Today is officially the first day of Fall. It’s been obvious in the past week or so that the cooler weather is moving in. This weekend my lovely wife was out of town, so I took the opportunity to clean out the fridge. By that I mean I went through the beer in the fridge and drank anything summery that was left over to make room for a big purchase of fall beers. One of the beers was Illusive Traveler, the grapefruit flavored shandy from Traveler Beer Company in Burlington, VT. This summer was the first time I really gave the shandy style a shot and overall I had mixed opinions. When done well a shandy can be a light, refreshing and flavorful alternative to other beer styles. When done poorly they can be cloyingly sweet and unappealing. Traveler seems to understand the difference, infusing their beer with tons of fruit flavor without dumping in sugar that overwhelms the taste of the beer. Traveler makes a number of shandy flavors, Illusive Traveler is an American wheat ale brewed with real grapefruit juice.
Traveler Beer Company Illusive Traveler pours a cloudy orange tinted yellow with a mild white head. The smell is all grapefruit, but real grapefruit not the fake grapefruit flavoring. The grapefruit leads the flavor but it isn’t overwhelming. The malts are noticeable, some notes of cracker and spicy wheat. The hops aren’t very apparent, but the tart flavor of the grapefruit juice acts as a reasonable substitute. Illusive Traveler is light, easy to drink, finishes clean and is very sessionable at 4.4% ABV. This is another solid example of a shandy from a company that specializes in the style. I personally prefer their lemon shandy Curious Traveler by a slight margin, but if you like grapefruit flavor more you should try this. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Traveler Beer reviews: