Fuggles and Warlock’s boysenberry sour is absolutely lovely


Photo: The Growler

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.

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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.