Imagine the ideal summer beer — light, crisp, thirst-quenching. One that settles nicely into a cooler to be enjoyed at a picnic or concert. It’s the beer of the formulaic shandy ad: boat plus barbecue with a can of straw-colored stuff. Now imagine something completely different: Indeed Brewing’s LSD Honey Ale, which is available in bottles and on draft this week. Apart from its recent release date, it bears little resemblance to this season’s other choices.
In contrast to Indeed’s other summer beer, the refreshing and wheat-forward Shenanigans, LSD is very intense in flavor and incorporates a few unusual ingredients. The acronym “LSD” represents three of the aromatic components contained in the wax-sealed bottle: lavender, sunflower honey, and dates. The award-winning beer was created by Josh Bischoff, originally for Minneapolis Town Hall brewery, and has a small but loyal following.
The aroma is slightly sour, almost reminiscent of an ancient gruit. Since the beer has a medium body and very strong spicing, its malt flavor is overwhelmed by the aromatics. The most subtle element in the name is the date, which acts as a dark fruit backdrop, similar to the flavors featured in Bad Weather’s Due Date. On the other hand, the lavender is far more prominent and lingers profoundly from aroma to finish. The honey primarily reads as sweetness, rather than the distinct honey note contained in other honey beers like Rush River Double Bubble or Olvalde Brewing’s Auroch’s Horn.
LSD is an appropriate choice for drinkers looking for something floral, aromatic, and flavorful. While the dates feel like more of a fall flavor, the lavender captures a specific summer feel. This isn’t about tea, though — from a beer perspective, the flavors are muddy and the beer itself is lost. LSD is decidedly divisive: for some drinkers, the beer swings slightly toward the potpourri side — even more than last year’s rendition — so that one glass is likely sufficient.