Big Rock Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager

Reviewed by on August 20, 2014 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Rock Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: August 19, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Fruit Beer

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Part of Big Rock Brewery’s summer 2014 Swinger Pack, their Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager is made with juniper berries, of course, and amongst other things, “citrusy pine and cascade hops” Wait, what – is there a grammar fail here, or is there actually something called ‘pine hops’?

This 355ml can pours a clear, medium golden amber hue, with three fingers of frothy, bubbly, and loosely foamy ecru head, which leaves little beyond a few wayward specks of remote islet lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of musty, kind of indistinct semi-sweet berry fruit (so, gin, then, yes), white pepper, somewhat biscuity pale grainy malt, and quite muted pine resin and warm citrus esters. The taste is more gin-like acerbic leafy pine and dried berry fruitiness, bready and crackery pale malt, a touch of dry caramel, and more peppery, than anything really citrusy in the hop department.  The carbonation is moderate, manifesting in an edgy frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, that peppery character continuing to do more to mess with things now than any hoppiness. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt doing well to linger, along with a waning tonic-friendly fruitiness, one quite bereft of the alcohol punch normally associated with it.

Another interesting enough boardroom idea, I imagine, that kind of falls flat in production. Again, nothing wrong with this offering, per se, but I believe that they have over-promised and under-delivered once more. Crisp lager? Not really. Slightly fruity, and peppery amber lager? Sure.

Brady White



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