The beer wine hybrid is a concept attempted by many brewers with varying results.  I have had several that were okay and a few that fell short of okay but not many of them have been truly great. The latest winey beer creation to come across my desk is Nebiulin-a from LoverBeer Nebiulin-a. Never heard of it? I don’t blame you, had no idea what it was when I came across it either.

LoverBeer Nebiulin-a bottle

Loverbeer takes a slightly different take on the beer wine hybrid concept with Nebiulin-a. It borrows heavily from the classic Belgian gueuze style by blending three different years of lambic-style ales but with the added twist of fermenting the juice of the nebbiolo grape.  This particular batch used vintages from 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Other than being brewed in Italy1 it differs from the traditional style by fermenting the juice of the grapes used to make the famed wines of Borolo along with the base beer. I have never had anything like this and I am excited to crack it open.

The bottle opens with a loud pop reminiscent of a bottle of champagne. It pours a beautiful bright copper color with reddish highlights and a slight lily pad of bubbles that dissipates quickly. A quick sniff of the glass and my excitement level immediately jumps. A big lambic like funkiness that smells fantastic along with a noticeable contribution form the wine grapes. In addition to the grapes, I get hints of apple, pear and even a note reminiscent of the strawberry beer I reviewed a few months ago. The surprising level of brety funk in the nose has me even more excited to try the beer.

LoverBeer Nebiulin-a

The much anticipated first sip brings a big wine character. The grapes are much more pronounced on the flavor than the nose with a big fruity character and a touch of sweetness. This quickly gives way to a level of tartness that is spot on, enough to really bring home the lambic style of the beer but not overpoweringly sour. Nebiulin-a comes together with a balanced softness with hints of floral and funky overripe fruit. The wine aspects of the beer come back in a big way in the finish with loads of tannins and a noticeable grape skin lingers on the palate.

 

LoverBeer Nebiulin-a
BREWERY: LoverBeer di Valter Loverier
LOCATION: Italy
STYLE: Fruit Beer
ABV: 8 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $22.49
RELEASE DATE: 2014
AVAILABLE IN: 500ml bottles
BEERS POURED: One
Overall, I am really pleased with Nebiulin-a. The concept of blending the grapes juice with the gueuze style is definitely one I can get behind. It is true enough to the lambic style and yet the addition of the nebbiolo grapes makes it truly unique. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for additional bottles to stash away.
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