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While taking a break from painting the inside of my new home studio/office this weekend, I tasted a glass of the blackberry pale ale that my friends and I have been working on for the past two weeks. The ale is a recipe we got from Brewer’s Connection here in Tempe, AZ, and we added four pounds of frozen berries to the wort right at the beginning of fermenting (for a five gallon batch of beer). Freezing berries breaks their cell walls, allowing the juices to be released upon thawing, and the berries had to be “flash pasteurized” by pouring two pitchers of hot wort over them in the fermenting bucket before cooling down the rest of the wort. This sanitized the berries without ruining their flavor. The brewmaster at the store suggested using a fruit extract as an alternative, if we so desired. The color of the beer is just out of this world, and the flavor’s pretty far up there, too.


Here’s a review of the beer by RC, one of my brewmates’ cat (photo by Matt Mets):

The first thing that I noticed upon opening the bottle was the sweet, delicate fruit aroma that had just the right punch of flavor to tease the palate and whet one’s appetite. Unfortunately, the neck of the vessel proved impossible to drink from (neither head nor paw would fit), which meant that the beverage needed to be decanted to a more suitable container for tasting. After moving the liquid to a glass, the complex flavor of the drink was analyzed and found to have the same fruity kick as the initial whiff predicted, and was followed by light notes of hops, with a smooth finish. Overall, the the beer receives a rating of 9/10, with points removed for not being milk or heavy whipping cream.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:



  1. craig says:

    Yum, I used to brew quite a bit back in the day. I remember one night a crushed cranberry brew had the blow off tube blocked by an uncrushed cranberry. I was awaken at 3AM by a FOOM as the rubber cork and tube as well as a good upper layer of cranberrys blew upward in the kitchen. The brew still turned out ok. Years later when taking the ceiling fan down I found more cranberrys. I stopped making berry beer when Leinenkugels started theirs.

  2. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Looks like your kitty is blazed on the brew too. Mez-MO-rized.

  3. mightyohm says:


    1. ben nguyen says:

      There’s so many ale recipe at Brewer’s Connection.. which one was used to make this new Blackberry one?

      Please submit recipe to BC!!

  4. Geordie says:

    How does the flavor compare to, say, Lindeman’s Framboise? I like that stuff because it tastes more like berries than beer.

  5. Michael W. says:

    I’m on my 6th batch of beer. I find it a nice, relaxing hobby that I can share with my wife and friends. The 5th batch, currently conditioning in bottles, is a Mocha Cherry Stout I’m brewing for my wife.

    Brewing beer is a great hobby that can be as simple as extract brewing, or as complex as you want it to be.

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