New Belgium's Heavy Melon: Watermelon & Lime in a Beer??

New Belgium Brewing recently revealed its new summer beers. Juicy Mandarina IPA and Heavy Melon. The former features the Mandarina Bavaria hop variety and is available on draft only. The latter is available on draft, as well as in bottles and cans.

Heavy Melon is brewed with watermelon and lime peel. I'm actually not a fan of watermelon. Yes, I'm one of the few people on this planet that has no use for the melon of water. However, I was intrigued by the combination of watermelon and lime, so I'd figured I'd give it a try. Here are my tasting notes:

Poured into my Luigi Bormioli Birrateque Craft Beer Seasonal Glass. Golden in color, clear, with a frothy white head that dissipates fairly slowly. Aroma is grassy with faint watermelon. 

The taste starts herbal notes. In the middle, I noticed the watermelon and mild grain. The level on the watermelon is moderate, and it has the melon flavor, but not the fruity sweetness. Overall hop bitterness is low and alcohol isn't noticeable in taste or aroma. It's light bodied and softly carbonated. Heavy Melon finishes with grassy hops and watermelon rind. I didn't pick up any lime at allwhich was unfortunate, because it seemed like a promising combination.

To be fair, I'm not a big fan of watermelon. I think I'm one of the few people in the world that don't like it. If you like watermelon, give it a try. For more details, check out the brewery's press release below.

If you're so inclined, consider 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon Wheat. I profiled it almost five years ago. I wasn't a huge fan, but the beer's still around. No small feat these days. It's a staple at the Oregon Brewers Festival each year. Apparently, there's a huge demand for watermelon ales. Go figure...

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New Belgium Brewing is Ready to Soak up the Sun with Heavy Melon and Juicy Mandarina
The brewery’s latest seasonal and Hop Kitchen releases offer crisp fruity sweetness and an island hop vibe

Ft. Collins, Colo., – The heat of summer will be here in no time and New Belgium is ready for refreshment with its latest seasonal Heavy Melon. This super crisp and refreshing American-Style Fruit beer is brewed with juicy watermelon and zesty lime peel. Ripened fruit aromas of melon, papaya and citrus offer an invigorating wash of fruity sweetness, grassy bitterness and the slightest touch of tartness.

“Since our first days back in 1991, New Belgium has been crafting fruit beer and Heavy Melon continues our tradition of pushing boundaries, while making creative and innovative beers,” said Andrew Emerton, New Belgium Brewing specialty brand manager. “Heavy Melon uses only real ingredients and even though it’s a watermelon beer, it’s actually born from the same place as other New Belgium favorites like Citradelic, Ranger, and Fat Tire. The pressed watermelon juice we sourced comes from Yakima Valley, the same region that grows almost all our hops.”

Heavy Melon has a juicy, mouthwatering start with a spritzy crisp finish and pours a bright golden color. This medium-light body beer comes in at 5 percent ABV, with 14 IBUs.

Heavy Melon
Style: American-Style Fruit Beer
Malts: Pale and Caramel 80
Hops: Nugget 
ABV: 5%
IBU: 14
Food Pairing Ideas: Bruschetta with fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic and watermelon; vanilla ice cream.
Availability: now in 12 oz. bottles and draft, starting May 30 in folly packs in 12 oz. cans

To learn more about Heavy Melon, check out New Belgium’s blog “Get Ready to Crush Some Heavy Melon Ale”.

Juicy Mandarina IPA
Also available this summer is Juicy Mandarina IPA. This Hop Kitchen release offers a wave of exotic hop flavors. Juicy Mandarina IPA sports a full array of island hop vibes courtesy of citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, vibrant Calypso, tropical Galaxy, and a bonus experimental hop #522 that rounds out the ensemble with bright, breezy floral notes. Fruity hybrid yeast accentuates the burst of hops, while soft wheat mats float each sip across the tongue with ease. Juicy Mandarina IPA is 6.5 percent ABV and 65 IBUs. It’s available on draft only.

Malts: Wheat
Hops: Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso, Galaxy and experimental hop #522
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 65
Availability: Draft only

For more information about New Belgium Brewing, visit You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at and Twitter @NewBelgium.

About New Belgium Brewing Company 

New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews thirteen year-round beers; Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel and a gluten-reduced line, Glutiny Pale Ale and Glutiny Golden Ale. Learn more at

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