This review comes courtesy of Greg in Chicago who contacted us about this event celebrating a beer modeled after an ancient brewery in Peru. Dave Bleitner and John Laffler, owners of Off Color Brewing and Ryan Williams, Associate Curator of Anthropology at The Field Museum,who discovered the ancient brewery were on hand for the event. Ryan Williams, was present to discuss the discovery of the brewery in Peru, the Wari tribe and their ancient brewing techniques. Dave and John discussed what inspired them to make a beer using such unique and ancient methods.
Off Color utilized the molle berry, a tart, peppery fruit native to Peru, to hit you with a sour, fruity nose right as you dive into the glass. The smell is reminiscent of a Gose, with a nice fruity hint. There was no trace of booziness or maltiness, as Wari’s color makes predictable. The first sip immediately slaps you with the sour notes, and the molle berries are in the spotlight. On the tongue, there is almost no detectable maltiness or hoppiness, and it isn’t until the aftertaste that the tartness subsides to a pleasant fruity sweetness that delicately rounds out the beer. Light bodied, drinkable, and (not overly) sweet, Wari reminded me almost of a sort of summer Rosé, but that’s no knock on the fellas at Off Color. What was special about this particular ale is that it didn’t taste like “beer,” in the traditional sense.
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