Beer from Here: Raleigh Brewing Company – The First Squeeze


Raleigh Brewing Company’s The First Squeeze is a wheat ale with an orange touch.

I find it interesting how one’s palate expands and changes with craft beer. I’m in a transition myself right now, enjoying more hefeweizens and other wheat ales as the temperatures warm up. I know it’s summer, but it’s a style of beer I typically shied away from. It only took one Shotgun Betty to get me back in the summer seasonal game.

Serving the City of Oaks since 2013, Raleigh Brewing Company quickly emerged as a pet-friendly, local hotspot. A 20-barrel brewhouse cranks out six year round beers and five seasonals for the first female owned brewery in the state. You’ll often see patrons or staff wearing shirts boasting “Tap the Capital,” their a slogan, and a pretty cool one at that.

As we inch ever closer to summer, I thought I’d give their newly canned seasonal a try. The First Squeeze (formally The Big Squeeze) is an American Wheat Ale with blood orange. The ale poured a hazy, golden orange and the half-inch, white head quickly dissipated into a body of effervescence. I loved the color. Check out that photo!

There were scents of sweet citrus, cereal and a touch of alcohol on the nose. The first sip introduced notes of orange, grapefruit and zest that blended well together. You could taste the 2 pounds of blood orange peels that are added to each batch. A slight bitterness on the front was rounded out with a subtle finish of crackers from the malt. Similar to the nose, the backend of the wheat ale added some spice and a slight touch of warmth from the 6% ABV. I had a feeling this could pair well with any breakfast.

The First Squeeze is a great beer to enjoy poolside or at the beach. I think it could use some more orange/citrus in the aroma and flavoring, but that’s me being picky. It’s still a delicious summer brew and one I recommend getting your hands on.

The capital brewery started canning their year round and select seasonal offerings this past April, so you can find The First Squeeze and other RBC beers in bars, restaurants and specialty stores around the Triangle.

Brewery: Raleigh Brewing Company
City: Raleigh, NC
Style: American Wheat Ale
ABV: 6%
Availability: Seasonal, 12 oz. cans and draft