Bell’s Sparkleberry

Tonight’s beer is one from Bell’s specifically made for Pride Month. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 9%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sparkleberry is an American interpretation of a Belgian Tripel brewed with raspberries. Slightly tart, dry and spicy, it was originally brewed for release at Kalamazoo Pride in 2013, the same year it won a Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. It has returned every year since drawing incredible praise at other Pride events, beer festivals and at our Pub. Sparkleberry is a celebration of diversity and will debut in cans for wider distribution in June, 2018. Sparkle on.”

Random: I’ve started reading a lot and rejoined Goodbooks. So expect a lot of updates about what I’m currently reading.

The beer poured with a one finger, off white head. It dissipated at a rather fast pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, pink color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of raspberry juice. There was some white sugar as well. Not much else. The taste was all raspberry. It had raspberry juice upfront and then some raspberry sorbet with a nice white sugar sweetness. There was also a white vinegar tartness as well. I picked up some yeast along with a touch of booze. The body was on the medium side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with raspberry. I enjoyed this beer, but without the raspberry, this beer would fall flat. I wouldn’t rush back to this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Hoop Tea Aire Orange Hibiscus Tea With Coconut Water & Wildflower Honey

This was the last of the Hoop Teas that Val bought. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hoop Tea is more than just a handmade alcoholic beverage. It is summer in a jar. Sunlight, held together by water and tea leaves.​ Brewed by the sun and steeped in the salty air, Hoop Tea is crafted on the beach of Ocean City Maryland. Each ingredient is hand picked and blended using our original recipes. We take great pride in creating the world’s finest maltisinals right here on the beautiful shoreline of America. We use natural ingredients, purified water, organic cane sugar, and a thousands of years old process of fermenting natural sugars from steeped grains to create alcohol. Our flavors are as free spirited and fun loving as our hometown. We choose the highest quality tea leaves, herbs, fruits, and flowers. We never add artificial colors or imitation flavorings. Real ingredients create unreal flavor. We promise to deliver you a beverage that will quench your thirst and feed your soul. Thank you for joining us in pursuing our passion. It’s what we were put on this earth to do.”

Random: I don’t think I’ve had an iced tea alcoholic beverage I’ve enjoyed.

This poured with absolutely no head on top of a murky brown body. There was no visible carbonation. The nose was a floral, sweet tea with some coconut. The taste was abrasive to me. I picked up an artificially sweet tea with some coconut. The floral note was pleasant, but completely overwhelmed by artificial sweetness. The body was watery at best. The finish was thankfully quick with the artificial sweetener. I could only get through a few sips of this. This just wasn’t for me.

Untappd Rating: .5/5.0

The Bruery Out Of The Lunchbox

The Bruery store in DC was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. But, it had a huge selection of beers that I had never seen before and some cool looking merch. It’s also right by Union Market, which is a huge market with different food and beverage vendors. The best thing I had there were these steamed buns, which I would definitely go back for.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What’s better than splitting a PB&J sandwich with your favorite buddy over lunch? How about sharing this PB&J-inspired beer instead? This lunchtime ale was brewed with lactose; with peanut flour, boysenberries and salt added.”

Random: As a child, I loved peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. I was very averse to grape jelly.

The beer poured with a thick, slight pink tinged head that was two fingers high. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a murky reddish-brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose started with peanut butter and transitioned into red grapes, berries and some toasted malt. The taste started with peanut butter and then went into berries and grape jelly with a slight coffee note as well. There was a white bread note present too. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with peanut butter and grape jelly. This was an interesting beer for sure, but it delivered what it promised. I enjoyed it, but this wouldn’t be a beer that I would want to have constantly.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Hoop Tea White Mango

Val picked this out during one of our random beer stops. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hoop Tea is more than just a handmade alcoholic beverage. It is summer in a jar. Sunlight, held together by water and tea leaves.​ Brewed by the sun and steeped in the salty air, Hoop Tea is crafted on the beach of Ocean City Maryland. Each ingredient is hand picked and blended using our original recipes. We take great pride in creating the world’s finest maltisinals right here on the beautiful shoreline of America. We use natural ingredients, purified water, organic cane sugar, and a thousands of years old process of fermenting natural sugars from steeped grains to create alcohol. Our flavors are as free spirited and fun loving as our hometown. We choose the highest quality tea leaves, herbs, fruits, and flowers. We never add artificial colors or imitation flavorings. Real ingredients create unreal flavor. We promise to deliver you a beverage that will quench your thirst and feed your soul. Thank you for joining us in pursuing our passion. It’s what we were put on this earth to do.”

