Here’s a non-local oddball, a beer from Idaho. This is an anniversary beer from Grand Teton, and according to Beer Advocate, it was a one-shot deal and is no longer brewed. Classified per that site as an American Dark Wheat Ale, this is, in essence, a relatively strong fruit beer at 7.6% ABV, brewed with marionberries, huckleberries and blueberries. I’m a bit of a berry fanatic, so this bottle caught my eye, even though I don’t remember where I purchased it.
I don’t see a lot of foam, but there’s a soft-looking carbonation I sometimes see in bigger beers. Color is a sort of reddish-orange. The berries jump out of the glass – I’m not going to lie and claim I can separate the huckleberry aroma from the marionberry from the blueberry; it’s just a jammy berry aroma. The closest comparison I can draw is that it brings to mind the berry jam nose one might find in a Merlot.
This is not the typical fruit beer, which is probably why I like it. It has a huge wheat backbone and proffers some alcohol warmth – I might be inclined to call this a wheatwine. The berries float along the surface, contributing very minor sweetness – in fact I think the sweetness I’m getting is more a function of the wheat than the fruit. The fruit character is that of tart berries with most of the fructose fermented out.
I could see this going along with a Thanksgiving dinner….I don’t know, I’m just thinking there might be some synergy with the berries here and a spicy-tart cranberry sauce. I think. I’ll never find out, and neither will you. Oh well.