Brew Review: Calicraft Brewing Co. Buzzerkeley

by Kelli H. on March 12, 2013

Name: Calicraft Brewing Co. Buzzerkeley
Date: 3-9-13
Type: Sparkling Ale
Location: San Jose, California
Availability: Year round
Alcohol: 7%
Price: $8.49/750 ml

Aroma: Honestly can’t really smell much. Nothing stood out in the aroma to either me or David. To me it just smelled like “beer”.

Appearance: Straw colored, clear, small head, not as many bubbles as you’d expect rising to the top

Body & Texture: Mouth feel is very bubbly, smooth, light, and crisp. Tastes of muscat grapes.

Aftertaste: Yeast, slight sweetness from honey.

Overall Impression: 
Ever since trying Calicraft’s Oak Town, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on Buzzerkeley. I had read about it on their website and it sounded really interesting. As you can read below, how would you not want to try that? As a beer and wine lover (especially sparkling wines!) I was very anxious to taste this. When I spotted it at Bottle Barn last Friday after work, I knew it was the one! Priced a little higher than I typically spend on a beer, I felt that the experience of tasting it would be worth it. Initially I was disappointed with the aroma, since I felt like nothing was standing out about it. The color was darker than I thought it would be, but it was a very pretty straw, golden, honey color. It’s not as sweet or fruity as I expected after reading the back. It’s pretty dry and doesn’t leave much of an aftertaste. My other complaint would be the lack of bubbles after pouring a second glass. That fizziness that I love, seemed to be gone in the mouth. It still poured a bubbly head (like a sparkling wine), but the tingles in my mouth were gone, almost like it was flat. I think the idea of blurring the lines between beer and wine is very cool. I think Calicraft has done a great job with this beer. With that said, it’s not one of my favorites. I appreciate what it is, but it’s not something I would drink on a regular basis. It’d make a cool present for someone, and it’s definitely drinkable, but…when I was drinking it, I kind of wished I was drinking sparkling wine, or just a regular IPA. If you’re a beer & wine lover, I do recommend trying this beer. I’d love to know what other people thought. 

“Buzzerkeley blurs the lines between beer and wine. Fermentation with Champagne yeast adds a subtle tartness. Our combination of pure California Starthistle honey and a blend of Belgian and American malts support the spicy fruity esters of the yeast. The honey sugars are almost completed fermented, drying out the beer similar to a Belgian Golden Strong or Dry Champagne. Invigorate your palette as the poke of a Starthistle meets the tickle of a feather on a California hillside. Enjoy anytime day or night, it’s a great companion to food. Pair with fresh fruit, shellfish, white meats and mild to sharp cheeses.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers March 12, 2013 at 11:07 am

It’s pretty, but it doesn’t sound like something I’d be crazy about either. I guess by “sparkling” they kinda’ just meant, “not cask.” ha Glad you got to give it a shot though!


Shannon March 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I would be hesitant to go for this one and I am totally crazy about sparkling wines. I think it would be too similar without being what I wanted. Definitely good for a gift or something different to bring to a party.


sonia the mexigarian March 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I’m always willing to try new beers and this one would be fun to give a shot. I especially like that it’s local 🙂 You find some of the coolest local beers around. I have to be more observant when shopping for my own 🙂


Janine Ryan March 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I like bubbles and I like beer – this sounds interesting! I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one!


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