Jun 21, 2011

Shipyard Smashed Blueberry

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

I haven’t had the best of luck with blueberry infused beer in the past. In fact, the only way I could get through the last one I tried — three years ago — was to pretend it was a blueberry soda — it’s also a beer that’s garnered more comments than any other three or four combined.

I haven’t tired a beer that utilizes blueberries in its recipe since. That is, until last night.

This latest product in Shipyard Brewing’s Pugsley’s Signature Series was driven down from Maine by my sister and brother-in-law this past weekend — we all met at my folk’s place for a Father’s Day full of grilling and family. Reading Smashed Blueberry’s label alone is enough to pique anyone’s interest. The 9% ABV beer is billed as a hybrid of a Porter and a Scotch Ale that’s brewed with, you guessed it, blueberries. The resulting experience is nothing short of unique and, as I tweeted while drinking it last night, a little crazy.

Shipyard Smashed Blueberry photo
It smells like blueberries but looks like a porter…


Smashed Blueberry pours a dark, dark brown with a creamy, mocha head that held itself quite well through the drinking process.


Immediately upon agitating the beer with the first pour waves of blueberry arise from the glass, but it’s a very natural, non-artificial aroma of ripe fruit. Upon closer inspection, notes of cocoa and coffee make their presence known, as well, though there’s only a hint of caramel malts from the Scotch Ale.


First off, don’t let the aroma scare you off. The beer doesn’t carry nearly as strong a blueberry taste as it does the aroma. The fruit is present throughout the life of each swallow, but starts out subtle before coming out more in the slightly dry and hoppy finish (with a touch of tartness). The Scotch Ale comes out more on the palate with a peaty malt component that mixes well with the light roasted coffee character of the Porter. There’s barely any alcohol in the flavor making for a complex, yet wholly drinkable beer. With a medium body, this is more suited for earlier in the year when the air still has a chill to it.


This certainly isn’t your normal Summer fruit beer. It’s not light and crisp on the tongue. It’s a full, complex and layered product that has elements of both Porter and Scotch Ale. Throw in ripe blueberries and you have the craziest beer in the limited Pugsley’s Signature Series. Smashed Blueberry actually took me by surprise. After first cracking it open and hitting that scented wall of fruit, I was expecting something completely unlike the tasty brew I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re a fan of fruit beer, porters or blueberries, I’m sure this one will be of interest to you.

Rating: 4/5

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