Two Lights | ABV 6.7%
BJCP Style: Specialty Beer
CraftBeer.com Style: Specialty Beer
CraftBeer.com Sensory Style: Sour, Tart & Funky
Hops: Amarillo, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin
Malts: 2-Row Malted Barley Blend, Oat Malt, Rolled Oats
Other Ingredients: Sauvignon Blanc Must
Yeast: Lager & Champagne
Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
City: Portland, ME
(A quick note on Sensory Style: A recent, very thought provoking article from CraftBeer.com (It’s Time to Rethink How We Talk About Craft Beer Basics) by Mirella Amato introduced the idea that separating beers into Ale or Lager categories really doesn’t help newer craft beer consumers determine what beers they may or may not like to try. Sensory Style is actually more informative. I tend to agree with this, so I have introduced CraftBeer.com’s Sensory Style categories, in addition to beer style, to help someone reading my reviews get quicker understanding of the overall experience they should expect from the beer. Sensory Style is divided into six broad categories: Sour/Tart/Funky, Crisp/Clean, Dark/Roasty, Malty/Sweet, Hoppy/Bitter and Fruity/Spicy. If you would like to explore these more on your on, you’ll find them here: CraftBeer.com Beer Styles. Go ahead and explore, you’ll find they work quite well.)
Appearance: Straw yellow with slight haze. Thin head, with moderate retention. Fast rising bubbles.
Aroma: Green and sweet fruit aromas.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Tropical fruit aromas. Restrained bitterness. Low sweetness.
Palate: Light bodied. Effervescent. Finish is short, crisp and dry.
Is it a beer or a sparkling wine? That’s the question that popped in my head when I saw Allagash Brewing Co.’s Two Lights on the shelf at my local Total Wine & More. As it turns out, it’s a little of both. Based out of Portland, Maine, Allagash and lucky for us their products get down to the Atlanta area. They always put out such high quality beers, everything from their flag ship White to Curieux to Black, all reflect both quality ingredients and attention to detail during the brewing process. Don’t ask my why, but when I saw Two Lights and read the back of the can description, I thought…hmmm, I wonder if I’ll like this. It sounds tricky. This might be where Allagash trips up for me. Let’s find out. Silly me. It turns out to be a fantastic, unique offering for summer months.
Two Lights is quite a unique beer, using a combination of traditional malt and white grape juice, then fermented using both lager and champagne yeast. Not having any kind of brewing background, I have no idea how they make that work, but it does! It pours a straw yellow with as slight haze. Develops a nice head initially, which quickly dissipates with 15-20 seconds. No surprise, it has an effervescent look with tiny bubbles streaming up quickly top to bottom. Aromas are not bold and upfront like an IPA; but you definitely catch the green and tropical fruit notes right away. Not any malt aroma, at least any that I could strongly detect. Flavors are along the lines of mild tropical fruits with a note of tartness that mixes with a restrained bitterness. The choice to use Nelson Sauvin hops was outstanding. It compliments the entire beer profile perfectly. The beer is light bodied and dry start to finish. It has mounds of invigorating bubbles in the mouth-feel from the high carbonation. Finish is short in length and crisp.
Two Lights was actually an idea from one of the brewery employees – Mariah Nelson, which I find very cool. She wanted something that combined the properties of an easy drinking beer and sparkling wine. Allagash introduced it as a summer offering back in 2018. Apparently customers loved it and they decided to place it in the distribution footprint.
Light, lively and refreshing, Two Lights is a nice change of pace and a lot of fun to drink. I can definitely see it appealing to the non-beer drinker, in much of a cross-over role. I would no doubt pick this over a hard seltzer any day of the week. It comes in 12 oz. bottles and 16 oz. cans (I prefer the 16 oz. cans, because it is the perfect single serving size and still remains portable for most activities you would want to take it with you to). It will be a great Labor Day weekend pickup to help celebrate the winding down of summer. Allagash Two Lights – check it out.
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!