Reviewed: Sixpoint Berry Jammer
Official description: [Jammer Gose-Style Ale made with] Strawberry, Raspberry, & Cranberry. The Mad Scientists tested dozens of juices and calibrated untold amounts of berry blends to get this one right. But you don’t need to get bogged down in all that … just drink up until the ripe, red juice dribbles down your chin. It tastes like a mouth full of tangy berries—a JAMMER punch!
Sixpoint Brewery – Sixpoint Berry Jammer – 12oz can served in stemless snifter – 4% ABV
This year, Sixpoint turned their Jammer Gose (a kettle sour wheat ale with salt) into a year-round offering. They also teamed up with outdoor retailer REI to release a Jammer Session Pack, a 15-pack of cans that includes five versions of the gose. I was fortunate enough to try four versions recently and decided to do a full write-up on the mixed berry version, though all of them were phenomenal. The Ruby Jammer was a close second favorite with incredible levels of pulpy grapefruit juice.
I’m sampling Berry Jammer from a skinny 12oz can with a packaging date of 4/4/19 and best by date of 4/3/20, both easily found on the bottom. Into my glass, Berry Jammer is an intense deeper pink color with light pink foam. Head retention is stronger than I expected, petering out in around a minute. The aroma starts out with almost artificial smelling Kool-aid pivoting over to melted raspberry popsicle. As it warms, the aroma gains a fattier, richer quality as yogurty lacto notes grow.
After a few sips, Berry Jammer just hits it out of the park. Overall acidity is nicely tempered at a 5/10 level but the acidity is also incredibly clean with soft lactic acid and nothing prickly or funky around the edges. Salinity is prominent and adds buoyancy to the mouthfeel. The berry juices, far from tasting like melted popsicle or fruit punch, come across in a vinous manner providing a pop of sweetness and firm, leathery tannins. Lasting tannic bitterness really pushes this fruit sour to the next level. If you look at the graph below, you’ll see numbers-wise that Berry Jammer is one of the most balanced beers I’ve tried recently with a little bit of everything.
Perceived Specs for Sixpoint Berry Jammer
Berry Jammer combines high carbonation, berry skin tannins, zingy acidity, and just enough salt and sugar for a hands-down masterpiece. But perhaps even more impressive is that each beer in this new mixed pack is nothing short of phenomenal. With the regular Jammer, it’s clear that Sixpoint knows how to brew a real German-style gose with mild acidity vs. over-the-top sour bombs from other American craft brewers. With such a good base recipe, it’s no surprise the fruited versions are so successful. I thought the Ruby Jammer and Berry Jammer were the most unique with an edge to the Ruby Jammer for sheer novelty’s sake (like drinking pure grapefruit juice), but the Berry Jammer I thought was the best all-around version and is bound to be a crowd pleaser.
Look for lower acid, fruited Berliner Weisse and Gose. Wild Barrel’s Vice series comes to mind, though distribution is extremely limited. Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez Lime & Agave matches up well with the Citrus Jammer (the lemon & lime version) while Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale is a good substitute for the regular Jammer. However, Dogfish Head’s SuperEIGHT Gose, a beer whose recipe matches up incredibly well with Berry Jammer, is not similar at all in flavor. Berry Jammer is much closer to what Dogfish Head should have released.
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