Beer Reviews by Tom Becham


I just had my first taste of beer from a relatively new brewer, called Coachella Valley Brewing Company, located in Thousand Palms, California.

Yes, it’s an extremely unlikely location for craft beer. And yes, that area is more famous for its annual indie music festival than anything else. But that might change, if this beer is an indication of the brewery’s efforts.

The Coachella offering I tried was a bottled beer called Desert Swarm. Coachella calls this one a “Double Wit, with honey added”.

Indeed, the cloudy, turbid appearance matches what one would expect of a Wit. The head is sizeable, and long-lasting. The color is bright yellow, and opaque.

The nose is a bit of a surprise, though. The usual bright citrus scents of a Wit are obscured by the honey. The coriander is still slightly in evidence.

On the palate, again the citrus is in the background. Surprisingly, the honey doesn’t dominate, as I believe most of it was fermented out. Instead, more of a dryness like you would expect of a dry mead, is there. The coriander makes a subtle show of itself, and the mouthfeel is full and satisfying due to the yeast.

All in all, not really true to style, but head and shoulders above others that claim this style (Yes, I’m looking at you, Shock Top and Blue Moon). And, when you have a beer this refreshing made by a desert brewer, you can overlook a bit of variance from style standards. Just a nice warm weather quaffer.

TomBTom Becham claims to live in Oxnard, CA, but we here at PGA know him to be an escaped leprechaun from that land of the Wee people where he used to live in a Wee Wee tree. (And everyone knows what that was used for.)

NAH, he’s just a great writer, beer lover who has graced the pages of PGA many times.

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