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PEACH PIT SHOOTOUT: Bruery vs. August Schell Peach Berliner Cagematch, Hottenroth vs. Starkeller FIGHT TO THE DEATH

The dog days of summer are upon us. Between oppressive temperatures and people steaming mad over DDB writing for other sites, neckbeard taints are getting braised like osso bucco this August. Let’s bring things down to a more temperate climate and review some fruited Berliners. Relax, have a capri sun, talk shit anonymously on old DDB and savor some sweet fruit juices. Let’s avoid inclement nutsack heat and embrace ice cold refreshing peach scrotums for a change.

KelleRoth Cuvee, MANDATORY

KelleRoth Cuvee, MANDATORY

Today we have a new upstart from Minnesota that I have high hopes for, and a Dickensian underdog from Placentia that I expect to be a sulfuric mess. Let’s squeeze them peaches until the juice runs down your leg.

August Schell Starkeller Peach

7.2% abv, fruited “berliner”

“Starkbier Berliner Weisse aged on Peaches. This strong Berliner Weisse was brewed with an extensive decoction mash schedule and fermented with an authentic mixed culture then aged it for nearly a year in our original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks before 5,500 pounds of peaches were added for a four month, tertiary fermentation.

The Bruery Hottenroth with Peaches

3.7 % abv

mmmm such turbid clarity

mmmm such turbid clarity

The look of the Starkeller is a complete trub cake mess. It is almost like they tossed the top 85% and racked only the bottom yeast slurry, replete with peach tannins. When people first were ISO this beer I was like “here we go another Pizza Boy trainwreck” and held my breath for that Jamba Juice fruit fingering.

The Peach Hotty surprisingly has its shit completely together this time around and is nothing like the Mango hoarders only treat from last year. After the mango mess and the warning emails I prepared for the worst and then Bruery trolled the fuck out of me by making a beautiful beer with ample carb. OC breweries always pulling DDBs pants down and slapping them peaches. WHEN WILL I LEARN.

The nose on the starkeller is overwhelming peach purée, waves upon waves of not only peach blossom but the pithy fruit almost going to this autolyzed over-fruited/over-saturated level. It feels like the platonic form of Peach, upper case “P.” Emerging from the dogmatic berliner cave attempting to apprehend this stone fruit blast is too much truth to apprehend.

inb4 "nice groutwork u poor fuk"

inb4 “nice groutwork u poor fuk”

The hottenroth is nimble and presents a fantastic degree of peach but never overshadows the base beer, which is both awesome and atypical of Bruery to exhibit balance and poise in fruited wild ales. There is the lemon and brackish salinity of the base Hotty and then a Haribo peach ring and Orange jolly rancher blast acting in tandem and not screaming over one another like some Ann Coulter peach debate.

The mouthfeel of the Starkeller is creamy and frothy with a heft that coats layers upon layers of sticky sherwin williams peachy discharge. It is magnificent and almost too much at the same time, taking down a whole bottle of this is like binge watching Kurosawa films where the pure unbridled focus becomes draining in longer sessions. I wonder if the massive grist and pith of the fruit will metabolize down over time, but when enjoyed fresh it almost feels like Peach Bu with a 12 hour boil. It is berliner concentrate. It is a Denny’s soup at 3 am, fruit soup DISTILLED to a powerful new form.

The Hottenroth is less impressive in the mouthfeel and feels watery and insubstantial by contrast. Then again, it has HALF THE FUCKING ALCOHOL CONTENT.  Some might argue “hey, how about a 7.2% abv beer isn’t a berliner at all? How about that shit?”  Then Southampton would step in with their UBERLINER and the discussion would go off the rails.

#basicberliners

#basicberliners

Both seem to be coextensive poles of peach extremities. If you mixed the two you would have the flawless Fruit Megazord but both leave something wanting by themselves. The peach in the taste profile is present but the Hottenroth seems to embrace a berliner first while wearing a Peach carnation in its lapel so you can recognize it on the railway platform.
So what is the verdict between these two stoners? I think overall peach hottenroth is unquestionably the better beer overall and exhibits better balance and crushability. The starkeller is more “memorable” and extreme so if you have those palate widening inclinations, It will take you into its peach room of pain. They both trade at completely reasonable sub de Garde levels and are well worth your time, and knowing CA traders, they will probably fuqqqn extra away this delicious society only beer and MN traders give an equally low amount of fucks. Deals abound.

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@councilbrewing Beatitude Set ROUND ONE: Mango, Pineapple, Blueberry, no boils, no stems no seeds no sticks

God damnit I am sick of getting messages about this shit already.  Instead of doing a full on cagematch with these, I figured an FAQ format would be better to address these bottles since people have SO. MANY. FUCKING. questions.  Let’s just get into the meat and start braising this osso bucco.

