Just In 👉 Macallan Unveils 73 Years Red Collection Whisky D...

Beer Reviews

Hips Don’t Lie Belgian Table Beer With Rose Hips, The Bruery, 4.5% ABV


The Bruery has built for itself quite the reputation as a cult classic, having emerged from the California beer scene, and doing so as quite the latecomer to an already established land of the G's. The Bruery carved its name out by - quite remarkably - finding its way into adding something new and unique to the West Coast. All it took was an ethos to never make an IPA.


Patrick Rue.


Founder Patrick Rue, who named the brewery after his family name, had a view that quite frankly, there were already so many great IPAs around - how would The Bruery be doing it any differently? And he stuck by it - despite having been founded in 2008, The Bruery never made an IPA until 2017 when it seems like its largest investor had asked for one - and even so it had to don the name Offshoot, never The Bruery.

Rue had been a rather dispassionate law student who had spent his college years looking for something that he was more interested in - this led to him taking the Bar exam,... and failing. On the encouragement of his wife, Rachel, Rue was told to pick up a hobby whilst in college, and with a homebrew kit gifted to him by Rachel, Rue would go on a path that many a brewer founder know all too well - he would get really into it and decide to start a brewery. As Rue mentioned, it wasn't like any brewery had a headcount for someone to handle their legal work - he asked! From the get go, Rue had wanted to focus on Belgian beers, which he personally enjoyed for its complexity and subtlety, and also felt gave him much room to experiment with - also no one was really doing it, which justified him taking the leap if it would give him an avenue to add to the already colourful craft beer scene. It was after all the height of hops culture, and did the US really need another IPA?



Yet, The Bruery has certainly gone further on from that original idea, and the only way to meaningfully make sense of their over 700 expressions - many of which are one-off's and small batches made for its members program - is to think of them as simply being experimental in achieving new flavour profiles. They've played around with all sorts of wild ferments, fruit and pastry adjuncts, and so much more.

And yet one of the biggest issues you might find yourself facing with The Bruery is that you'll notice that most of its beers tend to come in 750ml Champagne-style bottles - Rue says they're made for sharing. But what if you've got no one to share them with 😢 But there is a bigger reason for that - despite brewing up so many experiments, The Bruery has become best known for its barrel ageing program. This goes for both its imperial stouts and sours.



Uniquely, The Bruery has a focus on using spirits and wine casks to age its beers, instead of just the standard ex-Bourbon barrel. You'll also fine that many of its beers come bottle conditioned, with some yeast adding into the bottle to continue on a secondary fermentation even in the bottle, which allows them to be aged to develop interesting flavours.

And so today The Bruery does over 2,500 barrels annually, with four primary styles that it produces - The Bruery, which focuses on Belgian styles and barrel-aged Imperial stouts; Terreux, which is dedicated to sours, spontaneous and vinous styles; Ruekeller, that encapsulates traditional European beer styles from Marzen's to Helles lagers and Pilsners; and finally Offshoot, which is for the IPA's.

Today I got pretty lucky, having found a canned beer from The Bruery - it's a Belgian Table Beer with Rose Hips, cheekily named Hips Don't Lie. Let's give this a go!

Hips Don’t Lie Belgian Table Beer With Rose Hips, The Bruery, 4.5% ABV - Review


Tasting Notes

Colour: Hazy Light Gold

Aroma: Aromatic notes of fresh bouquets of roses, it's almost perfumed, and then backed by an equally aromatic and rich but not too dense hit of umami and savoury oyster sauce, marmite and charred meats. There's also a gentle herbaceousness of parsley woven in. It's super aromatic! It's given some body with toasted bread, and outlined by a slight yeasty note. It's incredibly rich and reminiscent of a Festbier or a Marzen.

Taste: Medium-bodied here. Waves of citrus, savoury charred meats, layered atop a rather bright and buoyant body that's full but doesn't sink. There's a slight umaminess that's balanced against the citruses. It's got a really nice richness and fullness to its body, whilst maintaining its brighter effervescence. More on lemon, vague herbaceousness, aromatic whole white pepper. With time it evolves to more on chrysanthemum tea. 

Finish: More lemon wedges here, isotonic water, savouriness of charred meats, as well as those aromatic whole white pepper and herbaceous parsley - it's giving farmhouse ale vibes. Crisp on the finish, with lingering notes of chamomile tea.


My Thoughts

My first Bruery experience did not disappoint! For one, I'm a big fan of Belgian beers, which is a category typically steeped in tradition - here it's a really nice rendition of that, and given an American sensibility about it. It's bolder in flavour, has a more distinct and detailed richness, is given more structure, and feels more heavier in flavour. 

I really enjoyed the incredibly aromatic roses on the nose, which I kind of wish translated onto the palate, but otherwise it was really lovely and complex nose that gave a good freshness. On the palate, it felt like a bolder take on traditional Belgian beers, and yet maintained its approachability and sessionability - certainly the rose notes could've made its way on to the palate. It felt fuller in flavour, had a nice complexity to it, and yet was easily drinkable. It was very interesting too that with time, more floral teas began to emerge. I did personally feel that it could've been alittle more honeyed and sweeter on the palate for my tastes. The finish was a nice crispness that kept the floral aromas in the aftertaste, and felt alittle bit like a solid farmhouse ale with again that complexity and cohesiveness in its flavours.

Entirely enjoyable!