Brew Review – Lichtenhainer and Raspberry Coconut Zinger by NOBO Brewing

I would love to take a poll of readers seeing this title and trying to understand which beer interests you more.

Backtracking, quick trip to Boynton with field producer Steve to get some beers. He had never been to NOBO Brewing, so naturally that stop had to be made.

Unfortunately we had just missed the Dornblazers (hard to do with their height), so we settled up to the bar and were given, within about 2 minutes of entering, pints of Raspberry Coconut Zinger (Hefeweizen, 5.5% ABV).

Some of you understand where this comes from.

If you are unfamiliar with the Zinger, this is the slightly lower budget version of the Twinkie. Unlike Twinkies, however, they also come in chocolate frosted, vanilla frosted, or the raspberry coconut variety.

So if you’re into tubular dessert cakes that can be guaranteed to withstand a nuclear winter, Zingers are a good one to go for.

And I’m not sure how NOBO did it, but this beer tastes exactly like one of those. At its heart is a Hefeweizen, maybe more of a wheat ale since it didn’t seem to have the traditional banana and clove esters coming from a solid Hefeweizen yeast.

On top of a solidly wheaty and fluffy malt bill were additions of raspberry puree, coconut, and vanilla. The vanilla really pounces in the aroma, giving it that cake like sweetness that the Dolly Madison treat is so well known for.

There’s a pop of raspberry tartness in the aroma, but it comes in a bit more in the flavor. It’s definitely got that puckering quality, and the coconut mixes with the vanilla to give it a cake base that is delicious, but still lets the zing shine through.

From here, I got very interested because they had a style that I have never heard before, the Lichtenhainer (Lichtenhainer, 5.5% ABV, 10 IBU).

For the uninitiated, which I was proudly and sadly a part of, the lichtenhainer is a smoked sour ale. If you can think of the bizarre mash-up of a rauchbier and a Berliner weisse, you’d be pretty close.

It’s got a very bright straw color, and the aroma gives a hint of the smoked malts, with just a lighter hint of a lemon tart sourness.

I am not familiar with exactly how sour or how smokey a lichtenhainer can get, but this one from NOBO touched upon both flavors without going too far into one or the other. For a smoked ale, it gives just a touch of smokiness, enough to be just noticeable. For a sour ale, it’s a little sour, nothing too aggressive. Had it not been for the smoked malts, this beer would likely have been would be aggressively fruited in many other breweries.

Combining both is something I had never thought of, and I was pretty impressed with the results. It’s refreshing, but it’s still very nuanced and deep. It’s also a beer I could see ordering again, and I would love to see if other breweries pick up on the style.

Now, will it take us a long time to get back to NOBO? That remains to be seen, unfortunately. I will say I was happy I could get Steve to go with me, and we ended up getting a couple of incredibly solid beers.

I still don’t like Twinkies, though.

Drink Florida Craft,


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