Only three of these are out right now, the other three to follow shortly. Fire up your Dominos pizza app and get in the chill zone

Only three of these are out right now, the other three to follow shortly. Fire up your Dominos pizza app and get in the chill zone

Council Brewing

Fruited American Biere Du Pays with Monocultures Added, 3.8% abv

Mango, Pineapple, Blueberry

I am lazy as fuck, which one is the best so I can supplement my self esteem with a completionist verve, but then not have to try them all?

That’s a strange question, but I will allow it.  I thought mango was the best, followed by pineapple and blueberry following last as the most predictable in execution.  The mango and pineapple have this effervescent quality that crackles with vibrant acidity and hard mineral character like baller ass perrier variants.  The acidity isnt purely lactic nor is it needlessly excoriating.  These are endlessly crushable, to a fault really.  I wanted to take fatter pulls to embrace the paper thin body and bone dry resonance.  It finishes crisp like biting into an Anjou pear and doesn’t linger.  You could destroy the whole set on a weeknight and not need a GI referral in the morning, if we are being completely honest.  The blueberry while having the same appeal of the two, missed the mark in terms of original execution and was more of a table beer version of JK Colour Five, still good but like sex after 9 years of marriage, utterly predictable the positions it puts you in.

What were the releases figures on this first set so I can lowball as hard as possible?

There were 270ish bottles of each variant sold on a silent release during a weekday that sold out in 3 hours.  Two per person were allowed after the 3 per person was getting drilled on like an offshore BP platform.  $14 each. If you want to look like a profiteering asshole, offer up like a single Vanilla Rye for the whole set, I dont give a shit.

Third place, but still a tasty treat.

Third place, but still a tasty treat.

Why Am I So Poor?  Why Do I feel like $14 is Expensive for a 750ml bottle?

You may have been afflicted with DeGardiditis wherein you now feel like any 750ml that costs more than $6 is a complete rip off.  Or you may think you have some homebrewing experience and you immediately point your greasy roll of nickels finger at the 3.8% abv and start mumering “erhm production cosshttts” or something.  This isn’t a second runnings beer, it’s not just a dupont strain and some capri suns squeezed into the brite tank.  I don’t know why you are so miserly, if 14$ is too much for you, maybe take up cloud/bird watching or one of the innumerably cheaper hobbies.

The Carb Looks a Little Low In These Pictures, I Like to Assume Shit-

Those pours were from draft and sat for a few minutes while we talked, you know, that thing you used to do before logging in badges on Untappd like an obsessive self documenting alcoholic.  Those days.  People have told me the carb on the bottles is legit.

This was my favorite, but most people like pineapple more. WHAT DOES OLD DDB KNOW N E WAYZ

This was my favorite, but most people like pineapple more. WHAT DOES OLD DDB KNOW N E WAYZ

What Does the label say, I am bad at Googling, pls.

Beatitude is the French word for bliss which is what we float away on whenever we enjoy this specially brewed beer. Although this Tart Saison is brewed in the historical Wallonian tradition of other low gravity, tart farmhouse ales, the magic happens when our house blend of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Saison yeast throw an out-of-this-world party in our fermenters. Aged  on various fruits and bottled with precision and care – this yields a beer with a lacto forward nose, an intensely tart fruit flavor, a doughy complexity from our no-boil process, and takes the word “refreshing” to a whole new level.”  There you go.

When Do The Next Three Deviants Come Out So I Can Do Some Demonstrative Shit Like Opening All Six in My Backyard to Impress My Yu Gi Oh Friends?
Probably in like four weeks, I have no idea.  I have sand dollar nipples and a wordpress site, the fuck do I know.

Hey I read everything you wrote but I am still going to message you and ask for your REAL OPINION is that ok would that be good for you DDB?

I fucking hate this so much.

A pour of that size is not long for this world.

A pour of that size is not long for this world.

My Friend is a certified beer server and he said because of the ABV these are actually berliners

That wasn’t a question but please, just shut the fuck up.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  Let’s get this out of the way: these do not taste like saisons.  Sure they have a low abv and are fruited but these are not berliners either.  Look at the yeast strains, how in the fuck could you consider these berliners? Due to the no boil (they bring the temp up to 180 degrees, they dont just shake it in a sack with some DME) this has some residual grist to the swallow but again, its hard to pick out because these are POST MENOPAUSAL OSTEOPEROSIS BONE DRY. My best characterization would be “American Fruited Biere Du Pays with monocultures added” which I can only assume will be a GABF category next year.

I usually just read to the bottom of the things you say and look at the pictures, so should i get these seriously tho?

If you can only get one, most people like Pineapple the most, and yes you really should try it.  There is not a clear analogue in my mind for someone doing things in quite this way and its not fair to really compare them to De Garde beers across the board either.  These are really fucking tasty and OH NO YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO SHARE THEM TWELVE WAYS. Holy fuck imagine drinking a whole 3.8% 750ml to yourself, wow 2015 is a bold new year.

