Side Project Brewing

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Wild Ale
Ranked #15
Ranked #220
4.53 | pDev: 6.18%
Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Notes: For Blend #2, we chose a blend of not only our “Flanders - Inspired” red beer, but also used a touch of our French Oak Foedre Beer, a beer that lays the base for Fuzzy, and has been aging via a solera method for more than 5 years now. This blend was then moved to Missouri Oak and aged atop more than 3000 lbs of Oregon blackberries from our friends at Decker Farms. The blend and the blackberries were combined in April of 2018 and allowed to re-ferment for almost a year before being bottle-conditioned prior to release.
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 291 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is really thick (unlike that loser Robin). Yeah, this one is like pure and ripe like the day Bridgette Bardot was born. For reals, it’s just beautiful and it hits you well and good like Bruce Smith trying to make you fumble.

Hut! Hut! Hike!

Jan 17, 2021
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.56/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blend No. 2 (2018 release); consumed on 1/14/21

Pours a deep, jet-purple body with an airy half-finger of extra-pale mauve head, retreating quickly to a few paper-thin, spotty islands of cap, a sizeable, bubbly collar, and virtually no lacing beyond an occasional splotching isolated at various points around the glass.

Aroma shows fresh blackberry pits engaging with an increasingly rounded lactic funk, sharpwning over time while simultaneously embracing jammy blackberry and a deepening sweetness as the beer warms; old leather and wet stone peak over the middle into fresher oak and some grape-like tannins to close.

Taste ooens with suggestions of blackberry quijcly overtaken by lactic funk and a splintery oak profile; hints of dried peppercorn pair with a sturdy tannic structure into a mid-palate of barnyard funk and lemon zest, while tones of blackberry pits, lactic funk, and a brief burst of red berries mark the finish.

Mouthfeel brings a medium-light body with a fine, moderate-mild carbonation; a huge acidity is sharp and biting over the mid-palate, acetic and puckering though crisp into back end; a brief juiciness dries steadily with slight tannic textures on the finish.

Increasingly palatable as it warms, an overwhelming acidity remains dominant, relegating the blackberry to an underdeveloped background while largely glossing over the nuance of the funk; this wild ale is clearly designed competently and shows sporadic sparks of genuine depth, but a relentless imbalance ultimately takes away from the overall product.

Jan 15, 2021
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.03/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 - 375ml bottle - poured into a zin stem at 45°F.

Pours a deep blackberry purple - foggy anf crimson when held to the light, with a lasting sudsy pinkish collar. The occasional rising bubble can be seen. Not as saturated, but quite similar to a merlot in appearance.

Nose: Really wonderful blackberry presence here. That classic, instantly recognisable Side Project grist and culture character forms a simple foundation, with some toasty grain, bright acidity, and white oak, with subtle threads of hay, wheat, dusty leather, stone, petrichor, wet leaves, and lemon. The fruit is fresh, vibrant, and seedy, with an underlying jammy element. Reserved, but elegant.

Palate: Thicket greets the palate with a sharp zing of acidity, with a ton of lacto-driven lemon juice pucker, and a bit of acetic bite following. Like many fruited Side Project wilds, there's an underlying sweetness that seems like it's from both the malt as well as some fructose. The sweetness tuns parallel to, but beneath the sourness, taming it a bit. The blackberry character is unmistakable, buy leans towards the dry, seedy, unripe, tart end of the spectrum, rather than juicy or saturated. The acidity is aggressive, and thankfully, burns fast and bright, settling down quickly, and revealing some grains and a bit of oak. Some ripe berry pokes through, along with some wine-soaked oak, finishing quick, clean, and dry.

Mouthfeel/Body: Thicket is medium-light in body, wispy, fluid, and crisp. Puckering acidity up front causes some mouthwatering. Effervescence is fine, lively, amd sparkly. The finish is dry, with some very subtle oak tannins.

Overall: This is one of those wild ales that could have been stellar if it wasn't so acidic. The reviews are polarising - some saying it's jammy, others, that it's crazy sour. As it warms, some ripe berry sweetness does begin to emerge, which helps a lot, and it does become enjoyable, but the aggressive acidity holds it back and stifles the complexity. It's certainly fruit-forward, and very much Side Project, but it isn't the most balanced or complex offering. This one is good, but not amazing.

Jan 15, 2021
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RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

FFBL draft. Holy sour blackberries! This is what a sour is. I enjoy the thick and gloopy fruited stuff but this is a real sour. Tons of lacto on the nose and in the flavor. Nice blackberry flavor with a lot of sour. Puckering! Great fruited sour here.

Sep 11, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark maroon to purple with a short mauve head that loudly fizzles out to nothing quickly.

Taste is super juicy blackberry, to the point of gummies, while dark oak and tannins come in mid-palate, capping off with only the faintest hint of nutty funk in the exhale.

Thicket is really puckering and tingly, yet somehow not painfully acidic at all. A playful effervescence runs thru the medium body coming to a just semi-dry finish.

