I Found My Thrill…

Man do I love Blueberries!  They are perhaps my favorite fruit.  Every time we go to the Oregon coast we make sure we are there in time for blueberry season.  We go to the U-Pick farms and everyone gets a coffee can that has a rope threaded through it to suspend it from their neck and we all go into the fields to pick the scrumptious purple berries, and eat a bunch too.  Because my wife is the fastest picker we pick until her can is full then we all go and cash out our blueberries.  It is usually about two flats of fresh berries and we freeze them for baking, pancakes, muffins, jellies and a host of other uses.  It is one of our favorite activities every time we go to the coast.

Blueberries haven’t escaped the attention of brewers over the years either.  I had my first and until very recently my last blueberry beer in Pocatello, Idaho in the early nineties.  This brew was sickeningly sweet and lager based!  YUCK! That turned me completely off of fruity beers for a very long time.  Slowly I have tried some others, and I may have had the best blueberry beer on the planet…

Part of what drew me to this beer was the fact that it was an oatmeal stout, and I am looking for the best one, so what goes better in oatmeal than blueberries?  Pretty much nothing.  Another thing that drew me to try this beer was that it is brewed by Buffalo Bills Brewery in Hayward, CA.  I had one of their pumpkin brews in October and really liked it.  They have a knack for taking querky twists on their brews and making them work in unique and interesting ways.

The pour on this beer is a typical stout with a dark brown and opaque body and a thin tan head.  The nose on this beer smells like a hot blueberry pie straight out of the oven!  Great smell, but at the same time it worried me that it would be too sweet and fruity to be enjoyable just like that crappy Pocatello beer I had 17 years ago!

Not to worry, the geniuses at Buffalo Bills gave this beer a fantastic nose but tamed the flavor quite nicely with a ton of malt, and great stout flavor.  The oatmeal came in on the backside with the mellowing of the blueberries evident there.  A very nice flavor indeed.  The blueberries add just a touch of sweetness and balance out the acidity of the oats to make a smooth and easy drinking stout.

This brew was 7.5% ABV, but it drank like a session beer.  The alcohol is well hidden and the flavor is pure stout with just a little warmth as the beer goes down your throat.

This is truly a good drinking brew and one of my favorite oatmeal stouts I have tried.  I suggest you give the blueberry a chance and perhaps you will find your thrill on blueberry hill.


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10 Comments on “I Found My Thrill…”

  1. January 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    I was just telling mike about this one…what are the odds! I picked up a 9 pack of this for $3.99 on the clearance rack. No lie.

    I like that the blueberry flavor was pretty peripheral. Did you know that this stuff is contract brewed by Pyramid?

    • Don
      January 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

      I had no idea it was contract brewed, but it is pretty darn tasty. What the hell does a nine pack look like? I’m thinking beers aranged in some sort of spaceship pattern around a handle! Or perhaps it was a 10 pack and one was stolen! What did you think overall about the beer Nate? I was surprised and thought it was good. I was really prepared to hate it.

      • January 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

        Oops. that was supposed to be a 6. When I am at work, I am a hasty commenter.
        Overall I thought it was very good. I even told mike I thought it was better than all of Pyramids offerings. Of course, Pyramid had nothing to do with the recipe creation, just the following of Buffalo Bill’s order.

        Like you, I thought it went down like a session beer. I picked up 2 six packs and through them in the basement.

        • Don
          January 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

          That is still a hell of a deal $3.99 for a six. I agree it is better than all of Pyramid’s offerings. The Buffalo Bills brewery is just a quirky little place and they produce some good, but a little off kind of beers. I guess I like them becaus I’m a little off too! 😉

  2. January 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    I know you are dying to see this, Don.
    I actually had to swing by the store where I get my brew, and it was still on sale. Yeah, I picked up another…

    • Don
      January 28, 2010 at 9:50 am #

      You are a lucky man to be able to get such a tasty brew so cheaply. This might actually become a regular go-to beer for me if I could get it for that. I’m going to forward this on to my beer guy and ask him if he will match the price! I’m betting he won’t.

  3. January 28, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Nice post Don. I’ve seen a stack of this at one of the places I go to and I’ve never picked it up because I wasn’t thrilled with their Pumpkin Ale (you remember that!) but I think I’ll have to reconsider. Oatmeal + Blueberries IS a great combination.

    Great find Nate. That’s a steal!

    • Don
      January 28, 2010 at 9:54 am #

      Well Scott there is definitely no chance of it tasting “Vegitablely” like you said their pumpkin brew tasted. It is seriously a good combination with the blueberry and the oatmeal coming together in a very smooth and mellow way. I think you would also be impressed by how they “hid” the alcohol in this brew. It does not taste like a 7.5% ABV brew! It is a good one…You should pick some up.

  4. January 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    I’ve seen this on a couple of shelves recently. I may end up getting it now.

    • Don
      January 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

      Mike: It was truly good. Very impressed with the brewer at Buffalo Bills. Quirky yet good.

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