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Belt’s Beer Garden: Let’s Be Civil

Civil Society’s Pulp - one of the highest rated Pale Wheat beers out there.

There have been a lot of people saying that Civil Society Brewing is “out of this world”...and not just because they’re from Jupiter, Florida - a town about 19 miles north of West Palm Beach, on Florida’s southeastern coast. If you’re in West Palm Beach, you’re also in luck though because they have a second taproom in WPB as well.

Civil Society focuses on hop-forward brews, so it’s no surprise that 11 of their 15 taps are IPAs or DIPAs at the moment. However, I was able to find a brew from them that is NOT an IPA; I have a can of their Pulp.

Pulp is a Wheat Ale brewed with Mosaic hops (for extra juiciness) and features a 6.3% ABV. A single can cost me $8, so it’s not the cheapest…but, with it being rated as the best Pale Wheat beer on Beer Advocate (with a 4.36 overall rating), it should be worth the cost.

Pulp poured a bright golden orange color with a hint of haze, making it a bit more opaque. About a finger of pure white head built up. The foam didn’t last too long, however, as it faded down into a small accumulation around the edge of the glass. As the bubbles declined, they laced the sides nicely, creating a webbing of lines down the entire glass.

On the nose, this was quite the juicy Wheat Ale. Big notes of tangerine, grapefruit, and some tropical fruits led the way - the Mosaic hops adding a bit of mango, papaya, and pineapple to the brew. Underneath were some smaller hints of grass and some bread from the grains. It smelled sweet and light and delicious.

There is a small rush of carbonation that hits first, waking up my taste buds. Jumping out first are those citrusy notes of grapefruit and tangerine but they are not alone. They are joined by a grassy resin quality and some cereal-like notes from the wheat. Soon after, the hops added more juiciness into the brew, bringing bursts of mango and pineapple after a second or two on the tongue.

However, despite the initial pop of fruit and citrus, Pulp turned a bit more earthy - and hoppier - than I was expecting for a Wheat. Some floral notes, along with the grass, really hit big around the midway point. It quelled those initial fruity eruptions quickly and

As the taste enters the backend, there is a twinge of bitterness. It is a bite of pithy grapefruit that appears and begins to swell in the sip’s final moments. The resinous grass from earlier on adds to the dry feeling and sticks around with the grapefruit after each sip. It’s odd but there is even a bit of dankness towards the end. It’s almost like Pulp is an IPA in a Wheat beer’s can…

And I have nothing against IPAs…I love ‘em. It makes sense, coming from a hop-forward brewery, but just be aware…it’s definitely more of an IPA.

Is Pulp good? Yes. It’s got a lot of different, and tasty, flavors and is pretty sessionable. But if you drink it, go in knowing that it’s not very Wheaty. You will get that bitter bite and some hoppier flavors but you will also get some lighter, juicier ones early on. Solid beer but best the Pale Wheat? Sorry, but no. That award will always go to 3 Floyds’ Gumballhead.

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