Wits Who & What: Pedal Haus Brewery in Tempe
The Beer: Pedal Haus Wit (5.1 percent ABV)
Pedal Haus, downtown Tempe's new crown jewel (beer-wise, at least), opened in September 2015, first showcasing a lineup of fine craft-centric guest beers. Now that head brewer Derek "Doc" Osbourne has had time to put his stamp on the brewing creations, Pedal Haus has an entire lineup of its own handcrafted brews encompassing many different styles, both traditional and cutting edge in nature. Brewing pilsners, porters, dubbels, IPAs, and more, Osbourne has created a beer menu with variety in both flavor, style, and origin.
Though there are many solid offerings true to style, none of the brewery's house beers are more spot on than the Belgian Wit. Based on the style of a traditional Belgian Wit, originally made famous by Peter Celis' Hoegaarden Brewery decades ago, the Pedal Haus Wit is wonderful, refreshing, and one of the most authentic Wits brewed to style this side of Brussels. It's no wonder that in Osbourne's previous life as head brewer at BJ's, he won countless medals and received regular industry-wide praise. Pedal Haus is another example of the evolution and progression of the Arizona craft beer scene.
Pedal Haus Wit uses a base of soft white wheat, which imparts a subtle and pleasant wheat taste and softness. Also traditional in nature is the use of freshly ground coriander, which is a hallmark of the style. Osbourne takes a slight twist on the other traditional component, the use of orange peel, by using Moroccan orange peel instead of the traditional Curacao variety. Curacao orange peel tends to impart a slight bitterness, whereas the Moroccan version comes from a sweeter orange that doesn't finish with the same sharp edge. The difference is subtle but welcome, and the beer certainly remains within the parameters of an authentic Belgian wit.. At 5.1 percent ABV, this beer can be enjoyed in quantity and will be especially welcome as the weather warms.
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Aromas project equal parts soft wheat, light orange citrus, and coriander with subtle hints of pleasant flowery perfume. There is some sweet sugar candy aroma as the beer warms. Flavors are orange citrus forward, light soft wheat, pleasant spicy phenols from yeast and coriander in the background. The body is medium, which comes from the high quantity of wheat used. This wit is highly carbonated, helping to bring out all the various aromatics in a pleasant refreshing way. There is a small carbonic bite on the finish due to the higher carbonation, but it's not astringent. The beer is somewhat creamy as it flows through the palate.
Extremely clean, refreshing, and complex in a simple way, this beer is a great example of the Belgian Wit style.
Pedal Haus is located at 730 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. A full menu is available inside or out on the expansive patio. Check out the Pedal Haus Brewery website, which shows what's on tap, where to park, and hours of operation. Pedal Haus is open seven days a week.