The Love is a Hefeweizen from Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet, VA. The beer won a Silver medal in the German-style Hefeweizen category at the GABF this Summer. All of Starr Hill's year-round beers have won multiple medals and this is the brewery's first medal for one of their seasonal beers. I was anxious to try it out, even though I've never been a big fan of wheat beers. As it turns out I would not be disappointed.
Starr Hill The Love pours a golden-straw color. I poured the beer into a traditional Hefeweizen glass in preparation for the expected Hefeweizen-style billowing head. Even with a fairly hard pour the head was only moderate, and it dropped very rapidly. There were large, and copious, bubbles continually rising from the bottom of the glass. Bready yeasts dominate the aroma. Hints of banana and citrus fruits are also present. The flavor follows suit with the same banana and citrus fruits. There's a nice hop bitterness adding complexity. The mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation tingles the tongue. Bitter citrus zest lingers long in the aftertaste.
I enjoyed The Love very much. The flavor profile goes beyond the typical banana and clove-richness I tend to expect from Hefeweizens. Starr Hill president Mark Thompson has said that this will likely become a year-round beer, rather than remain a seasonal release. Hefeweizens are typically Summer beers, but I enjoyed drinking the beer on a Christmas afternoon. It's a Hefeweizen that I will certainly drink again.