I’ll be completely honest, I’m not super familiar with the boysenberry. The sum total of my previous experience with this fruit has been with IHOP pancake syrup, so for years I assumed it was an artificial flavour with a made-up name, like razzleberry or bumbleberry.
As it turns out, the boysenberry is in fact an actual fruit—a hybrid of the raspberry, blackberry, dewberry and loganberry, to be exact—and I’m just a big dummy for not figuring that out sooner. (I was also surprised to learn that the marionberry is an actual berry, too, and not just the crack-smoking former mayor of Washington DC.)
As born-and-bred British Columbian, I’m a salmonberry man, myself. Blackberries? Don’t even get me started with those virulent invasive pests. But judging by Fuggles and Warlock’s Rei Boysenberry Sour, it’s time to give this berry a chance.
This kettle-soured wheat ale is tart and lively, with flavours of cranberry and raspberry dominating. The acidity is kept in check by a subtle fruit sweetness, resulting in a finish that’s semi-dry, without being puckering.
By the way, “Rei” is Japanese for beautiful or lovely, as signified by the stylized kanji symbol on the bottle’s label. A fitting name for this lovely sour ale.
Rei Boysenberry Sour by Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
Appearance: Cloudy deep red colour, with a pink persistent head.
Aroma: Cranberry, raspberry, acidity, subtle wheat aroma.
Flavour: Cranberry, raspberry, tart acidity, citrus, blood orange, subtle wheat character
Body: Light bodied with a tart, semi-dry finish.
Pairs with: Blue cheese, pancakes with fruit compote, over-priced vintage Levi’s jeans and anime.