Blend #2

Apr 01, 2020
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Amber hued with purple highlights. There’s a fingernail of white tinged with purple around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is of tart brettanomyces and blackberries. I’m tasting plenty of blackberries and brettanomyces, which seems to blend fantastically. The mouth is moderately carbonated and dry.

Mar 08, 2020
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.51/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

blend 2, magic! the best of the side project little bottles ive had in years i think, its not as sour as so many of them have started to become, maybe its because its fresher, but the base beer is old anyway, so im not really sure. more likely its just balanced out by all this fruit, just an absolute load of the blackberries, this is fruit heavy as they get, and all the berries seem necessary to balance a rather intense and complex base beer, this is really good, worth the hype, although maybe just a little raw and unrefined in the bottle. its a deeply stained blackberry color, but has a lot of haze and murkiness to it, some particulate in there as well, looks almost like fruit skins, cant complain about authenticity, but the beer doesnt quite sparkle, even though its bubbly enough and holds its airy white head rather well. aroma is blackberry and blackberry jam, couldnt be more obvious, and there is nice tang and funk here too, lots of oak, red wine, light fruit vinegar, and raw wheat, really impressive and interesting, and the boldness of the blackberry is as intense as ive ever known it in beer! my mouth waters like mad to taste it. the berries are as prominent in the taste, crazy maturity, woodiness, and juiciness as well, even the less enthusiastic beer drinkers around our table are impressed with this. the fruit and the sour are great together, the complexity is enormous, and the fruit is sun ripened and real as can be here. not all that acidic, i could easily drink the whole bottle myself, which isnt always true of their beers, and the bretty part seems well developed too. great carbonation on this and some solid blackberry linger. one of the best ive had with this fruit, truly wonderful beer!

Jan 03, 2020
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. A clear ruby red color with a fleeting pinkish head. Scant wispy laces in the glass. Aroma had rich oak barrel, vanilla, blackberries, cherries, currants, and funk. Fairly tart on the first sip and with the bright fruity notes above. Lemony on the finish. Complex and all the elements shined. Delicious.

Nov 10, 2019
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blend #2. 2019 release.

A: Pours a deep burgundy, nice clarity and effervescence, with a cap of fizzy purplish-pink head that dissipates rapidly leaving a still surface. No lacing.

S: Blackberry, grape juice, and light oak effortlessly meld with a medium-light barnyard funk.

T: A bracing, medium-high, Warhead-like sourness that (fortunately) tapers off quickly. Blackberry juice, medium-light sweetness, and mild funk round out the palate.

M: Fizzy, light body with medium-high, crackly carbonation.

O: Great fruit character. The acid is a bit higher than ideal on the palate, though I wouldn’t say it crosses the line into “too sour”.

Jul 13, 2019
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JLK7299 from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at a beer share with 2 good friends a few months ago. We had been trying to acquire this for a long time, we finally tracked it down and it was worth the wait!

Jun 21, 2019
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jheimbigner from Washington

4.34/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beatufil purple with minimal lacing. Smell is of sour blackberry - sour coming from lacto, I am assuming. The blackberry is so strong. Taste follows the nose, strong sour blackberry flavor with a decently sharp acidity. Feel is super bubbly/effervescent. Very clean on the pallet. Overall, it is probably the best blackberry sour I have had, but falls well short of smooth and fuzzy

May 15, 2019
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Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 375mL bottle into a wine glass. pours a beautiful dark red with pinkish white head. smells of blackberry jam with some acidic funk. taste is similar with the jamminess taking the forefront. this is some tart cider! sour and acidic. feel is appropriate for the style. not overly bubbly. definitely on the thicker side of things. overall, damn sour but one of my favorites of the SP 375s.

Dec 17, 2017
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: clearish red with no head.
S: super tart. Smells more like cherries than blueberries.
T: just like the nose. Super tart, berry sweetness throughout.
F: high carbonation, but still smooth.

Feb 18, 2017
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AMCimpi from New York

4.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: A deep red, almost purple. White head that sticks for a while. S: Blackberries and a lot of them. Oak, hay, lemon zest, vinegar. T: Yep that's perfect. Juicy blackberries, tart blackberries. Some oak to dry the back end and that signature SP tartness/sour to let you know it means business. M: Enough carb to make it palatable, but not a lot to make it soft. Oak dryness on the backend end. O: This is killer. I've had a few SP bottles now and this one is amazing. Not the most sour of the bunch, but very complex and well balanced

Jul 10, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours auburn brown with a modest head; decent retention

Smell: Tart blackberry, with defined lactic tones; hints of grain in the back

Taste: Lactic and acetic tartness from the outset, with the blackberry tones building; the tartness builds through the middle and finish but never overwhelms

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; modest puckering

Overall: A nice sour, though it lacks some complexity

Jan 07, 2016
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jshusc from South Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible beer. Thanks to @jdhowe for the share. Beautiful purplish hue with strong blackberry aroma. Very sour, but not too acidic. A little funk, but probably more on the nose. Delicious beer.

