Brunch Punch Bramble Berry | Maplewood Brewing
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April has arrived and so has warmer weather (on most days) for Chicago. That means outdoor/patio dining can be a thing again, which means more opportunities to brunch (I guess, not a brunch guy). Maplewood has created a line of beers to help get you through brunch, their Brunch Punch series.
Maplewood has many series they’ve created to help sort out their various styles – Cuppa (imperial stout), Juice Pants (hazies), Mr. Shakey (milkshake IPAs). Two fruited sours lines have sprouted up – Brunch Punch and Fizzle Drizzle. Fizzle Drizzle exists as the imperial version of Brunch Punch, so more alcohol and fruit and, well, everything. The Brunch Punch series began in 2019 with Tangerine Pink Guava. It has since expanded to Fruit Punch and Bramble Berry. Being that it should be served or drank at brunch, the alcohol on all these beers are 4% ABV.
Brunch Punch Bramble Berry looks ready for its Instagram close-up right out of the can. It pours a deep red with some purple tint to it. Get ready to let it sit for a bit as a ton of pink head awaits. Like three to four fingers worth of it. After, say, a small conversation it will settle. Perfect for brunch. Don’t expect to see through Brunch Punch Bramble Berry. It’s completely opaque. It looks like a thicker Kool-Aid. Let’s hope it’s not as sweet.
These fruited sour ales make it both easy and difficult to review. If those nose flavors don’t somewhat match what’s on the can, uh-oh. But thankfully Brunch Punch Bramble Berry does. Before even looking at the can (and remembering the fruits) I guessed cherries and raspberries. Boom – cherries and raspberries on the can! Some other assorted fruits show up, but mainly the aforementioned. To be perfectly honest, it smells like a SweeTart.
Thankfully Brunch Punch Bramble Berry doesn’t lean too hard in the sour direction despite my wife’s claims. It stays in the tart pocket the whole way. Raspberries asserts themselves and nothing else really does. Why? It’s the brunch in the title. The high carbonation keeps everything moving very quickly. No time to savor the sip! Actually a bit of tart fruitiness hangs around, but not much at all. But this can will disappear before you know it. 4% ABV, light, refreshing, with some tartness and fruit? Sign me up (for the beer, not brunch)!
Brunch Punch Bramble Berry fits its name perfectly. It’s something you can have in the middle of the day and not feel drunk or tired after one (or in this case, maybe a 4-pack). While mimosas are still the brunch go-to, between this series, Revolution’s Freedom series and Off Color’s Beer for Brunch, craft breweries are making a push for beer as a brunch staple. As long as they’re made like this, there’s no reason for beer not to be.
But now the question I asked myself as I drank it – Brunch Punch or Fizzle Drizzle? Most of the time (like 80%) I’d go with the higher in alcohol and more fruit in the Fizzle Drizzle. But if I’m eating lunch and have things to do later in the day, Brunch Punch packs enough to satiate me while still not knocking me on my ass. Plus it won’t get in the way of whatever it is you would eat for brunch (an omelette?).
Maplewood’s Brunch Punch is available at their Lounge or web shop (currently it’s the Fruit Punch version) as well as bottle shops across the area.