Reviewed: Other Half Mmm… Fruit with Boysenberries
Product Description: Berliner Weisse Style Ale Brewed with Boysenberry. 4.2% ABV
Other Half Brewing Co. – Other Half Mmm… Fruit Berliner Weisse Style Ale Boysenberry – 16oz can served in lambic tumbler – 4.2% ABV
My Top 3 Descriptors: Berry Skin, Pie Crust, Restrained
Other Half (Brooklyn, NY) is known for their hazy IPAs, but I’ve been more impressed lately with their renditions of other styles such as dessert stouts and now sours. Sampled from a 16oz can that I picked up at Other Half recently, this version of Mmm… Fruit (a series) incorporates boysenberry, a hybrid berry that includes raspberry and blackberry in its parentage among others.
Into the lambic tumbler, this Berliner is clear purple coming out of the can but looks inky maroon once in the glass. Hot pink foam rises up temporarily like soda, then settles down to nothing in under a minute. Just a side note: this can has a lot of sediment at the bottom. A second pour of this beer came out as opaque, purple mud. Now, I’m not too familiar with boysenberry, so the aroma to me is something in between cranberry and blackberry. There’s ample buttery pie crust in the aroma too, possibly from a mix of lactic acid and touch of diacetyl. It ends up working well, though, as the end result is baked blackberry pie.
After a couple of sips, I’m pleasantly surprised by how little acidity there is. Some of these fruited Berliners can hit extreme sour levels. This version of Mmm… Fruit is sitting at around a 4/10 with a mix of milky lactic acid and juicy citric acid from the berries. It’s more of a personal preference thing, but I really enjoy Berliners that are thick and creamy with heavy reliance on the wheat beer base. This is light-bodied even by Berliner Weisse standards with a seltzer-like mouthfeel. The upside is that berry juices are the primary flavor with tannic skins providing the balance in lieu of wheat creaminess. Carbonation remains high throughout the experience, so this ends up being both tangy and refreshing without any element out of balance. Just a touch of oiliness adds a coating mouthfeel that I expect from Berliners, but it’s still mild compared to others.
Overall, this was restrained acidity-wise and really delivered with incredible berry juice and skin presence. Mmm… Fruit Boysenberry is fun to try and bound to be enjoyable for those both hardcore into fruited sour ales and those who gravitate more towards red wine and may not typically go for beer at all.
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