Batavia, Illinois is a far west suburb of Chicago and a neighboring city to my hometown. A few years ago Energy City Brewing opened up right on the Fox River and they have since gathered a hardcore following. They are still only available throughout northern Illinois with a few lucky places outside of Chicagoland getting their brews.
Energy City focuses on three main styles, as 99% of their beers are either a stout, IPA, or a sour beer. But they have multiple series and each new release uses different additives than the previous.
I was recently gifted a beer from the Bisto series they do - Bistro Grande Blueberry Pancakes.
This is a kettle soured Berliner-style weisse beer made with fresh blueberries and maple syrup. A four-pack of 16-ounce cans costs $19 and each pint has a very solid 8% ABV. I’m not usually a fan of kettle sours but this one sounded interesting enough.
The beer poured on the heavy side and was a deep, dark purple. Two fingers of dense lavender foam built up and very slowly fizzled away, leaving stains of colored lacing down the side of the glass.
On the nose, there was a light tartness to the brew that was accompanied by notes of fresh blueberries. Sitting quietly in the background was some of that sticky sweet maple syrup but, for the most part, the aroma was all blueberry. This is insane...it looked and smelled more like a fruit smoothie than a beer.
My first sip felt more like a smoothie as well. It featured a thick and creamy mouthfeel that slowly gave way to a light carbonation fizzle that hummed atop my tongue and lasted quite some time underneath everything.
A wave of blueberries and fresh berry tartness washed across my taste buds. The tartness wasn’t too intense and, instead, just gave off a little prickle that matched the carbonation.
After the initial hit of fruit and sourness, a viscous, sticky sweetness from the maple syrup that peeks through for a brief moment. It doesn’t last long and, rather quickly, that smoothie quality overpowers the syrup and takes over once again.
The beer then begins to fade away and it does so rather cleanly. There is no lingering aftertaste but the syrup does leave behind a little stickiness that sits for a few minutes before finally fading away.
I could NOT believe this was a beer. It looked like a smoothie. It tasted like a smoothie. It was a smoothie. You can’t convince me otherwise. This is the perfect breakfast beer...or, if you have reservations about drinking that early, the perfect dessert beer. And at 8% it’s packing some serious booze that’s completely hidden!
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this series of beers from them (again, not a huge fan of kettle sours usually)...but after drinking this one, I can’t wait to try more from their Bistro series!