Style: Blueberry Fruit Beer
Base Beer Style: Kolsch
OG: 10.8 plato
FG: 1.9 plato
Malts: North American Pale, North American Malted Wheat, English Cara Pils
Hops: Magnum, Pilgrim
Other: Fresh blueberry juice additions five days into fermentation
Yeast: Cold fermented American Ale yeast
From: Newport, RI
Brewer’s Note: “Our “other” year round brew is a Kolsh style beer made with real Rhode Island Blueberries. Fermented at colder temperatures, but using our American Ale yeast strain eliminates conflicting fruity esters other fruit beers might posses. We feel that the addition of juice from real, hand pressed Rhode Island Blueberries shouldn’t have to compete with the natural fruit background of the yeast. Pale Malt makes up the base of the grist bill, but this brew also calls for a large amount of malted wheat, an ingredient that lends a soft mouthfeel to the beer. Further there is enough caramalt to ensure a sweetness everyone will enjoy. Hops are chosen to compliment and balance the brew as it is bittered with a small amount of Magnum and flavored with English Pilgrim to lightly accent this truly unique ale.”
This beer’s label seems mass-produced and boring. For some reason the edges of everything on the label just look too neat, and that makes me think “mass-produced.” The Newport Storm symbol on its own is a little boring, and the font choice for that is bulky and weird, though I do like the old-timey background color that makes me think of old maps with its compass point. There is a lot of random text on the label, which makes it feel cluttered and confusing. The blueberry graphic is very “mass-produced” in appearance, and the sides of the label are just coated in ugly legal text. This label is not worth keeping and is not worth scrapbooking.
My label review aside, I am kind of interested in trying this beer. All fruit beer that isn’t soured gets flak in the craft beer community, and honestly, I don’t think that is fair. There are some damn good blueberry ales out there with a nice refreshing touch of sweet blueberry in them, and they are good beers that do what they should do. This beer is apparently a kolsch, which makes it even more interesting to me, as I am interested to see how the kolsch style stands up to the blueberry flavor.
The beer pours clear light gold with an ever so slight red tint. The head is little and white, and fades quickly, leaving noting on top of the beer. The beer is crystal clear with a slight haze. On the nose, the beer is ripe with blueberries and blueberry syrup. Wheat grains dance behind everything else in the smell. On the tongue the beer tastes of blueberry, light cereal malts, and a surprising touch of bitter hops, though all flavors are clean on the tongue. The beer begins with light blueberry, which builds into heavy blueberry syrup before fading into light cereal malts and a touch of dry grassy bitters. The aftertaste is light with blueberry and grassy hops. On the mouth the beer feels clean and crisp, while the carbonation sits at a medium level. The mouth is left dry with a slight scrim of syrup over it. Overall, this beer is mediocre. Sure I can drink a lot of it, but the blueberry flavor tastes very artificial and syrupy, which is sweet, but not quite melding enough for the beer. The kolsch characteristics in this beer, while weak are still interesting and nice. The crispness from the kolsch is great, but overall the beer is too syrupy sweet with not enough real blueberry flavor. I don’t think this beer is worth picking up again.