Gluten Free Beer Review: The Olallie Ale
Beer Brewed With Blackberries & Rose Hips
I found this brew at my local Market of Choice. This ale is one of Ground Breaker Brewing’s year-round offerings. It is one of two ales that they choose to bottle in cans, the other one being their IPA No. 5. (I’m not sure if the Olallie Ale is also available in a 22oz.) But I must say, the cans are very convenient for jumping on the river for a float. ;)
Now, if you’ve been keeping up with the reviews on this blog, you may have noticed that I am very biased. Let’s just say, I have my preferences. Fruit beers are generally not my thing. But I haven’t had a Ground Breaker brew I didn’t like yet–so I’m ready to give this one a try!
The Olallie Ale carries the lightest ABV of all the Ground Breaker staples. At 4.5% and only 30 IBUs, this is a light brew. Everything about this beer screams summer to me. Let’s see if the taste test reflects that too…
The Olallie Taste Test
Everything about this beer surprised me. Starting with the color. It has a deep pink color, cloudy enough that you can’t see through it. It has that pinkish-red hue that is common in blush wines, only darker. It’s head is thin and vanishes quickly. It smelled of…well, nothing. (Maybe it’s just me? After all, I can’t really smell floral things…Yup, it’s weird.)
My first reaction when I poured this juice-colored ale into the glass was “Oh great, this is going to be sweet.” WRONG. Oh, so, so wrong.
It’s surprisingly dry and crisp. In fact, it’s more bitter than I expected. Those Crystal hops are definitely in there. :)
It’s a strange beer. Unlike any beer I’ve had before. Although, to be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever tried a beer brewed with lentils, blackberries, and rose hips. My brain feels confused when it hits my palate. Is it juice? Beer? Champagne?
Champagne…that’s what this ale reminds me of. A very dry, slightly tart champagne. Those who prefer truly dry ciders would probably take kindly to this ale.
As I said before, fruit beers are not my thing. But I’d be lying if I said this tasted like the average fruit beer. It doesn’t. For some that’s probably a good thing (like me!), and for some maybe it’s not.
I will say that this brew isn’t much of a third-quencher for me. It’s bitter qualities (which I love, by the way) left me a little thirsty even after a big sip. Keep this in mind if you’re hitting the river or soaking up some sun while you enjoy this brew.
All in all, if you like light, refreshing, dry ales…but also crave those bitter notes in your beer, give this one a try! You may be pleasantly surprised.
More Ground Breaker Beers
Best Gluten Free Beers has now reviewed all 4 of Ground Breaker Brewing’s year-round beers! They also brew their Pale Ale, IPA, and Dark Ale all year long. Click below to catch up on their other reviews: