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Wari | Off Color Brewing

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Very Good
53 Ratings

Brewed by:
Off Color Brewing
Illinois, United States

Style: Fruit and Field Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Field Museum and Off Color's second collaboration based off an ancient corn based beer or chicha. Deep pink color from imported Peruvian purple corn with aromatics of mild pepper. Grainy funk and fruit acidity reminiscent of cranberry juice without the sweetness.

Beer was inspired by remnants discovered at an over 1,000 year old brewery excavated in Cerro Baul, Peru by a team that included Dr. Ryan William from The Field Museum. They found a mill, ceramic boiling and fermenting vats and remnants of molle berries all around the brewery area. You can read more about it here. This ale is more of a hybrid of a chicha de molle (brewed primarily from S. molle berries) and a chicha morada (brewed primarilry with purple corn).

Ingredients: Pils, dried Peruvian purple corn, honey malt, pink peppercorns (Schinus molle berries), light stable hop extract (vegan)

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of krome
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jcarriglio
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of hophugger
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark pink in color with decent fizzy head, not much, but present and noticeable. Aroma is malty with a nice fresh berry nose. Taste is sour, almost rotten berries, but still hanging in there Mouthfeel is decent, slightly sour, yet delivers a good punch with the beery feel. Finish is beeries with a bit of an earthiness..

 322 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was intrigued when I saw this on the shelf during a recent visit to The Beer & Beverage Shoppe. Its color made me initially think that a bottle of pop had somehow made its way onto the singles beer shelf. No, instead, it was an example of chicha, a style that I have wanted to try for a while. I first heard of it through Sam Calagione of DFH, who not only learned how to make it from South American natives, but also enlisted his employees to chew corn for a batch of their own! Yeah, it's made from chewed & spat out corn with the saliva helping to break down the starches for fermentation. The comprehensive Notes explain this one.

From the Bottle: "Chicha Inspired Ale With S. mole Berries"; "Chicha de Molle Inspired Ale"; "Gravity: 11 P IBUs: 3ish Malts: Pils, Peruvian Purple Corn, Honey Malt Hops: Yep, there's hops Secret Ingredients: Schinus molle berries, Lactobacillus, Excavation".

I Pop!ped the cap & noticing that it was highly carbonated, I began a slow, gentle C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. True to form, it immediately puffed up, forming just under three fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, pinkish (!) head that looked like fresh-spun cotton candy! 8=O Color was a Pinkish-Amber (SRM = N/A) with NE-quality clarity, although it should be noted that I left a LOT of lees on the punt for a final pour. Nose was highly fecal, reminding me to take a GIRD pill before continuing. 8=p No kidding, it smelled like an open sewer line. Warming, it took on a light tartness, kind of like the cranberry juice that they mentioned, but it was still really stinky. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, surprisingly bigger than I expected from such a low-ABV offering. The taste was MUCH better than the nose had led me to expect. It had a mild tartness, very evocative of tart berries, whether cranberries or cherries, but still much tastier than the nose had led me to believe. I also got a corn flavor, but not the unpleasant silage that usually comes as a result of using corn as an adjunct. Instead, it was like Fritos corn chips, a favorite of mine since I was just a wee lad. It had a pleasant corn flavor as opposed to the unpleasantness often found in AALs. Finish was surprisingly tart, dry & very refreshing. I would not want a steady diet of it, but as an oddity, it was actually quite tasty. My only real bugaboo was the smell, which actually lingered in my sinuses. Man, it really stank! My final pour was of the aforementioned lees in the "Waste Not, Want Not" philosophy. This was the distillation or source of the smell. Man, it was like concentrated stink. It also had a softer, more rounded tartness. Interesting.

 2,638 characters

Photo of Suds
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love these historic recreated beers. This one is particularly interesting. It is from a clear bottle, and is a wild electric reddish-pink color. Little head on the pour that quickly disappears. The aroma is a little tart-smelling, with some fruit and pepper notes. The taste is semi-dry and interesting. It reminds me of a modern slightly sour brew. Interesting.

 371 characters

Photo of bschmidt_37
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Soneast
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a relatively clear medium to dark purplish red in color (not too different than cranberry juice) with light amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint ruby red + purple + raspberry pink + burnt orange colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall fizzy foamy pale pink head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering a little more than 75% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of slightly bready malts + corn adjuncts with a light to moderate amount of corn + honey sweetness. Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of lemon citrus + lacto tartness with a moderate aroma of spicy/peppercorn yeast. Light aromas of tart berries as well.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of slightly bready malts + corn adjuncts with a light to moderate amount of corn + honey sweetness. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of lemon citrus + lacto tartness as well as light to moderate aromas of slightly tart/slightly sweet berries. Light flavors of spicy/peppercorn yeast. Light to moderate amounts of lingering tartness in the finish.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with a light to moderate amount of acidic prickliness.

O: Not knowing what a chicha is supposed to taste/smell like, it is a little hard to judge how well this ancient ale is executed. It is easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and low ABV. Refreshing and enjoyable. Reminds of a bit of a Berliner Weisse but with some subtle differences.

 1,633 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of shelby415
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DbbC
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Ristaccia
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of fosters9
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Only Off Color could get me to buy a low-ABV, esoteric (read: gimmicky)-style, pink beer in clear bottles for $11/6 pk. Let's see if this trust will continue...

The body is actually more of a ruby-red ringed with orange, not clear but not hazy either. Lots of streams of fine bubbles rise to form a reddish-but-mostly-white very fizzy head, to the point where it's audible. The nose is layered beautifully, to the point of illusion; the initial whiff gives me BEER notes, like barley, corn, and bread crust. Further inspection reveals cherry and strawberry, in such intensity and unilaterality that I'm amazed I missed it entirely at first smell. As I continue sorting this out, honey enters the picture as both malt and fruit come together. The taste hits with some tang from the get go, eliciting cherry and mildly sour fruit, transitions to those bready beer notes, which somehow make straightforward corn into an interesting and worthwhile flavor, and finishes up with some kind of herbal, earthy note that I lack to vocab and experience to name. The feel is as close to energy drink I've ever had from a beer; light with jabbing, prickly carbonation that re-fizzes when it hits your tongue. There is an amount of gritty sugary-ness to it that I could do without, but on the whole it makes for a guiltily refreshing drink.
Righteously crazy beer, dudes. I will never understand what went into this or how it was made, but I do know I enjoyed it. The tartness was quenching but shouldn't scare away sour-haters, and while it did have warmer notes was still a firmly easy-drinking, refreshing brew. Trust kept.

 1,613 characters

Photo of LeftHanded666
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Knapp85
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Commandophile
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of White
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of novamat
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Wari from Off Color Brewing
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 53 ratings