Random: I’ve never been to Ocean City, Maryland.

Hoop tea poured with no head on top of a slightly cloudy, reddish-brown body. There was no carbonation that I could see. The nose on this was interesting. It started with sweetened iced tea, but quickly went into an artificial mango note that overtook everything else. I took a sip and it was very, very sweet and filled with an artificial sweetener note and mango candy. I took another few sips and I couldn’t find anything else. The body was light with no carbonation. The finish was sticky and unfortunately lengthy. I could only get through a few sips before this became a drain pour. This was not a drink for me and Val didn’t seem to like it any better. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Dogfish Head Fruit-Full Fort

Val and I are on vacation in Cape Cod and we finally had a decent dinner. We tend to have really bad luck at restaurants, but tonight’s dinner at The Mews was amazing. Val got the cod, which was in a lemon butter sauce and I got butter poached lobster. You really can’t go wrong with lobster.

ABV: 18%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A twist on our beloved Fort, Fruit-Full Fort is brewed with four types of berries – Raspberry, Blackberry, Boysenberry and Elderberry! This juicy blend of dark berries creates depth and complexity reminiscent of a jammy red wine. Along with adding a boatload of more berries this time around, we also punched up the malt bill with Munich malt to provide a firm backbone. The result provides balance to the tart flavors of a very berry blend. Dark maroon in color, Fruit-Full Fort is swirling with notes of velvety cherry and berry sweetness for a full-bodied – and full-flavor – experience!”

Random: The beer selection up here is quite nice.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation and some cloudiness as well. The nose had a lot of booze upfront with some brandy and blueberries. Blackberries and jam came through as well. The taste was equally boozy. There was a lot of fruit. I picked up a lot of blueberries and blackberries with raspberry jam. There was some vanilla and brandy as well. The body was thick and syrupy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish. I thought this beer was good, but the booze was a little too apparent. I would let this one sit down for a few years.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Jack’s Abby Blood Orange Wheat

Every year, my family does a big barbecue at my parents’ house. I’m usually in charge of beer and cooking. It’s challenging to pick beer because I want to avoid the macros, but still give people what they want. This year, I went with Founders Solid Gold Lager as an alternative to macros. Hopefully, people like it. Anyways, let’s get into this beer from Jack’s Abby.

ABV: 4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blood Orange Wheat debuted in our Beer Hall and it quickly became a fan favorite. This German-style radler is fruit forward, juicy and bloody refreshing. Lean back and enjoy!”

Random: This beer comes in at 15 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was very cloudy and a reddish-yellow color. There was a lot of carbonation visible, despite the cloudiness. The nose was filled with wheat and a lot of blood orange juice. The taste was more pungent than the nose. It had the same wheat, but quickly went into tart citrus. I picked up lemon juice and lemon rind along with lots of blood orange juice and blood orange flesh. The body was very light with lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with blood orange. Since this beer was a gift, I have no clue how much it was. Either way, I thought that this was a great Summer drinker and had lots of blood orange, as advertised.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Aloha Traveler Pineapple Shandy

This was another beer that I poured for Val, but she let me review it.

ABV: 4.4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This American craft wheat ale made with real pineapple for a refreshingly vibrant drinking experience. Aloha Traveler welcomes you to taste the tropics. Whether you’re coming or going, the succulent sweetness of pineapple is always a welcome treat. Introducing Aloha Traveler Pineapple Shandy, brewed bright, light and delicious with pineapple and citrus. No road map required to slice and dice this one, we took care of the leg work. All you have to do is take a sip.”

Random: Traveler Beer Company is another division of Sam Adams. Their sales have been declining and I can’t imagine that this arm of the business is a huge help.

The beer poured with a shockingly thick, two finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a murky yellow color with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with artificial pineapple flavoring along with some wheat and bubble gum. There was a small amount of white bread as well. The taste started with the same artificial pineapple note. It quickly went into notes of toasted grain, wheat and bubble gum. It had some grass clippings at the end. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with pineapple. A can was $1.50, which came to $.12 per ounce. Despite the very affordable price, I did not like this at all. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0