Since opening its doors in 2013, Eau Claire, Wis.-based The Brewing Projekt has exploded onto the craft beer scene based on its over-the-top creations that utilize an abundance of adjuncts in each of the styles of beer it brews.
One of the brewery’s most well-known—and most popular—series is its Puff Tart creations, which debuted in 2019. They are made up of a sour ale base combined with various combinations of fruit and vanilla, and since the first incarnation, the brewery has released more than 40 different versions.
A year later, The Brewing Projekt introduced an amped-up version of the Puff Tart Series appropriately named Puff Tart XL. Not only did the new versions feature a higher ABV, but these beers also incorporate more fruit in more complex combinations, like the first release named Puff Tart XL – Mango, Guava, Blackberry, Peach.
The subject of today’s review is Puff Tart MegaBerryz, a 4.57 percent ABV sour ale brewed with blackberries, blueberries, milk sugar, raspberries, and vanilla. The sour ale debuted on Dec. 23, 2020, packaged in four packs of 16-ounce cans.
The Puff Tart MegaBerryz pours a thick, sludgy deep purple color that is totally opaque. While there is about two fingers worth of head immediately after being poured, it does not stick around long.
After the head dissipates, it leaves behind a thick ring of residue loaded with fruit that sticks around the edge of the glass and the aroma wafting up from the glass is an extremely aggressive combination of tart dark berries, sweet vanilla, and slight lemon citrus.
After seeing how much fruit was in the beer, I am not exactly shocked when it tastes almost exactly how it smells: like liquified fruit in a glass with some added sweetness.
Raspberries and blackberries are the most prominent flavors in the profile by far, but a bit of blueberry and lemon do make themselves known every once in a while, albeit almost entirely on the finish. There is some very nice sweetness on the finish as well, and it makes for a very enjoyable combination when combined with the fruity tartness on the palate.
As it warms, the Puff Tart MegaBerryz changes in a number of ways, not all of them for the better. The profile becomes noticeably sweeter and pushes the fruit tartness into the background a bit, which in turn has a small effect on the overall balance.
In addition, the mouthfeel thickens up slightly, although I am easily able to finish the beer before either one of the aforementioned notes becomes too much of a drag on the profile.
THE BREWING PROJEKT PUFF TART MEGABERRYZ
BREWERY: THE BREWING PROJEKT
LOCATION: EAU CLAIRE, WIS.
STYLE: FRUITED SOUR ALE
ABV: 4.57 PERCENT
IBU: NOT CONFIRMED
RELEASE DATE: DEC. 23, 2020
AVAILABLE IN: 16-OUNCE CANS
BEERS POURED: ONE
In my mind, the smoothie sour style of beer is one of the hardest to nail, but The Brewing Projekt’s Puff Tart MegaBerryz is one of the best examples I have tasted in the past year. The profile is full of bright berries that are both tart and sweet, and the extremely well-balanced milk sugar sweetness on the finish is just icing on the cake.
Anytime you add this much fruit into a sour base with sugar there is the possibility of the profile becoming cloying, but that is far from an issue here. If you like smoothie-style fruited sour ales this is an excellent example of one done right.