Blueberry Beer. Generally speaking, I’m not a really big fan of fruit-flavored beers. I’ve had a couple that were decent, but for the most part I don’t think they are too good.
Take these blueberry beers as an example. So far, I’ve had two others – Wild Blue which was just completely over the top, and the Blueberry Ale by Blue Point Brewing which I thought was rather good. Interestingly enough, most people who visit The Brew Club looking for information on Wild Blue seem to really love the stuff!
So, I thought I’d pick up a third Blueberry Beer to see if my tastes have changed or not. This Blueberry Ale comes from Atlantic Brewing Company, and according to its label the Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale is ‘America’s Original Blueberry Ale’. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but its on the label and labels never are wrong. Right?
An odd note. In small black print on the dark blue label (almost impossible to read) is says that the Blueberry Ale is ‘Brewed for Atlantic Brewing Company – Bar Harbor Maine by GJS Sales, La Crosse Wisconsin’. GJS Sales? What kind of brewing company is called GJS Sales? Do they even make blueberries in Wisconsin? I’m just thinking that’s weird – not bad, just weird. Anyone know about this?
On to the beer then.
This blueberry ale pours into my NEW beer tasting glass with a slightly unfiltered medium amber color and it created a fizzy head that petered out rather quickly. It looks like a cloudy pale ale to me, similar to how the Blue Point brew looked and not like grape juice like the Wild Blue did. Not much in the way of carbonation of bubbles going on either.
Smelling the blueberry ale, I was looking for, and could pick up a bit of a blueberry scent, but nothing over the top which is a good thing I think. Again, compared to Wild Blue, this stuff from Atlantic Brewing is very tame. Mixed in with the blueberry aroma I could pick up on some mild malt, and perhaps something sweet like caramel, but just faintly. Overall, nothing really jumped out at me.
The Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale tasted OK. At first, I wasn’t that impressed with it because it has more of a bitter flavor, and perhaps more of a hop flavor than I would have liked, and surprisingly I found the blueberry flavor taking much more of a supporting (or even tertiary) role than a primary one. It almost – almost – doesn’t even taste like blueberry anything. I don’t know what the ABV is on this beer (its probably printed in invisible black ink), but I also thought the alcohol flavor came through a little more than I like as well.
It was decently bitter, albeit unexpectedly so, and it left a sticky but blueberryish aftertaste that was OK.
So, I’m going to say that I wasn’t really impressed with the Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company, and would likely pass on having it again. Of the three Blueberry Beers I’ve tried so far, I think your best bet is the Blueberry Ale by Blue Point Brewing. Still, many, many people love the Wild Blue – I didn’t but you might want to give it a try and see for yourself.
What do you think of Blueberry Beer? Do you have a favorite?