Hop Tarts Wild Berry Double IPA

    Review Date  3/2/2021  By John Staradumsky

They’ve done it again! Yes, those crazy folks over at the DuClaw brewing company of Baltimore, Maryland, have done it again. The same people that gave the world Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter and Sour Me Unicorn Farts Glittered Sour Ale (brewed with edible glitter no less) now bring us…..drum roll please….Hop Tarts Wild Berry Double IPA.

Yes, my friends, this is indeed the beery equivalent of a breakfast toaster pastry. Yet, rest assured, DuClaw is not the first to offer a beer on this idea; at least five years ago, California’s 21st Amendment Brewery offered up Toaster Pastry India Style Red Ale. That one was not (and, one presumes, is not) brewed with actual fruit, as DuClaw Hop Tarts is.

DuClaw says:

*This is NOT a heavily fruited beer!* Meet Hop Tarts, a golden double IPA with a slight berry essence achieved by adding raspberries, blueberries & strawberries during fermentation (a majority which ferments out of the beer during this process). Hops add to the beer’s fruitiness including Lotus, Mosaic, Fruit Punch, Enigma, Chinook & Amarillo. It’s a wild one!

I have to beg to differ here. This is a very fruity beer, and not  my idea of a “golden IPA double IPA” in color. This beer is super fruity, and while yes, the sugars from berries and berry juice may ferment out, they will still add flavor to the brew. I got a lot of the berries here.

Ingredients from the website:

HOP VARIETY: Chinook, Amarillo - Fruit Punch, Lotus, Mosaic, & Enigma

GRAINS: Pilsner, Vienna, Carapils, & Biscuit

DuClaw Hop Tarts Wild Berry Double IPA has an alcohol content of 8% by volume with 60 IBUs and I paid $4.99 for a pint can at Total Wine (though you can buy a 4-pack for $14.99). There was no freshness dating on my can.

DuClaw Hop Tarts Wild Berry Double IPA pours to a pinkish red color with a medium sized fluffy white head and a tart raspberry and strawberry nose. Taking a sip, the beer is medium in body with just a bit of caramel to form the crust. The berries explode here, the strawberry is the most prominent, the raspberry pokes through too, the blueberry is harder to find. The hops add fruit punch and cherry (I think this is from their merging with the real berries). I get grapefruit rind as I reflect on the brew, and a very bitter hop finish.

With all this fruit character, I find this more of a bitter fruit beer than a fruity bitter beer (read: IPA). You can call it a double IPA if you like and not be wrong. I will classify it as the latter, since that is what DuClaw calls it and it does have the bitterness. Either way, I liked this a lot, and would surely buy it again.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned