* Note this post is not by MattOhioBeer It is the first submission by the newest member of our team Sam or SJLOhioBeer if you’re nasty.
Beer Name: Bumble Berry Honey Blueberry Ale
Brewery: Fat Head’s
Beer Style: Fruit Beer
Size: 12 oz. Bottle
Beer Advocate: 84
RateBeer: 68 (overall) 92 (in fruit/vegetable beers)
A few weeks ago I was enjoying an evening out with BubOhioBeer at The Daily Growler in Columbus when I discovered this tasty, little delight. Actually, this beer is kind of the entire (well maybe just the initial) reason I became an active member of this blog… but that’s another story for another time. The Daily Growler’s twitter feed (@MyDailyGrowler) indicated that they had this beer on one of their 60 taps. I read a little about it and decided “hey, that might be worth trying” …so I did. After a couple different servings of this beer (not all that one night with Bub, but over the course of the few weeks since) and many different mixed feelings about it, including initial delight followed by disgust about half way through the first pint, I’ve really grown to enjoy this beer.
I poured this fruit ale into a British (hence the HARP print) pint glass. The appearance is a light, hazed gold (almost like honey) with very little eggshell colored head that dissipates very quickly and you’re left with a thin cap without any lacing on the glass. After pouring, I thought “this really has a lot of carbonation, much more than I remember it having” but that too quickly dissipated and was left with the moderately carbonated (at best) fruit ale I had come to admire.
The smell of blueberries and simple sugar syrup seems to just erupt out of the glass. Behind the blueberry and syrup smell you get subtle hints of graham cracker or a really rich, sugary bread with a little bit of citrus. It truly smells like blueberry pancake or muffin mix. The taste is almost identical to the smell with the addition of pale and sweet malts… but even those are very subtle. The blueberry flavor is the first thing that hits you, and combined with the syrupy, sugary sweetness of the honey in the beer, may be overwhelming and a bit of a turnoff for some folks. This fades quickly and you’re left with that blueberry pancake flavor I’ve been ranting about for a paragraph.
Overall, I think this beer is better than Beer Advocate and RateBeer give it credit for… BUT the 92 it gets in fruit/vegetable beers by RateBeer is well deserved. It packs a lot of flavor into one beverage but those flavors don’t work against one another and the beer isn’t overly complex. It’s a good break from heavier beers (I do love me a double IPA) and a fantastic beer for people who really can’t get into darker or heavier beers. If Willy Wonka were to ditch the candy factory and start up a brewery, I imagine this would be one of the first things he concocted… bottled, blueberry pancakes.
Sessionability: 5-pack. Had I written this review in late June at the beach or poolside, I’d have given it a 6-pack. Very intriguing and sweet taste accompanied by low ABV make this a very refreshing, warm weather beer that I think you’d sweat out before it made you intoxicated.
Overall: 3-pack. I hinted that I’m a fan of heavier beers and that’s really the only thing holding this back. This beer accomplishes exactly what Fat Head’s had in mind and will probably become the new favorite of those who try it and are on board the Leinenkugel Summer Shandy express.
Best Consumed: Warm weather at the beach or at a poolside BBQ. Grilled chicken salad and some lightly seasoned fries would complement this nicely. With a dessert, this would be fantastic with oatmeal cookies… or this could even be your dessert.