Say what you want about fruit beers, but on a warm spring or summer evening they certainly can satisfy. And so it was that I decided to pop a bottle of Bridgeport Stumptown Tart Strawberry Ale on just such an occasion, to be enjoyed in the comfort of my own backyard beer garden.
I’ll have to admit that I was a little behind with this one, as I was drinking the 2011 edition of the beer. This, the fourth incarnation of Stumptown Tart was made with 2000 pounds of fresh Oregon strawberries, Saaz hops and two row barley malt.
Stumptown Tart has been made with marionberries and cherries in the past; the newly released 2012 version that I have yet to locate is made with strawberries, raspberries, and marionberries. The beer has a higher alcohol content than most fruit beers at 7.7% by volume.
Bridgeport Stumptown Tart Strawberry Ale pours to a bright pinkish yellow color with a thick creamy head formation and a gentle berries and cream nose. Sipping, I get some crisp chewy malt at first followed by a hint of caramel. The texture is creamy. Then the fruit appears; clearly strawberry but oddly enough lacking the sweetness that makes that berry so appealing.
This is all the more unusual since the brewery boasts of the extra sweetness Oregon strawberries pack. Here, they seem more vegetal, like fresh but not quite strawberries. The promised tartness does appear in the finish and makes the beer quenching. There’s a bit of grassy hops in the finish, too. All in all, this is a fair to middling fruit beer, I think. I liked it well enough to try it again even if it wasn't one of my favorite fruit beers.
Reasonable at $5.99 for a 22 ounce bottle. We’ll be back to report in again once we try the 2012 version.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.