Pouring from a 12oz bottle stamped with an expiration date of 6/18/2017, New Belgium’s Juicy Watermelon reveals a transparent, light orange hue, crowned with a moderately-sized, off-white head. The carbonation holds a standard presence, and the head retention proves decent. Initially sampled in a Teku stemware glass, a switch to a wide tulip was prompted by the beer’s elusive aroma.


Contrary to expectations, the aroma commences with a more biscuity and neutral tone. Notes of fresh bread, lemon detergent, and lemon-scented soap dominate the olfactory experience. The soap character, though volatile, gradually dissipates, leaving behind the essence of fresh bread and sweeter lemon gumdrops. Fruit additions remain elusive, and the yeast character remains shrouded. As the temperature rises, a faint creamed corn nose, reminiscent of pilsner malt, emerges subtly but not detrimentally.


The flavor journey initiates with a mere suggestion of green watermelon rind, swiftly transitioning to the beer’s foundation—an attenuated, bready malt-focused blonde ale. The culmination is an extended finish, boasting a touch of honey roll thickness and a lingering hint of acidity at the rear of the palate. While the balance is commendable, blind tasting would hardly evoke mentions of the subtle watermelon, and the anticipated lime addition remains undetectable. In essence, a commendable blonde ale, but the promised fruity elements remain elusive.


The mouthfeel aligns with expectations for a beer of this style. The moderate carbonation contributes to a refreshing quality, while the beer’s thinner, bready malt-focused profile imparts a light and drinkable character. The touch of honeyed thickness adds a nuanced dimension to the overall feel.


Undoubtedly refreshing and eminently quaffable, New Belgium’s Juicy Watermelon draws praise for its aesthetics rooted in the maltier blonde ale base. However, the disappointment arises when one seeks the promised summer-refreshing character from the watermelon and lime additions—elements that prove frustratingly elusive. In the realm of watermelon-infused summer beers, 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon stands firm as the benchmark for a genuinely enjoyable and character-filled experience.