Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Bruery - Bottleworks XII

If you're going to call yourself a craft beer city, you're going to need a few things. People who want to drink your beer is a must. As is a wealth of standout breweries. But you also need a really great bottleshop. I would argue that San Diego has this in Bottlecraft. San Francisco has it in City Beer Store. And Seattle's has it in a shop that I'm dying to visit someday called Bottleworks. If you're into beer, you've probably heard of this shop before, mainly because the reputation of their anniversary beers precedes them. Every year, Bottleworks gets together with a different brewery to make an anniversary beer. And the breweries tend to be legit. Breweries like Cascade, Russian River, Stone and New Belgium have all been involved in Bottleworks anniversary beers. Almost three years ago, The Bruery made the Bottleworks 12th Anniversary release, but I didn't come close to getting a bottle. Luckily, the beer was so warmly received that they decided to brew it again last year. It's a raspberry sour that's part Witbier, part Berliner Weisse, and this time, I definitely grabbed a bottle. At #199, Bottleworks XII.

Bottleworks XII pours a hazed apricot color with a glowing, deep golden center and a one finger white head. (By the way, no picture of the actual beer here. I destroyed my phone and a replacement hasn't shown up yet. You're just gonna have to imagine how good this beer looks. My bad.) The smell presents a nice mix of coriander, lemon zest and tart mixed berries. The raspberries are definitely in there and they come through with a slightly underripe note. There's an overlaying lactic aroma here along with just a trace of brett. This is gonna be good stuff.

On the first sip, the sourness hits you right away. It's big and lactic, bringing with it a ton of lemon and some intensely tart raspberry. The base beer here is a witbier and that shows nicely, with some coriander and light wheat notes coming through in the middle. The beer finishes tart, clean and a touch dry with some jammy, ripe raspberry notes and a touch of wine barrel finishing things out. I keep hearing mixed things about The Bruery's sours, but I'm not really seeing what's not to like. Everything I've had has been phenomenal and this beer is another one they've absolutely knocked out of the park.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 127

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