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@Sudwerkbrew Strawberry Solara Berliner, Healthy Spirits SF Beer Week Exclusive, BAKING SODA I GOT BAKING SODA

So today we have a RARE GEM from the Brewer’s Cut series from Sudwerk, these scamps in Davis.  So this is a STRAWBERRY berliner, but then when I went to their website, it notes “Davis microbrewers of hand-crafted lager beer adhering to the Reinheitsgebot German Purity Law” so I WUTTTTed pretty hard.  When I initially asked people about this, they said it was a myeh brewpub, but then other people staunchly defended the brewery itself and said that the barrel aged/brewery only offerings are amazing compared to the quotidian offerings sold at the yawn-worthy pub.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  So let’s see what these Davis boys be putting they tips into in today’s review:

Glassware fail, SORRY MY DAVIS GLASS GAME ISN'T ON POINT.  Funky Buddha used to make berliners jeez.

Glassware fail, SORRY MY DAVIS GLASS GAME ISN’T ON POINT. Funky Buddha used to make berliners jeez.

Berliner, 6.5%

Sudwerks, Davis, Strawberries added, in comport with purity laws.

The brewer presses his hips against yours and whispers this into your ear, lovingly tugging on your Beats by Dre ear buds:
“Strawberry Solera is a blend of Solera Weiss fermented with Sudwerk microflora and a Brett-Saison aged on 1lb/gal Sacramento Valley strawberries in Bordeaux barrels.  The nose is lactic, lemon, and berries with moderate Brett character.  Clean palate with bright berry and tropical highlights with a dry finish.”

A:  This is a turbid lil messy Jesse and has a creamy look of some Vermont trubtastic offerings, but at least this makes sense given the unfiltered hefty wheat bill.  There’s an orange julius and whipped smoothie carb to it and it looks gentle albeit far too substantial for a BY THE NUMBERS berliner.  But Southampton brews shit like UBERLINER and gets away with it so, whatever, just think of this as a Wittbier with fruit, you don’t give a shit.

Whenever I see strawberry on the label, I flashback to horrid beers from the past.  Trying to live life in the present like Foodbabe tells me to.

Whenever I see strawberry on the label, I flashback to horrid beers from the past. Trying to live life in the present like Foodbabe tells me to.

S:  At cold temperatures you get this lightly plastic aspect that can occur when using strawberry as an addition.  It isn’t like a sick/ropey/phenolic, none of that business, its more like when you unroll a fruit by the foot and there’s a faint synthetic aspect.  After it passes 55 degrees this burns off and it is imperceptible.  The fruit character is very pronounced and the berry exhibits that same tannic farmer’s market aspect attendant to Cask 200 Strawberry or Omniscience and Proselytism.  As long as you don’t drink this exceptionally cold, you are cash money records.

Your hombrew club is gonna flip out when you tell them how RAER this beer is.  Also, it tastes good, but THAT SHIT IS IRRELEVANT TO YOUR HOMEBREW HOMIES.

Your hombrew club is gonna flip out when you tell them how RAER this beer is. Also, it tastes good, but THAT SHIT IS IRRELEVANT TO YOUR HOMEBREW HOMIES.

T:  None of the synthetic aspects are present on the taste and this is actually very impressive.  It leads with a tangerine, lightly brackish cream of wheat breadiness, then the strawberry dominates IN THE FLAVOR PROFILE.  If you have had many strawberry beers you will know that most of the time, it exists on the nose and then peaces the fuck out on the taste.  All that insoluble fiber aint got time to be tasted and shit, gotta take its girl to the seed clinic.  This is less jammy and more like a saison with a pump of Torani strawberry, aged on musky red Jolly Ranchers.  That last sentence sounds like shit, but this is very legit.  Too legit to quit, even.

M: The creamy profile is very silky and soft with a far more substantial heft to it than most berliners.  It feels more like a straight up AWA scissoring a saison in a hybrid Apple car.  If you told me this were a berliner I would shake my head like when Cigar City hands me a 12% robust porter and starts quoting BJ standards.  As long as you dont need your BJs to be completely certified, you will enjoy this fruity creaminess to full completion.

You can handle a barrel aged weissbier on strawberries.  Dream big.

You can handle a barrel aged weissbier on strawberries. Dream big.

D:  This is exceptionally drinkable and again, feels like Cask 200 Strawberry and Cascade Strawberry had some extramarital affair and dropped this tannic trub baby on the steps of the berliner orphanage to be raised under a different name.  THAT SHIT SOUNDS LIKE A NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE NOVEL THAT COULD HAVE BEEN.  At any rate, I saw the brewpub ratings for this brewery and expected this to be a bowl of anus dipped berries, but it is actually really tasty.  Go to Healthy Spirits and ask to see the spot on the shelf where these used to sit, light a candle, make a day of it.