Townsite Blackberry Festivale

Reviewed by on December 1, 2014 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Townsite Brewing

  • Origin: Powell River, BC, CA

  • Rated On: November 30, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Fruit Beer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Townsite Brewing is situated in Powell River, British Columbia, which is well up the Sunshine Coast from Vancouver.  The town is apparently overrun with blackberries, and they even have a festival in late summer to celebrate them.  Now, they’ve released a ‘FestiveAle’ to go along with this holiday season, or at least that’s when they released it to us.

This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, bright medium pink salmon colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, bulbous, and mostly just plain fizzy purple-tinged white head, which leaves some chunky and streaky sudsy lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of gritty wheat grain and bready pale malt, earthy yeast, muddled blackberries – more tart than sweet – and weedy, leafy, and mildly grassy hops. The taste is semi-sweet blackberries, frozen blueberries, a touch of green raspberry, and some aged lemon tartness to round out the fruity side of things. This is all atop a solid grainy and softly crackery pale malt, a waning spicy wheatiness, still hovering, but seemingly useless yeast, and a meek, but supportive leafy, grassy hoppiness. The bubbles are quite frothy, but generally innocuous from the get-go, the body medium-light in weight, and just a bit too tight and stringent to be deemed particularly smooth. It finishes off-dry, sort of, as the grainy malt goes to ground, leaving us in the hands of the surprisingly engaging titular fruit.

A heck of a better fruit beer than I was expecting, no offense to the brewer, that’s a universal expectation of mine. What I mean to say, is that usually the given fruit guest ingredient gets short shrift, but not here – it’s blackberries and a few of their ephemeral friends hosting the party, and letting everyone else share the stage. Good stuff, not overly complicated, but easy to drink and enjoyable all the same with two feet of snow on the ground.

 

Brady White

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