I might be jumping the gun a little bit by reviewing such a summer-oriented beer (a blueberry ale) but it finally went above 60 degrees here today, and I took out my cute tank tops and I’m already in summer mode. I’m certain this will be coming back to haunt me and snow again sometime next week… but that’s besides the point.
I’ve come to the conclusion that making a successful blueberry-flavored beer is pretty much an art. And, despite lots of attempts that come out of the woodwork each summer and spring, very few hold up to being really terrific brews.
Don’t misinterpret me, I’m not being a cynic. Blueberry is a strong flavor, can be very sweet, and brings with it a lot of expectations. It is often paired with a light ale or even a hefeweizen and does not always come out balanced, but sometimes is just perfect. When it works, you don’t feel like you’re drinking a fruity beverage instead of a beer, and you start thinking about swimming pools and fresh green summer lawns. When it doesn’t work, you get something that’s all fruit, all sweet, or smells like blueberries and tastes like, well, beer.
So, this one is probably not the last blueberry beer I’ll be trying this summer, but it isn’t the best so far. It smells very heavily blueberry, and is a dark red color. (Not pink at least!) I was expecting something strongly flavored because this had a lot of scent to it. The taste however… disagreed. There is little to no beer flavor left in this beer. The flavor is quick! There, then BAM gone. And it’s all sharpness, like the carbonation is erasing some of the taste itself. So you have this brief flash of flavor that’s blueberry-ish and cold/carbonated. I felt like I was missing the rest of the beer.
So, I’m unfortunately going to recommend a pass on this one. But hey, with reviewing you have to take the good with the bad, and the good with the fantastic.
But for you blueberry lovers (and people from Maine) I’ll keep on the lookout for another good blue on tap.