The usual disclaimers for readers of this column still apply. I am not a beer expert, nor am I a food critic, nor should I write for Life & Arts. I’m just a guy who loves beer — that’s all.
Under the microscope that is this week’s column is the brew Oops All Berries, which, as it turns out, wasn’t really supposed to exist.
Bartenders at Ellicottville Brewing Company allege that the beer was originally supposed to be the brewery’s Raspberry Beret, but a mistake was made in the brewing process to brew it in a manner that the company’s Blueberry Wheat is traditionally crafted.
The result? A beautiful mistake.
Much like Raspberry Beret, Oops All Berries is a traditional kettle sour ale. It doesn’t pack as much of a punch as Raspberry Beret traditionally does, with OAB’s alcohol by volume weighing in at six percent. In addition to the traditional raspberry infusion boasted by Raspberry Beret, Oops All Berries also offers complementary but distinct blackberry and blueberry flavors. The combination is one that seems like a natural fit for any consumers.
In essence, this particular beer is the antithesis of all “normal” beers. It is lacking bitter flavor to any degree, and is exactly the type of beer that should be recommended to someone who “doesn’t really like beer.”
Its flavor is incredibly tart at the first encounter, with an aftertaste that becomes sweet and sour as it goes down. The bitterness rating of OAB is a mere 17, placing it on the opposite end of the international bitterness unit scale (IBU) from any and all IPAs — which still suck, if I may say so myself. It isn’t quite as sour as the Raspberry Beret, which is an enjoyable reprieve for anyone with a pallet that is less than excited for sour tastes.
Oops All Berries is a holiday treat at EBC and is something that is definitely worth trying. It is classified as a seasonal, but due to the nature of its creation there is no certainty in how long this beer will remain on tap. Raspberry Beret was alleged to only be available for a month but stayed on tap for much longer, so it stands to reason that Oops All Berries might have some staying power if people start taking to the unique drink.
Go grab one from EBC while they’re still available, it might just allow for the Bills choking their season away to be bearable for you.
Verdict: Not quite as good as Raspberry Beret, but this is great for anyone who wants to drink beer without feeling as if they’re drinking beer.