Reviewed: The Bruery Terreux Spritz This!
Official description: Spritz This! is a spritzy sparkling blonde ale aged in wine barrels with Pinot Noir grapes and Alicante Bouschet grapes. Crisp, effervescent, and easily enjoyable. We hope you like it!
The Bruery Terreux – The Bruery Terreux Spritz This! – 12oz can served in Rastal Harmony glass – 5.6% ABV
The Bruery (Placentia, CA) is famous for its large format, specialty beer offerings. Recently, The Bruery has expanded with a couple of spinoff projects. One is Offshoot Beer Co., which markets more everyday beers like pilsners and IPAs. The other is Bruery Terreux, which specializes in farmhouse-style wild and sour ales. Some original Bruery classics like Oude Tart and Sour in the Rye were ported over to the Terreux brand in keeping with the theme. I’ve been fortunate enough to try around 30 different Terreux offerings and Spritz This! has become my favorite.
Spritz This! is another step in the evolution of wine/beer hybrids, which one could argue began with Belgian druivenlambiks such as Cantillon Vigneronne, made with Muscat grapes as far back as 1987. But these lambics are difficult to procure, expensive, and are best suited for dinner occasions or tastings. Russian River Intinction, which I reviewed last year, suffers from the same issues. Other beers made with wine grapes by the likes of Dogfish Head and Allagash are sweet, higher ABV beers that miss the mark on merging the acidity and tannins of wine with the carbonation and creamy grain flavors of beer.
It wasn’t until Firestone Walker released Rosalie Beer Rosé in 2019 that I had a chance to try a wine/beer hybrid that was none of those things. Rosalie was readily available, cheap, and with the can format could go with you camping, tailgating, or picnicking with ease. But most of all, it nailed this tricky flavor profile.
I’m reviewing Spritz This! from a 4-pack of skinny 12oz cans that can be picked up for $11 (though currently sold out on the brewery’s website.) On the back label is “Never Kettle Soured,” which surprised me since I assumed going into this review that Spritz This! was likely a Berliner Weisse or Gose style base beer with wine grapes added. Into my glass, Spritz This! is far darker in color than I imagined. Instead of a light pinkish rosé color, Spritz This! is deep purple with barely any light penetration. Soda-like, pink-purple foam fizzes up to the top of the glass and then dissipates rapidly to nothing within a few seconds.
Bringing up the glass, there’s an initial vinegar/acetic acid note that pivots quickly to red grape skins, blueberry, and açaí berries. Flavor-wise, Spritz This! matches the nose with blackberry, blackcurrant, and more açaí flavors with mid-range acidity (only slightly salty and barely acetic) with fruit skin and barrel tannins for balance. Overall sweetness is low and carbonation is high, which combine for a refreshing drink. Creamy, lactic acid is missing since this is not kettle-soured. Therefore, there’s very little in the flavor profile to muck up the jammy Pinot Noir and Alicante Bouschet flavors, the latter being a cross of Grenache that brings that inky pigmentation to the beer. The end result is spectacular: extremely wine-forward with restrained acidity and firm tannic bitterness for balance.
Perceived Specs for The Bruery Terreux Spritz This!
Spritz This! is a milestone in the evolution of wine/beer hybrids. It’s approachable in flavor profile, affordable, and portable thanks to the 12oz can format. It makes no compromises either, opting for barrel souring over kettle souring and utilizing some fantastic grape varieties. You could call it poor man’s Saint Lamvinus, but it’s deeper in color, lighter in alcohol, with toned-down acidity. In that way, it’s a giant leap forward in craft beer to get a previously exclusive flavor profile into more hands.
VERDICT: 98 pts (SUPERLATIVE)
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