In yet another example of the tiki beer trend, Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s newest year-round offering—a "wit-inspired" beer called Social Hour—namechecks the infamous Zombie in its official description. Brewed with pineapple, pink guava, coriander, and mint, Social Hour doesn’t exactly follow the most common Zombie recipe, but it’s still greater than the sum of its parts.
Appearance and Aroma
Like many everyday light beers, Social Hour is golden wheat-ish in color. It’s much hazier than a pint of Bud or Coors Light, however, and its large head dissipates quickly. The first whiff offers plenty of herbal heft, along with fruity note reminiscent of papaya. While none of Social Hour’s many ingredients particularly stands out in the aroma, their overall effect is one of freshness.
While Social Hour may not be a direct flavor descendent of the Zombie, it does embody a few of the tiki classic’s best traits.”
As with the aroma, Social Hour balances its strong flavors well, and no single element overwhelms. The mellow fruit hits the tongue first, with mint and malt arriving after. It’s beer-y, but not bitter or hoppy. And despite the 7% ABV, the lovely relaxed flavors allow for easy drinking.
If you’re expecting a traditional Belgium wit with Social Hour, you’re in for a surprise. There’s no orange peel here, and the coriander is subtle among the beer’s other tropical flavors. And while Social Hour may not be a direct flavor descendent of the Zombie, it does embody a few of the tiki classic’s best traits. This hazy ale’s components blend together in such a way that it’s hard to tease out individual ingredients, but its overall character is a delightful balance of flavor, booze, and smoothness, without any of the cloying sweetness that one might expect from a tiki-inspired beer. I can only ever get through a single tiki cocktail in a sitting, but I’d gladly have another Social Hour.