Fruit beers have always been a bit of an enigma to me. I find the problem with a lot of them is that they try to mask the ‘beer’ taste with an overpowering fruit flavour in order to attract the non-beer drinking consumer. In doing so, they seem to get confused as to what they actually are. This is not so with Allley Kat’s Brewberry blueberry beer. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
When I was growing up, I used to pick blueberries by the side of the road. Aside from the occasional hornet attack or my mother yelling at me to not put them up my nose (blueberries, not hornets), I looked forward to this as I love blueberries. So when it came time to taste test the Brewberry I was a little excited. So much, that I tried to re-create my road-side memory by having my mother yell at me while giving me a tattoo (not really).
The first thing I noticed was the image on the label. No, not the middle aged fifties era flapper woman that was stylish yet comfortable, but the fact that she has to use two hands to hold the glass of beer she is drinking. If that isn’t a subliminal message I don’t know what is. Aside from that, the image is humble. No flashy colours or promises of wealth. No magical coat of arms that tried to make us believe that an elk would marry a unicorn. Just simple, as if Alley Kat would like the beer to speak for itself and it does just that. The colour of the brew is the same. It has that ‘I’m just and ale’ look. No blue tinge. No floating blueberry parts.
The smell of the Brewberry is noticeable but not overpowering which is nice as it doesn’t let you down when you taste beer and not the blue fruit of the gods. As a fan of light coloured beers, this Brewberry doesn’t let me down. Not heavily carbonated, it is a wonderful summer beer for patios or beaches or helicopter rides…whatever floats your boat (but not for driving a boat). Describing the taste of something is a lot like cutting vegetables with a screwdriver, you can sort of do it but not really well. In this case, it is the description fits. You can taste the blueberry and you can taste the ale, and this is where Ally Kat got it right; it’s light on the tongue and not too heavy on the nose. Brewberry is a smooth beer that has very little aftertaste and has just the right amount of blueberry to not be aggressive. It also has that distinct Alley Kat ale flavor that any Alley Kat fan will recognize. Made with real blue berries (and blue berry extract) they seem to get the perfect mix in each bottle.
In all it is a very drinkable beer. From package to palate, the only thing that stands out is the taste, which is what you would want. And at an average 5.0% alcohol, you don’t feel like you are missing out too much or that you are getting overloaded on the alcohol content to make up for something. If you like blueberries then you will like Brewberry. If you like finely crafted ales then ditto. With the temperature starting to rise and the Canadian mammal starting to climb out of their electronic caves, Brewberry is an excellent summer choice. It’s succinct, flavourful and to the point. And, you don’t have to fight off hornets in order to get it.