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Beer Review: Wild Heaven Craft Beers, Let There Be Light

Feb 18, 2012

Ding Points: 60.00

Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00

Tasting Notes

I think that Wild Heaven are a bit confused with their marketing, and no I’m not only talking about the unhelpful use of ‘sessionable’!

The name and marketing suggests that they are trying to tempt the light beer drinkers market, but light beer drinkers are generally not only interested in lower ABV beer (in fact sometimes they are not even interested in THAT), but rather they tend to be more interested in light color and no taste! I don’t think this will be a beer that appeals to them on any level!

Dark golden, copper color. Thin head leaves film-like lace on the glass. Served in frozen solid glass – thanks Taco Mac, and I doubt that the Wild Heaven boys will be too happy about that (or maybe they will if adds to the ‘light’ angle)!

Wild Heaven, Let There Be Light

Wild Heaven, Let There Be Light

Medium high hop nose. Dry, balanced effort.

Tastes reflect the nose and a hop bitterness lingers. The Sorachi Ace is a hop that I cannot get into. It delivers what I usually characterize as an ‘out of place spice’, and although the effect here is pretty mild, it still distracts me in this beer. Just when I’m expecting either a clean metallic finish OR a earthy one, the two merge to give a difficult, hybrid experience. Doesn’t quite work for me. Citrus (that I was expecting a modicum of from the orange peel), is either missing or overwhelmed, but either way it feels absent. I suppose one could argue that there is some peel like bitterness. As it warms the definition continues to slide a bit more. Finishes with a quick twang and it feels pretty dry.

WIld Heaven, Let There Be Light

Wild Heaven, Let There Be Light

The hop bitterness relegates this to an also ran for me in a sea of American, hoppy mediocrity. Nothing here that you can’t get in 10,000 other beers, and at 4.7% we’re almost 20% above a real session beer making the ‘sessionable’ moniker associated with it confusing and not helpful.

I’m gonna call this an American Pale Ale or an American Amber, although a formal categorization may be a little tricky. It has the delicate hop bitterness of an English IPA too, but it totally lacks any significant fruit or depth of malt element for me. It’s not bad, but I think it has an identity crisis and may be a beer that was born out of a trend for nodding toward lower ABV beers rather than an inspirational moment. Another low ABV opportunity missed.

Other: 4.7% ABV so NOT a ‘session beer’.


  1. Traquairlover

    I know some light beer drinkers who are looking for the very light flavor, but more than that most people I know who pick light beer do so for the calories. So, depending on its calorie count, it might appeal to some of them as something that is both tasty and kind to the wasteline.

    Also, your math is off. At 4.7%, it may be approaching 20% above the maximum ABV for a session beer, but it is not over 20% above (which would be 4.81% or more). An immaterial point but it jumped out at me.

    • Ding

      Thanks! Meant to write ‘almost’ not ‘over’ – corrected.

      Good point on the calorie count, but I don’t think that Wild Heaven are marketing it that way. Otherwise it might have been called, ‘Let there Be Light ’95” or maybe, ‘Let There Be Lite’!

    • Traquairlover

      Waistline, not wasteline. Kind of ironic for me to have a typo when part of my post noted a mistake you made.

      As for the beer, it sounds like it’s probably a miss on its target audience then. Still, while I would prefer brewers to start making true session beers, I do think it is a positive step that they are at least trying to make fuller flavored beers (even if this one has flaws) that are under 5.5% or so, which seems to be about as weak as many brewers go.

  2. Billy

    From talking to the guys at Wild Heaven a few months ago, they were just trying to get as much flavor in a low ABV beer as possible. You’re absolutely correct that it’s nearly 20% over what’s considered a session beer but I think they were trying to appeal to people that like Pale Ales but want to drink a couple beers and still be able to drive. I don’t think they were tying to appeal to the light beer drinkers at all that prefer beers with no taste.

    Did they miss the mark? I don’t think so but I certainly respect your beer knowledge and opinion. Were they playing toward the trend for nodding toward lower ABV beers as you suggested? Probably, but I wish more breweries would give it a shot.

    Love the blog,



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