With First Squeeze, Raleigh Brewing Company Delivers a Perfect Springtime Beer | Food To Go | Indy Week
Pin It

With First Squeeze, Raleigh Brewing Company Delivers a Perfect Springtime Beer 

Ready to travel: Raleigh Brewing's First Squeeze

Photo by Alex Boerner

Ready to travel: Raleigh Brewing's First Squeeze

Tucked on a side road between an Applebee's and a Waffle House is a beer-lover's multiplex at Raleigh Brewing Company. The twenty-barrel brewhouse and taproom are attached to a brewing supply store. Though that interior entices through the smell of sweet malt, an outdoor corral of picnic tables offers the best place to sit, sun, and sip on the brewery's newest seasonal—a zippy blood orange wheat beer.

Originally known as the Big Squeeze, the draft took its name from a period of statewide economic hardship. Governor O. Max Gardner encouraged farmers to grow edible products, like corn and tomatoes, rather than the cash crops of cotton and tobacco. But when the bigger brewery Harpoon issued a shandy called the Big Squeeze, Raleigh Brewing reconsidered a name it had yet to trademark. The beer now goes by First Squeeze, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the original moniker.

click to enlarge Raleigh Brewing's First Squeeze tastes even better in a pint glass - PHOTO BY ALEX BOERNER
  • Photo by Alex Boerner
  • Raleigh Brewing's First Squeeze tastes even better in a pint glass

Though the Squeeze is a wheat beer, it's distinct from a hefeweizen or a Belgian wit. The difference comes from the style of yeast that American wheat beers use. Hefeweizens use a German strain that tastes of bananas, while the Belgian variety packs a punch of clove. Instead, the American ale strain offers a clean, neutral flavor. Since the piquancy comes from added ingredients, rather than a pervasive yeast character, you'll often see American wheat beers made with delicate flavors, like fruit.

"That's what makes it really drinkable," explains Raleigh Brewing's production manager and head brewer, Alex Smith. "What I love about the Squeeze is that the wheat gives it this great, creamy mouthfeel. There's no vanilla, but I get a light, refreshing Creamsicle effect from the wheat, then a pop of citrus."

When the Squeeze is poured, it arrives golden and hazy, a slightly frothy head on top—so quintessential, it looks like the beer emoji. It smells of straw and honey and tastes like a dollop of orange marmalade served atop toast.

A simple recipe of wheat, malted barley, and caramel malts (for that enticing tawny color) gives the beer its backbone. But it's the blood orange peels, added in the boil and again after fermentation, that provide the special zing. Lightly carbonated and mighty refreshing, this estival ale works just as well poolside as it does at the taproom's picnic tables.

This year, it even comes in cans.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Color in Your Cheeks"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food To Go



Twitter Activity

Comments

A great little family Italian restaurant. Good menu. Quiet setting. Good service. …

by Anthony Dean Morgan on Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant (Durham County)

The Refectory is no longer on the Duke Campus. Their new, permanent location is on Chapel Hill Blvd, and yes …

by Beth Owl's Daughter on The Refectory Cafe (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Thanks for including our Pie & Loco Pop-Up this Saturday! Here's the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/897628530363556/?ti=icl

Funny Girl Farm is …

by funnygirlfarm on Cooking Demos, Farm Tours, Pie Cook-Offs, and More Can’t-Miss Food Events This Week (Food To Go)

"20 Breweries – Only North Carolina’s fine".

Yet there is no Wicked Weed, Burial, Haw River or Fonta …

by Jacob Crim on Music Festivals? No, Food Festivals: The Triangle's Best Food Events This Week (Food To Go)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation