A few years ago, our Barrelworks brew team received a sample of Bluecrop blueberries from Washington state. These berries were juicy and flavorful, reminding the team of the huckleberries used to make Huck Yeah!, another wild ale of ours. Unsure of how to best utilize the berries, the team made a note of the blueberries and continued to create other beers.
Fast forward a couple of years, Jim Crooks, our Barrelworks barrel master, finally had the tank space to get started on our very first blueberry wild beer, and was eager to revisit using the Bluecrop blueberry.
— Jim Crooks
The Bluecrop was so voluptuous and dense in flavor and aroma, so unlike any blueberry we had tried up to that moment.
Once the berries were secured, they were blended with a selection of 18-31-month aged Lil Opal, a Saison Farmhouse Ale. The base beer was aged in French oak barrels, then fermented with 10,000 pounds of the Bluecrop blueberries.
This is our first foray into the blueberry wild beer craze and the first of just four national Barrelworks releases for 2020. The beer is a vibrant purple color, with subtle aromas and complex yet balanced flavors for an incredibly drinkable beer.