Lord Cornwallis spent all of 16 days in Mecklenburg County in 1780 before being chased out of town by the rebellious residents. That part of the Charlotte’s history is why the name of the basketball team was so important to many people. Also, because George Shinn and the rest of the team’s ownership group was so onerous in how they took the team and left town.
In short, if you are from Charlotte and you invoke the use of the phrase “hornet’s nest” you do so at your own peril. You better step up and use it wisely for something really good. Fortunately for Olde Mecklenburg Brewery with The Hornet’s Nest they have created a nice light summer hefeweizen that does honor to the name.
The Hornet’s Nest weighs in at 5.9% ABV which is a little strong for a hefeweizen, but more than acceptable to me. It pours with a nice straw color and leaves a big fluffy off-white head with the characteristic haze of a hefe. On the nose you get the yeast aromas of bananas and cloves and a hint of floral hops.
It has a nice light feel on the tongue and a little bit of dry finish. It has the classic hefeweizen taste of bananas and cloves. It may be a little sweet for some, but it seem just right for a summer day on the porch listening to insects buzz around you.
OMB specializes in German style beer adhering strictly to the Reinheitsgebot or “Bavarian Beer Purity Law” that restricts the ingredients used in beer. It can be rather limiting in what beers you can produce, but those limits also make brewers work harder to make their beers distinctive through quality and taste. Sometimes it is good to not have the option to put whatever you want in a beer. It forces the brewer to concentrate on standing out by making good beer and not by adding the craziest ingredient possible to garner the most buzz.
Do I like The Hornet’s Nest? Yes. It is a seasonal beer and will be available only through the spring and early summer, so find it and enjoy.