comes and goes; when it's gone, this a very delicious, interesting beer. When it's there, it's oddly distracting and "old" tasting, which conflicts with the fresh, juicy natsumikan presence. An underlying toasty, biscuity malt body holds the whole thing together. Definitely let this warm up to about 47-50 degrees to get the full effect.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp but not too sharp carbonation. Lingering very light tart acidity, a bit chalky at times.

Drinkability - pretty good. This is a somewhat unorthodox set of flavors, but I tend to think it works pretty well. I like it.

Jun 30, 2009
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koopa from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

Appearance: Murky peach with honey folds. A 2 finger white crown has little retention and some lacing.

Smell: Like an under-ripe grapefruit with a mixture of american hops. Simcoe seems to be the dominant one in the nose.

Taste: Natsumikan fruit with some hop bitterness from the simcoes, Horizons and Mount Hoods. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Very effervescent and light bodied.

Drinkability: btw the low abv and mouthfeel this one is easy to drink.

Jun 28, 2009
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tangerine orange with grapefruit peel highlights. It makes sense that a citrus fruit beer should resemble citrus fruit. The parchment colored crown reached three fingers on the pour and looks like it wants to hang around for a spell. Although pint glass coverage is merely adequate, beer and foam look mighty nice.

The aroma is appropriately fruity, with some pleasant fruit peel muskiness thrown in for good measure. Orange and lemon notes are undoubtedly coming from the natsumikans (summer tangerines) and the American hops are probably contributing too. Bottom line: fresh, clean and slightly different.

Each one of those words accurately describes the flavor profile as well, especially the last one. This beer has a unique flavor profile that is imparted by a fruit that American brewers don't have access to. That's what I like about Baird; they craft American-style beer with a distinctly Japanese twist.

Equal parts untoasted barley and wheat, along with some candi sugar, give the beer a sugar wafer quality that might have been missed if more hops were in the house. More hops would have pleased this hophead's palate, but their flavor and bitterness probably would have overwhelmed the flavor and tartness of the natsumikan juice.

White grapefruit is dominant, followed by lemon, then orange. Bitter and tart are pretty evenly matched, with sweetness taking a back seat throughout the mouthful. This is a tremendously refreshing and drinkable ale that is perfect for the warm summer months.

The mouthfeel is unquestionably light, but it works like a dream in concert with everything else. The flavor doesn't get washed away at the end and the carbonation is crisp without being buzzy. I wouldn't change a thing.

Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale tastes like an American pale ale with an exotic, citrus fruity twist. Even though less than easy access and a relatively high price argue against a repeat purchase, I'm enjoying this bottle immensely. Great summer beer!

Jun 25, 2009
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of herbalness, citrus, and fruity. I wrote down 'different' by the aromas. Tastes of the same herbalness, oranges/citrus, and some wheatiness.

Jun 19, 2009
Natsumikan Ale from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 35 ratings