Aug 17, 2015
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billab914 from Virginia

4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep purple color. Nice sour blackberry in aroma. A little sharp at first, but the blackberries come out nicely in the finish. A little funky but falls more on the sour and acidic side. Really nice overall, nicely done blackberry sour.

Aug 15, 2015
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kevanb from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, generously shared by Erik, poured into a Side Project oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 6.20.15, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a really nice purple/red color, opaque and hazy, really reminiscent of a blackberry with a slightly off white head, about a finger high that has nice retention and good lace. The aroma is welcoming, lots of blackberry, acidic red wine, hearty oak, funky yeast, lemon zest and tangy red grape linger well. The flavors are quite enjoyable, tart and fresh blackberry, juicy and jammy, red wine acidity, chewy oak, good funk, a little cheesy with a nice amount of mustiness, lemon zest cuts into the sourness a little, despite it's tart character, but offers some brightness and like the nose, lingering red grape and currants, fleshy and puckery. The mouthfeel is good, coating, zippy and lively with high carbonation levels, good dry tartness and an easy finish that has a crisp kick.

Verdict: A nice Wild Ale from Side Project, not overly sour, which I find to be a typical attribute with their fruited sours. Tart, acidic, balanced and a nice blackberry expression, not quite as epic and Fuzzy or Framboise du Fermier in terms of the representation of the fruit used, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Jul 30, 2015
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BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Kyle

Beautiful purple pour

Jammy, seedy, fruit is very expressive. Acetic sour notes are strong but fruit remains bold and present.

I half expected to pull seeds from my mouth.....crazy good.

Jul 22, 2015
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BeerCruncher from Illinois

4.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

In my opinion, the least acidic, most fruit forward of the Side Project 375ml bottles. For me, it was also the easiest to drink, along with Blancs. Tons of mildly tart blackberries, with lots of blackberry skin noticeable throughout the beer. The oak presence is very noticeable with a hint of red wine. This was a fantastic.

Jun 24, 2015
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danh53 from Florida

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark burgundy with slight head that fades quickly and minimal lacing. Aroma hits right away with fresh sour blackberries and red wine. The taste follows the nose. There's a bit of lemon and some red wine vinegar along with a buttery component that comes through as it warms. Mouth feel is light to medium. Very good overall. Glad I got to try this.

Jun 22, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light reddish brown body with slight pink hues, half finger white head with surprisingly good retention time, nice lacing. Smells of tart lactic acidity, blackberry puree. Mild grainy malt sweetness in the background, but make no mistake, the acidity and the blackberry are the stars here. Although, the blackberry is certainly playing second fiddle to the lacto and acetic acid. Flavour is surprisingly less sour than expected, e.g. La Fosse, and the blackberries kick in towards the end. For the most part, it's oak, a bit of hay, a lot of lactic and acetic acid contributing a strong sense of sourness. The blackberries start to come into their own halfway in, and leave you with a mild jammy flavour at the end. The tartness never recedes but is rather constant. Still, it's a tasty beer and is far easier to drink than La Fosse. Overall, a very nice blackberry wild, but it lacks a good bit of complexity for the most part. It's acidic with a moderate blackberry presence, that's pretty much all she wrote.

Jun 14, 2015
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UWBadgerFan4Life from Wisconsin

4.71/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite side project beers. Still had that typical Side Project lacto but the fruit comes through in this one much more than a lot of their other beers.

Jun 04, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.95/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep purple. Lightly pink head. Very pretty beer.

Smell - Strong berry. Wine barrel, too. Strong vinous notes.

Taste - Intense blackberry flavor. Equally strong is the red wine flavor with it. Quite sour, but not as sour as other Side Project sours, which I like.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation. Hefty sourness.

Overall - Excellent fruit flavor, but the wine flavor is in equal proportion. Just about a tolerable amount of sourness.

May 19, 2015
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huddyball from New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful dark blackberry juice. Medium size head due to the high carbonation (starting in the bottle once I cracked the cap). I was afraid I was in for a "gusher" but it held off.

Smell: Wow, blackberries to the max. Jammy along with a strong acidity right from the nose. I could smell this brew for hours.

Taste: SOUR! Before the blackberries could hit I was struck by a huge sourness that got you right in the jaw like a Sour Patch Kid. While I do love sours, this was a but much right off the bat. As the brew warmed the sourness subsided (or maybe I was just getting use to it). Aside from the sourness you get, you guessed it, tons of jammy blackberries. As it warmed I got a slightly buttery and briny flavor as I sipped. Interesting and I liked it.

Mouthfeel: This was dry, but not intensely dry. It had a nice body and as noted it was well carbonated.

Overall this was my first experience with something from Side Project and I was very pleased. If you like fruited sours (and I'm talking intense sours) then I highly recommend.

May 03, 2015
Thicket from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 291 ratings