Off Color Brewing

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Off Color Brewing
Illinois, United States
Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #33
Ranked #14,443
3.94 | pDev: 6.85%
Nov 30, 2021
Mar 05, 2016
Very Good
Notes: This Field Museum collab was first released in 2016, inspired by artifacts excavated from a 1,000+ year old brewery in Cerro Baul, Peru. That team, which included Dr. Ryan William of The Field Museum, found a mill, ceramic boiling and fermenting vats, and remnants of molle berries all around the brewery area. Our modern fermented beverage gets its mild pepper taste and aroma from molle berries (pink peppercorns) and a grainy funk and fruit acidity reminiscent of cranberry juice without the sweetness, partly due to some time spent with our house lacto culture.
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Rated: 3.98 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Nov 30, 2021
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Rated by pathman from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
7/18/19 bottle @ home
Dec 01, 2019
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Fairly clear ruby red, maybe a little foggy, with a short fuzzy white blanket.

Soft tingly bubbles bring in lightly tart red fruit flavors that most closely resemble pomegranate to my palate. A little tang and dryness bring out black pepper and a touch of smoked malt before coming to a cleanly refreshing finish.
Sep 10, 2019
Rated: 3.59 by Eychung from New York

Aug 05, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by jpbrooklyn from New Jersey

Jul 22, 2019
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Reviewed by tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Poured from a clear 12 oz. bottle. Has a pinkish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very sour, some berries. Taste is tart, berries, a bit unusual, very dry at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall it's ok, but one is enough for me. I remember a drink called Chicha Morada that I drank plenty of while visiting Peru as a young man, and was hoping for a similar flavor profile, but they are worlds apart.
Jun 08, 2019
Rated: 4.06 by Theyrcoming from Ohio

Apr 09, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by krome from Illinois

Jan 03, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by jgunther71 from Illinois

Dec 28, 2018
Rated: 4.06 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Dec 21, 2018
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Reviewed by hophugger from Virginia

3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
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..
Nov 28, 2018
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Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
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.
Nov 17, 2018
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Reviewed by Suds from Missouri

3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
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.
Sep 06, 2018
Rated: 3.78 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois

Sep 02, 2018
Rated: 3.87 by Soneast from Wisconsin

Aug 28, 2018
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Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.
Jun 27, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

Jun 24, 2018
Rated: 3.74 by vfgccp from New York

Apr 29, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by shelby415 from Oregon

Mar 04, 2018
Rated: 4.06 by Kurmaraja from California

Mar 04, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by DbbC from Illinois

Jan 30, 2018
Rated: 3.9 by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

Dec 22, 2017
Rated: 3.82 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

Dec 02, 2017
Rated: 4 by kylehay2004 from Illinois

Nov 29, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by fosters9 from New York

Nov 06, 2017
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Reviewed by 1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
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.
Nov 05, 2017
Rated: 4.26 by LeftHanded666 from New York

Nov 01, 2017
Rated: 3.94 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Oct 23, 2017
Rated: 3.98 by Commandophile from Illinois

Oct 16, 2017
Rated: 3.81 by White from Wisconsin

Oct 07, 2017
Rated: 3.97 by leprechaunandfatman from Ohio

Oct 07, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by novamat from Illinois

Oct 07, 2017
Rated: 4 by jakea from Wisconsin

Oct 01, 2017
Rated: 4.19 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Sep 30, 2017
Rated: 4.09 by Jonnydrinker from Illinois

Sep 19, 2017
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Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Just bought at Off Color's bottle shop on Freshie Friday. (I'll presume this 2017 batch is as fresh as it gets.)

I agree that Wari is a totally different taste sensation and one that must approached with an open mind. So different on even the widening range of what we consider beer, Wari may be barely beer except.... that it is.

There is so much going on that I cannot unpack it and still enjoy... so I'll only do the later.
But I should say that the drying sensation at the end rivals the best Berliner Weiss or gose (two styles Off Color does first rate.)
I think the best way to approach Wari again is some spicier food and test its versatility. Refreshing by itself, Wari is.
Aug 25, 2017
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
clear glass bottled beer that isnt macro crap? molle berries? blue corn? the field museum for goodness sake? huge points to these weirdos for originality on this one, thanks to claystation for sharing it with me, never seen craft beer in this kind of package before. the beer is weirdly pinkish, purple, orange, and has a short off white head. off color indeed! blue corn in the mash from what i understand, there is some sweetness to it, and obviously the color, but im not sure i am tasting it. i dont taste much grain here at all, this is a little closer to fermented juice or something than it is beer for me, but i really like it. the berries, which apparently are related to pink peppercorns? have a highly aromatic, almost potpourri vibe about them, but are more smell than taste, no pepper or even really much fruit to the taste, its almost got watermelon in it, a fruit punch complexion, but fruit punch really isnt fruit is it? not overly sweet, real low alcohol, and carbonated like a ginger ale. i really like these old indigenous ales, and this is a neat one, peruvian if i am not mistaken, never had one like it. it sings on the palate, and is quite original. not sure i need more than a shared single bottle of this, but it was a really memorable drinking experience. off color seems to be up for basically anything at this point, and they certainly have my full attention after a brew like this one!
Mar 16, 2017
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Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a clear cranberry color. Fizzy and effervescent. Thin pinkish head dissipates quickly but vivacious bubbles continue fizzing on top of the her as it sits.

Smell has a strong aroma of lactobacillus. Tart, sour, slightly vinegary on the nose. There are also notes of berries and a hint of spicy pepper.

Taste is tart with lots of lactobacillus. Strong berry flavor that goes so nicely with the tartness. Strong corn malt backbone is noted - clearly from the peruvian purple corn used in the beer. Definite peppery spice that becomes more discernible as you drink the beer. Dry finish.

Feel is light crisp and tart. Mild carbonation.

Overall, its a hard beer to rate because its so unique. So style doesn't really apply here. However, its a very tasty well done beer in its own right. Drinks like a tart sour. Really good beer.
Nov 06, 2016
Rated: 4.02 by dcf5ve from Illinois

Oct 28, 2016
Rated: 4 by HumanParaquat from Indiana

Jul 18, 2016
Wari from Off Color Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 60 ratings