Beer and blueberries. They go so nicely together, don’t they? I know I always enjoy a tasty, refreshing blueberry beer as the weather warms. Today, there are a lot of them on the market, most of them ales and most of them with regional availability. For the summer of 2013, however, Boston Beer has rolled out Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager, a blueberry beer based on a lager rather than an ale.
Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager is available as I type in early April, part of the 2013 Beers of Summer collection. As with most of the Samuel Adams 12-pack collections, this one hit store shelves well before its designated season. You’ll get two bottles of Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager in the 12-pack (never fear: I expect the beer will be released in 6-packs before long) as well as two bottles each of:
· Samuel Adams Little White Rye (new)
The sampler cost me a mere $13.99, a true bargain in today’s world of ever-increasing beer prices. Back to the Blueberry Hill Lager. Here’s how Boston Beer describes it on the neck label:
A fresh take on a fruit beer. This crisp, unfiltered lager is aged on blueberries for a pleasant blueberry aroma and taste. To take this fruity character in a new direction, we brewed with Tettnang Tettnanger Noble hops for an added subtle citrus note - a delicious blend of flavors with a smooth lager finish.
Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager is brewed with two row pale malt and honey malt varieties. I was surprised not to see any wheat malt, but I think it does serve to give the beer a firmer, beadier character. Only the Tettnangs mentioned above are used for hopping, and the final brew has a modest 18 IBUs and 5.5% by volume alcohol content.
I popped my first bottle on a warm spring evening, and it was amazingly refreshing. How does the beer, taste, you ask? Let’s find out.
Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager pours to a brilliant orange amber color with a thick creamy tan head formation and a deliciously inviting fruity blueberry nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a very satisfying creamy palate up front with lots of fresh biscuity malt. It’s a bit bready, I think, but quickly followed by the blueberry fruit. The meaty, fruity bright blueberry fruit holds fast to the end, where the hops dry the beer and keep it from being cloying. The blueberries really work well with the creaminess of the honey malt to recall a bowl of fresh-picked blueberries covered in cream on a warm summer morning. I only get a hint of hoppy citrus as promised at the last, perhaps in a faint lemon peel taste. There is a drying gentle bitterness that accents the fruit nicely, however, and balances any residual sweetness.
Well done, if Boston Beer releases this in six-packs, I will definitely be buying it again. Don’t wait that long, though, to find your thrills on Blueberry Hill. Pick up a Beers of Summer Sampler today, and you’ll see what I mean.
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.