Beer Review: Rasberry Sundae from The Bruery
by Jess Reed
We’d been talking it up for nearly two months. A casual back and forth waiting for somebody to eventually break down on their next trip to the grocery store and fork over the cash for this dicey 12-pack. That was, until my Dad showed up at the door gripping that blue box.
‘Across the World’ – Sierra Nevada’s newest installment in their 3rd annual collaboration project. This year Sierra decided to expand the idea, incorporating six international – six domestic brews into what had previously been an ‘Across America’ venture. Beers range anywhere from Surley Brewing Co.’s ‘super drinkable’ Ginger Lager to Avery Brewing Co.’s heavy hitting Dry-Hopped Barleywine Style Ale. Along with more experimental projects like Mikkeller’s Thai Style Ice Tea brewed with puffed rice, star anise and black tea.
My Dad is the guy who shows up to a fishing camp with the 6-pack that takes some time to warm up to. In a room full of guys who are happy drinking the same beer they’ve bought since they were 18, my Dad is the one who walks in with a grin on his face and sits Duclaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus down on the table. Oftentimes it’s hit or miss, but it’s never something we aren’t still talking about long after he brings it through the door.
Since the theme of the project was experimentation I thought it would be appropriate to find the beer I’d be least likely to order up myself. It didn’t take long deciding on The Bruery’s Raspberry Sundae. I pictured a tart, malty beer with a bit of a punch at 8.00% ABV that poured thick and went down like a milkshake.
What I got was a watery pour, amber in color with an iridescent pinkness to it that had me spinning the glass, staring like I was holding a lava lamp. A slight haziness blends into a crisp full head. Aromas of tart berry and vanilla give way to one of the most confusing beers I’ve ever tasted. A mixture between over-steeped Sleepytime Fruit Tea and expired raspberry Robitussin. A lack of nearly all vanilla or lactose had me wondering where the Sundae part of Raspberry Sundae went, not to mention the supposed cocoa, chocolate, and caramel flavors that were all but missing. An overly tart, bitter aftertaste lingered far too long, reminiscent of unripe berries.
All in all, Sierra Neveda’s ‘Across the World’ project contained some of the most interesting beers I’ve had in a while, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try, if for no other reason than having a dozen new beers to try in the fridge. To me, The Bruery’s project seemed like an unfinished experiment relying more on the novelty of the idea and less on the quality of the project.