Cascade Bewing Elderberry
Elderberry isn’t your typical brewing ingredient. In fact, in the over ten years I’ve been reviewing for this site, I have only knowingly encountered two beers made with elderberry. One was an IPA, the other was a weissbier — and neither tasted anything like Cascade’s Elderberry, a 7% ABV blend of red ales aged in red wine barrels, some for up to 25 months.
The interesting aspect of Elderberry isn’t just the amount of tartness that’s present once the beer hits your lips. The beer almost drinks like two different brews. Once that wonderful tartness has peaked and started to fade, the fruit-juicy elderberries sweep in smoothly to wrap everything up. A good bit of sweetness doesn’t wipe out the tart by any means, but it does add some balance in the lasting finish. Wood and old grapes linger gently throughout the entire affair.
I thoroughly enjoyed Elderberry. It’s not your prototypical sour or wild ale. Yes, it packs a decent wallop of tartness, but that solid elderberry flavor and sweetness makes this beer one that is approachable and memorable. Toss in a lively carbonation and you’ve got a brew that would be ideal for sitting on the back deck during an unseasonably warm March afternoon.
Cascade Elderberry pours a very dark garnet that looks near black from a distance. A dense cap of khaki foam shows decent staying power, falling slowly to a full ring around the surface.