Lots of people have talked about the original Justin Blabaer, which is a blueberry berliner from Evil Twin. This one is a Brunello Wine Barrel BA version, made in conjunction with CBX, Westbrook, and Fano. It’s a little pricier and a little smaller, but packs more of a punch. The label is pretty damned funny, with Beiber jokes a-plenty.
The pour is a nice purple-ish blue, with a decent head that stuck around for a long time. Smells like… well, not as much like Blabaer as I’d like, but still pretty nice. Some sweet-tart-ness, not much fruit, and a little wheat. Flavor is more of the same, although the blueberry shines a little brighter. As it warms, it gets a lot better, with more blueberry skin and a lot more tartness. Maybe this would’ve been better poolside in the sun (no, I don’t own a fucking pool).
Is it worth the price? Well, it’s not much higher than the base beer, but it’s smaller but a bit (500ml vs. 22oz). Not sure I’d order it again, but it’s definitely pleasant and worth trying at least once.
Style: Berliner Weisse
Bottled: Spring 2013
Size: 750ml C&C bottle
Bottle Count: Unknown
Okay, I’m from Florida, so I’m a total slut for the Berliner/Florida-Weisse/London Sour/whatever style. Give me something low-octane with plenty of tartness and I’m always on board, especially when I’m poolside. SC isn’t exactly a hotbed of sour activity, and Westbrook is definitely hit-or-miss, but I’m willing to give this one a shot.
Pour is nice enough — you can’t tell from the pic, but it’s light and effervescent, if a little cloudy. Smells like lemon rind and wheat, and not much else. But it’s supposed to be light, correct? And damn if it doesn’t hit the spot when I’m laying in the sun. I’d had a pretty lackluster bottle of Aroma Coma before this and WWB really hit me right. Plenty of tart lemony goodness, a touch of sweetness to even it out, with a little bit of biscuit on the back end. And light, really light. I could drink this all day. Makes me wish I had more of it.
This may never quite measure up to the best examples in the style, and it’s definitely not one of the fruity Florida-Weisse that I love, but I’d be happy to drink another one.
Style: Berliner Weisse
Kegged: April 2013
Size: 10oz snifter
Bottle Count: n/a
Just a little taster to get me in the mood to drive up to Gainesville for the BA Roosevelt release. This is actually the beer that Mrs. Asshole and I served at our wedding. Doug also served a wine-barrel version of this at this year’s Berliner Bash (and I think it was one half of the Nooner blend from last Dec’s release). I love this stuff. Lots of raspberry and strawberry. Very, very light too, although you can’t tell because this was the last of the keg, so it looks like a smoothie. I could drink this all day.
We absolutely love sours, and particularly the style of berliner weisse that is becoming a defining characteristic of central and south Florida. With a slightly sour/tart base, and tons of the kind of exotic fruit that you find in the more tropical parts of Florida, you can crush this stuff all day and still come back for more. This is an event that we’ve been looking forward to for a while, and it delivered. Florida-weisses were on offer from Peg’s, Angry Chair, 7venth Sun, Rapp, Jacksonville’s Intuition, and more. And of course, Miami’s Wakefield Brewing, the star of the show.
Full disclosure — JW is a friend of ours, but I don’t think anyone would disagree that his beers were the rockstar at this festival. His tent had a continuous line at least a hundred people long until he was completely out of beer two hours later. The first three were fantastic: Moral Imperative, a watermelon berliner, Emmit Fitz-Hume, which sat in cabernet barrels, and Rabenga Fruta, which had starfruit among other fruits. But the king of the lineup was undoubtedly the mighty Passionfruit Dragonfruit berliner. Screaming pink and with a tart aroma that you could smell 10 feet away, it’s the same brew that has been talked about since the 2012 Hunahpu Day, and for good reason.
Other standouts included Angry Chair’s Guava Passion, which I personally went back for four times. Awesomely tart and light. Doug, the Peg’s/Cycle brewer, was tucked away in a corner, but had some fantastic stuff: BA Pink Streets (another disclosure, the base beer was the beer that Mrs. Beerasshole and I served at our wedding reception) was great, as was the Strawberry, and a couple others. And to round things out, the local homebrew club Special Hoperations had a light berliner that was also really memorable, and were great to hang out with.
We spent a lot of our time up on the deck with a large-ish tasting, and took down a ton of great beers that normally I’d have to trade some huge bottles for. Also we met some wonderful and generous folks from around the state and country. I’m really thrilled to have tried Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock, even if it was just a 1/4 oz sip, a good amount of Hill Farmstead saisons, and a bunch of Cantillon and 3F stuff. And we ended up hanging out with both @TomokaBrewery and @beerforthedaddy among other wonderful people. Tomoka has some brews that they’ve been working on, which I’ll talk about in another post.
The bottle share was out of control, and was at times 30+ people thick. Some great conversation and people. Can’t wait for next year!
Another “Florida-Weisse”, this’ll likely be on tap at the upcoming Berliner Bash in Gulfport on 4/20. Ten SoFla brewers bringing their best entries in the style to sample in the heat (and yes, it’s already getting fucking stifling hot down here — I miss CA this time of year). Light and a bit tart, with raspberry and/or lemon homemade syrup to flavor it (I chose both, and that turned out to be a winner). Unexpectedly awesome. It looked like shit, with tons of floaties, but tasted great.