When we arrived at our condo for spring break, I picked up a bunch of local beers for our time on the beach. One of them I knew I had to grab was this one. When we vacationed here a few years ago, a fraternity brother introduced me to a mutual friend and fraternity brother who owned the Tampa Bay Brew Bus. He was an incredible guy and I’ve been watching his career progress on social media since that day in 2012 we connected at Cigar City. Since then, he’s opened up Brew Bus Brewing and created some pretty good beers (with pretty great names). I saw a few years ago that this beer won a medal at GABF, and it seemed like a lighter summer beer – plus it had a name from the movie Old School, and this is a fraternity brother, so I grabbed a six pack of these tall boys. I saved this one and ended up bringing it home with me to do this review.
Location: Poured into a pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5.3% ABV, ~150 Calories
Ingredients: Malts: 2-row, Carared, Flaked Oats, Wheat; Hops: Warrior; Other: Blueberry puree
Appearance & Aroma: I was expecting it to have a blue or red tint from the blueberries, but it is a pale amber color and is surprisingly very clear for a wheat beer. It had a rocky white head on it that feel after a few minutes to a thin layer covering the top. The aroma is a mix of a light blueberry and a bready-maltiness.
Taste & Feel: The body is light and the mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of crispness on the backside from the carbonation. The flavor up front is a light wheat-grain, malty breadiness with a hint of blueberry behind it. In the middle, the maltiness is in the forefront and becomes a bit richer and sweeter. The blueberry flavor also becomes a bit sweet and juicy, increasing to meet the maltiness. The sweetness backs off a bit in the finish, and the blueberry and malty-bready flavors equalize each other and last for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: As a lighter beer with bready malt and blueberry flavors, this would be a good pairing for a summer salad (maybe something like a strawberry and spinach salad), as the flavors would complement each other. If you wanted a contrasting flavor, I’d pair it with a savory burger to balance the sweetness of the beer.
Overall Impression: Fruit beers can sometimes go a bit over the top with the fruit flavors, but this one was nicely balanced with the malts and the bready graininess makes it taste like a good all grain beer. However, as expected, it was fairly sweet and I didn’t notice any hop flavors at all in this beer. Overall, this is a great beach beer, as it’s crisp and clean and not overly sweet. It’s quite refreshing with just the right amount of fruity sweetness and bready maltiness. Next time I’m in Tampa and planning a day at the beach, I’m definitely picking up more of this.