In the mid-1800’s, the British Royal Navy would distribute a small ration of grog, or watered-down rum, to its sailors. Most of the time, that water was stagnant and thoroughly disgusting. As a stopgap, the grog was fortified with lime juice. The high levels of citric acid in the juice made the water safer to drink, but it also prevented scurvy, making British sailors some of the healthiest sailors of the time.
As a derogatory term against them, British sailors were called ‘lime-juicers,’ or simply ‘limeys.’ And it’s that inspiration that Stu and Dan from Crazy Dingo Brewing used when they added lime, Key Lime to be specific, to their witbier Limey Bastard (Witbier, 5.2% ABV, 20 IBU).
Hopefully the addition of lime would signal to people that this isn’t a traditional witbier. Traditional witbiers use coriander and orange peel for flavoring, but the key lime peel substitutes for the orange peel. This gives the beer a slightly more tart quality, owing to the incredible tartness of the key limes. It’s that big, sharp, lime flavor and aroma that greets you the moment you pour the beer.
It’s a light beer, very refreshing and very smooth. The added flavors of coriander and elderflower tend to be a bit nuanced and come out much more when the beer is allowed to warm up a bit. It’s nice to see a witbier that is allowed to be this complex and nuanced.
But it’s the key lime you come for with this beer. It’s strong, it’s lightly sweet, and it lingers for quite a while on the palate. If you can find where they are pouring the beer, it’s worth a shot heading out and sampling it.
At least you don’t have to join the Royal Navy to do it.
Drink Florida Craft,