Beatrice | Off Color Brewing
It’s all in the name. WIth over 9,000 breweries in the United States and over 200 in Chicago alone, a brewery usually has to do something interesting to get me to immediately buy a bottle. Even with Off Color’s reputation as a brewery that certainly does unique things I infrequently grab a beer of theirs at release. But when you name something Beatrice and then specifically cite Dante’s The Divine Comedy, it could be a Leitchenhainer (a smoked sour) and I’d still buy it. Marketing 101.
The Divine Comedy is my favorite literary work of all time. Funny, retaliatory, hopeful, interesting, imaginative, and very, very dense, The Divine Comedy weaves pretty much all disciplines that were available to Dante in the 14th century together – Catholicism, Greek/Roman mythology, history, politics, and science. He made certain individuals infamous (Pope Boniface VIII) and some very fringe ones famous (Master Adam, who can’t find anything that isn’t referenced by the book). I’ve been to Florence mainly just to see and visit some of his historic places (his wedding chapel was closed the entire time). My avatar on message boards is his statue outside of the Uffizi. I seriously thought about how to get Italian-exclusive ice cream named after the three parts over here to eat.
So yeah, I’m a fan. Beatrice could’ve been a beet beer and I would’ve purchased it. Thankfully, Beatrice is an Italian grape ale (according to untappd) featuring a blend of 51% Barolo foedre aged wild ale and 49% Sangiovese grape must fermented in an imported Italian Sangiovese wine puncheon. So, true to its inspiration and in spite of the SEO and Flesch-Kincaid readability score, enjoy this review in terza rima, just like The Divine Comedy!
Murky brown notes permeate from the pour
With red and purple tints of grapes there too.
Alcohol stains the side, no head in store;
Beatrice has a film atop the hue
Making me question the percentage of
This liquid that I’m about to review
Communion wine fills the room and above
The beer grapes, jammy grapes come to the front
With small notes of chocolate that I love.
Cherries and raspberries join as I hunt
And find raspberries, figs and vinous nose
Flavors lurking beneath but not as blunt.
Sip Beatrice and alcohol grows
But over time alcohol fades away.
And the bottle will soon join the repose
Of the place where refuse goes to decay.
Jammy grapes from the nose flow to the tongue
With dark fruits and cherries on full display.
Beatrice moves so fast as if among
Heavenly bodies; only grape remains
With booze that would make Faust feel again young.
Time is Beatrice’s best friend as it wanes
The tannins and becomes easy to drink
Along side meat. A finish that contains
More dryness than a desert with no sink
But you’ll continue to tip back until
No more. Don’t stand up too quick or you’ll think
You’ll fall. Beatrice is fourteen percent
So it will take time to reorient.
No more rhyming! Beatrice definitely falls more on the wine side of things but still does retain some beer-like qualities. For non-wine drinkers it’s fine, but for those that love it you’ll love Beatrice (add another point to my score below as well). I appreciate what Off Color is going for here though; I would just like some mouthfeel on it. That being said, I still finished the bottle and would purchase again, especially for a wine drinker like my mother. Keep these small batch experiments going, Off Color!