Sep 21, 2015

Hardywood Virginia Blackberry

Behind the The Barley Blog headquarters, just along the outside of our back fence is a massive boxwood. Tangled within that gnarly, overgrown bush is a pile of blackberry vines and shoots. Typically, we get a few good-sized bowl-fulls of the sweet and tart berries every Summer — except for this year. I’m not sure if the dry weather had anything to do with it or not, but we didn’t get a single berry from the thorny patch. So I did the next best thing to get my fix, buying a bottle of Hardywood’s Virginia Blackberry.

This 6.8% ABV Belgian-style witbier is brewed with over 1,000 lbs. of blackberries per 40-barrel batch. Well, now, looking at that stat, I can only wildly speculate the brewery staff snuck behind the house and pilfered my bush of berries. It’s the only explanation I have.

Wherever the company sourced their fruit, this brew is darn tasty. With an earthy backbone, soft wheat and plenty of tart blackberry flavor, the beer presents itself well. It’s not overly fruity or sweet (not jammy in any fashion) and refreshes nicely on a warm afternoon.


The brew pours a hazy, purple-tinged amber (ruby perhaps) in color with a dense cap of pink foam.

Hardywood Virginia Blackberry photo


Loads of blackberries, wheat, a touch of nose-tingling tartness, grain and a hint of honey.


Earthy blackberries, a touch of banana and yeast dominate from start to finish as a light-to-moderate tartness grabs the sides of the tongues lovingly.Soft honey notes persist throughout. The beer drinks easy and finished lightly dry with lingering wheat and berry notes.


I liked Virginia Blackberry. It’s got a wonderful earthy berry character, isn’t overly sweet or jammy and goes down easy. I cracked open this bottle an early August afternoon and it hit the spot about as well as any beer can. Now, if I can just figure out what’s going on with my own blackberry bush…

Rating: 3.75/5

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