24 Days of B.C. Beer: Blackberry Export Stout by Vancouver Island Brewing (No.12)

Unfortunately, we have to steer you far, far away from this one.

Welcome to 24 Days of Beer, in which we guide you through what might be a very dark month. Aren’t you glad we’re here to tell you what to drain your sorrows with?

We recently had to not recommend a beer here at 24 Days of Beer with Dageraad’s Velour Toboggan Blackberry Dark Ale. It was a terrible feeling then and, unfortunately, it’s happened once again. This time it’s a tad less surprising.

It’s not that I don’t like or respect Vancouver Island beer. I think its rebrand has been quite brilliantly executed with a plethora of smart, quality beers leading the way. Or that we hate blackberries—they’re delicious, it’s very much a weird coincidence the only two we haven’t like so far have been blackberry beers (we think).

But rolling out a fruited stout is never an easy task—the flavours just don’t go together very well. It can be done, yes. But it hardly ever is, for good reason.

I would love to say that Vancouver Island was able to marry the flavours of chocolate and blackberry together. And maybe for some, like my Big Turk loving co-worker perhaps, that would be the case.

For me, it doesn’t work at all. I want to be nice here, but I also want to be honest. So in the spirit of honesty, I’ll say that I wouldn’t want my enemy to have to taste what appears to be an ode to cough syrup. Heck, I felt bad for the kitchen sink I poured it down after struggling through a handful of sips.

Again, maybe it’s just me. But a helpful lesson: lots of breweries talk about how they poured in a shit ton of raspberries for a raspberry sour or coconuts for a coconut IPA. They don’t often brag about it when they’ve used blackberry concentrate, and there’s a reason for that.

Previous 24 Days of Beer:
Tmavý Pivo 13 by Slowhand Brewing (No.1)
Mint Chocolate Stout by Moody Ales (No.2)
All Season Nitro Dry Stout by Container Brewing (No.3)
Four Year Oatmeal Stout by Strathcona Beer Company (No.4)
Idleback Amber Ale by Slackwater Brewing (No.5)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter by Bad Tattoo Brewing (No.6)
Velour Toboggan Blackberry Dark Ale by Dageraad Brewing (No.7)
Imperial Gingerbread Porter by Persephone Brewing (No.8)

Cranberry Mandarin Orange Witbier by Old Yale Brewing (No.9)
Chalet All Day Horchata Blonde Ale by Bridge Brewing (No.10)
Indulgeousness Imperial Stout by Superflux Beer Company (No.11)