Pushing the Envelope
Sarah and I sampled Blueberry last spring at the Cascade Barrel House. Fresh from the brewery it was frustratingly complex. The bottled product is much different, much bolder. The initial wild yeast funk is pleasant and pairs well with the blueberries. There is a light acidity to the beer. But Sarah noted that Blueberry finishes like a postage stamp — in both taste and texture. It’s dry but sticky.
At twenty dollars a bottle, even Cascade’s regular lineup can get spendy, and I’m not convinced it’s really worth the expense for their wild, experimental ales. Yet, I keep going back for more.
Granny Smith’s Beer
Hopworks’ Belgian Style Apple Ale is not sour. It’s a hybrid combining crisp green apple cider and a golden blonde ale. The apples appear most noticeably on the nose, fresh and tart. but the flavors are all spicy and crisp. Sarah was a little disappointed with the yeasty must, but I thought it was nice, like a dusty, antique picture album.
The Lindeman’s Cassis is probably Sarah’s favorite — maybe even better than the Framboise. She loves currants, and Lindeman’s delivers. The fruit juice dominates, followed by a smack of tartness and some sugary sweetness.
Take an amazing beer; pour it in bourbon barrels; add cherries; wait fifteen months; bottle it.
Cherry Adam from the Wood is a biggy. It’s a giant. It’s huge. Cherry, coffee, chocolate, sweetness. Old man smells — tobacco and leather. Alcohol, bourbon, vanilla. Slightly tart, amazingly sweet.
Too bad it’s not quite carbonated. In a year this beer is going to be amazing. Right now it needs those bubbles to scrub away the thick syrupy body.
Still, this is so good. Too good to share.
HELL or HIGH WATERMELON?
It just smells of wheat.
Wheat, wheat, wheat.
No fruit, just flour.
Oh, that’s watermelon.
That makes sense.
I get it.
Makes sense, but not really great.
Sort of a novelty.
I get it, but I am not into it.
A bit too sweet.
A bit yeasty.
The Stumptown Tart was advertised as a Belgian style ale brewed with raspberries, strawberries, and marionberries. It is not tart. Stumptown bitter is more accurate. The fruit flavors are totally overwhelmed by a yeasty bitterness. The only berry I could taste was a hint of strawberry. The bitterness isn’t pleasant; it’s just bitter. There is no spice, no malt, no fun. Bridgeport messes it up again.
I believe Dogfish Head was pouring Festina Peche at the Fruit Beer Fest. I didn’t try it, but I did pick up some bottles last week. It’s a sort of wheaty, sort of plain beer. I’m not sure what the base is, but it’s perfect vehicle for the tart peach flavor. The peach is subtle, not syrupy sweet. Like a dried apricot. It reminded me a bit of a geuze without the age. And with regular ale yeast. So it’s not the same at all.