By Jonathan McNamara
It's a fond childhood memory based on a last minute solution from my dad. I was attending summer camp and had to pack a bagged lunch each day. To keep my food refrigerated in the traveling medium of a paper bag, pops would freeze boxed Minute Maid fruit juice for me. Eventually I looked forward to getting at the improvised slushie at the end of my lunch more than the food.
This nostalgia washed over me as I poured the first fruity sip of Wild Blue Blueberry Lager into my mouth. Ah! This berry taste! This chilly refreshment! Finally a beer whose primary demographic is summer campers...wait a minute here.
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Tastes: In all seriousness (or at least as much as I can muster for a beer with a picture of a slobbering, drunk, blue bull dog on the label) Wild Blue's blueberry flavor is not a subtle hint of the antioxidant-packed fruit found most often in delicious muffins. Nay! It is a sledgehammer of blueberry flavor direct to your temple without so much as a "pardon me." Peach, apricot and similar fruits used to flavor brews work (better) because they provide only the suggestion of the fruit.
Goes with: gummy worms, cakes, pies and ice cream. What's with all these brews that taste as though they've been brewed by cavity-riddled candy addicts seeking revenge? If I wanted a soda I would have purchased a soda.
I got mine: at Lost Leaf which goes above and beyond the call of duty by providing beers for all tastes. I'm not sure who drinks Wild Blue, but I'm positive that they've mastered the art of the mimed staircase and probably end e-mails with "karate."
Verdict: If you're really into flavored beer this might be worth a try. The blueberry taste is powerful though admittedly not in an artificial way. I believe that actual blueberries were used, not blueberry extract with blue number 63 or something awful like that. The average beer drinker is going to find this a bit over the top...unless you're taking some to summer camp.