Jun 5, 2015

Devils Backbone and Epic Brewing Midnight Mischief

I’m a sucker for collaboration brews, so when I saw this joint effort from Devils Backbone and Epic Brewing sitting on shelves I had to pick it up. Toss in the fact that the Charlottesville brewery already makes an outstanding schwarzbier, it was really a no-brainer. Midnight Mischief, however, is a bit different.

This 5.5% ABV brew is full of roast notes as well as a strong hop character — perhaps too strong — that brings a solid amount of bitterness to the palate. I’m not sure why breweries insist on throwing so many hops at their products, but that’s what you have here. Midnight Mischief leans a bit too heavily on that tasty, bitter flower for it’s own good. It’s got plenty of roast goodness, but it just doesn’t all come together as well as I had hoped.


As expected, the beer pours near black with a dense cap of mocha foam.

Devils Backbone and Epic Brewing Midnight Mischief photo


Roast malt, a slight char, hint of tobacco, soft cocoa notes and a touch of pine all fill the nose pretty smoothly.


Well for a “hoppy schwarzbier” it’s certainly got a bitter punch to go along with roast malt notes. A decent char presents itself with pine, a touch of cocoa, earth and a hint of tobacco. It finishes with a lingering dryness and residual touch of sweetness.


This brew isn’t bad, but sometimes making something “hoppy” isn’t always a good idea. It’s an interesting beer, but Midnight Mischief just doesn’t work for me, personally. It’s too biting for the style and the pine notes feel strange. I guess, if I want a solid example of the style, I’ll just hunt down Devils Backbone’s own Schwartz Bier.

Rating: 3.25/5

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