Today’s Mistake: Hoegaarden, a temporary respite from light macro lagers.


4.9% alcohol by volume

11.2 ounce bottle

Price: $2.60

ABQ: 21.10

Yes, Hoegaaaaaaaaaarden is a Belgian beer, and yes, a lot of beer made in Belgium is outstanding. However, this does not mean that the beer you see above is any good. You see, Hoegaaaaarden is a witbier, one of the most popular Belgian styles that’s been aped endlessly by good breweries and shitty breweries. When it’s done right, it’s a perfectly good style of beer. I even like to have one now and then. But when it’s whored out by InBev and turned into a dirty, pathetic shell of what beer should be, it’s pretty sad. Hoegaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarden is indeed made by InBev Belgium. Not that it matters, because it was a lousy beer before InBev, and will continue to be a lousy beer long after we’re all dead from nuclear war and cases of Hoegaarden remain unspoiled, thanks to all that god damn coriander.


It’s a hazy, glowing white-yellow. That’s fairly standard for a witbier, but I have this odd feeling that they’ve artificially pumped a ton of sediment in here to make it look more “unfiltered.”


It tastes a lot better than I remember, but ultimately it’s still overly sweet and devoid of any flavor outside “spice” and “coriander.” A good witbier should be balanced, and this sucker is not. Still, I’d drink this over the vast majority of cheap American lagers I’ve reviewed lately.


Subtle carbonation, which, again, is a nice break from the beer soda I’ve been drinking this week. Nothing to complain about here.


Iconic in its own way.


You’re paying import price for domestic quality. If you’re really sweet on witbier, buy some Avery White Rascal or even Allagash White. Both of those are readily available and much better.

Final Verdict

Hoegaarden is a lame beer in a lot of ways, but it’s not horrible. Even though it’s too sweet, there are (probably) worse witbiers out there. 3 out of a possible 5.