As we embrace the new season, there’s nothing quite like sitting outside and enjoying the weather with an ice-cold beverage. And these days, for many adults, that means brewery hangouts are upon us. While we all have our preferred style of beer, blueberries are one ingredient that pair nicely any way you brew it – surprised? You shouldn’t be! Blueberries bring a lot to the flavor table – they can add an extra somethin’ to simpler beers like pale ales and pilsners, complement tart flavors, like those of a Berliner Weisse or sour beer, or bring fruity sweetness to more robust beers, like stouts, porters and lagers.
With National Beer Day upon us, we explored what goes into a blueberry beer and makes the sipping experience, well, positively bluetiful. Richard Roberts, head brewer of Roscoe Beer Company in Roscoe, New York, shared the ins and outs of the brewery’s recent “Winter Blues-Berry Sour” – read on below!
For those looking to grab a pack of blueberry beers for their bunch, we’ve included a roundup of standout concepts from across the country. Scroll down to find a local or regional spot to sip the sweet-tart taste of blueberries.
Q&A with Richard Roberts of Roscoe Beer Company
- How do you describe the Winter Blues-Berry Sour?
It’s a fruited blueberry sour, bringing the best of blueberry pie. Crust-like malt flavor coupled with blueberry, blends seamlessly into a mild tartness with a silky finish from the addition milk sugar. Ditch the fork and drink your slice of the pie.
- What did your patrons think of this beer? Was it well-received?
Yes! It’s been one of the top sellers since we tapped the first keg.
- What form of blueberries were used and how much went into the batch?
210 lbs. of puree into 15 BBLs (1 BBL = 42 gallons)
- What do you like about what blueberries bring to a beer?
In the quantity that we used, blueberries bring an amazing reddish-purple hue. They add just enough fruit flavor without dominating the subtle malt and hop characters, while adding a roundness and fullness to the body of the beer.
- Are you planning any other blueberry beers for the year?
Not at the moment but that could change if inspiration strikes.
- In your opinion, what foods pair well with this beer?
Personally, I find our Winter Blues-Berry pairs well with spicy foods like chicken wings, a bowl of ramen or pho, and spicier Indian curries. The tartness coupled with mild blueberry flavor really accentuates these dishes.
Blueberry Beers from East to West
(Including the tasty descriptions from the breweries themselves!)
- Smashed Blueberry, Shipyard Brewing (Portland, ME)
This beer is a hybrid between a Porter and a Scotch Ale and has a rich mouth feel and a body of complex intensity. Upfront, there are distinct flavors of coffee and chocolate, beautifully accentuated by the aroma of fresh blueberries. The finish features a delicate balance of sweet fruit and dry hops.
- Blueberry Crunchee, Other Half Brewing (Brooklyn, NY)
Imperial blueberry granola Berliner Weisse brewed with blueberry, almonds, toasted coconut, vanilla, maple, cinnamon, lactose and toasted oats.
- Exit 3 – Blueberry Braggot, Flying Fish Brewing (Somerdale, NJ)
This Braggot features local blueberries and honey, a very limited amount of hops and is fermented with Belgian style yeast. The result is a straw-colored beer with blueberry highlights. On the first sip you will notice a light sweetness along with citrus notes followed by a well-rounded malt character. This beer has a medium full body.
- Henok from Omnipollo, The Veil (Richmond, VA)
Blueberry Double Chocolate Chip Maple Marshmallow Mocha Triple Stack Pancake Imperial Stout.
- Nice with Knives, Bhramari Brewing Co (Asheville, NC)
Black Berliner Weisse with toasted marshmallow and blueberry.
- Slushy Blueberry Dessert, 450 North Brewing (Columbus, IN)
Smoothie-style Berliner Weisse with blueberry, vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar.
- Blueberry Smoothie IPA, Untitled Art Brewing (Waunakee, WI)
Milkshake IPA with blueberries and lactose. Collaboration with Forager Brewery.
- Blueberry Wheat Ale, Abita Brewing (Abita Springs, LA)
This crisp wheat beer has the aroma and flavor of fresh Louisiana blueberries. It’s brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and hopped with German Perle hops, then the juice from local blueberries is added to complement the toasty malt flavor.
- Blueberry Muffin, Great Notion Brewing (Portland, OR)
This tart and whimsical blueberry treat will remind you of your family’s freshly baked blueberry muffins!
- Kitty Kat Blues Infused Pale Ale, Black Raven Brewing Co (Redmond, WA)
We took an unassuming pale ale and turned the screws a bit with additions of dried blueberries, vanilla beans and hibiscus. The result is an easy drinking pale ale that finishes like this morning’s blueberry muffin, but still tastes like beer.