Brew Review: Calicraft Brewing Buzzerkeley Dry Creek Zinfandel

by Kelli H. on January 28, 2015

Buzzerkeley1Beer: Calicraft Brewing Co. Buzzerkeley Barrel Project Dry Creek Zinfandel
Date: 1-11-15
Location: San Jose, CA
Type: Wild Sparkling Ale
Alcohol: 8.5%
Price: $10.95

Buzzerkeley3“Barrel-aged beer is so passe’. Barrel-aged wild sparkling ales — now that’s innovative. We combined wild Brettanomyces and champagne yeast strains for an ale that’s Belgian funk meets wine country class. Infused with Dry Creek Zinfandel pomace, or spent grape skins, and aged in reserve barrels, this wile ale is tart and jammy, juicy but dry. It starts fruit-forward, with notes of bright red berries and plum, and finishes with wood, spice, and soft tannins. Forget traditional. Try the wild side of Buzzekeley. – Calicraft Brewing


Appearance: Bright copper/apricot in color. Hazy with tons of carbonation bubbles rising to the top. Small to no head retention. 

Aroma: Funky yeast. Tart. Not much aroma.

Body & Texture: Light-full bodied, smooth, lots of carbonation up front, tart but not very sour.

Aftertaste: A little funky yeast flavor from the Brettanomyces but also very dry. 


Overall Impression:

I loved the color of this beer. It’s truly a beautiful copper color that’s super vibrant. The head retention was super small to non-existent but that was okay with me since it’s sort of a wine beer. I think the non-existent head made the aroma somewhat of a fail though, since the aroma was definitely lacking. 

I loved the feel of this beer in my mouth. It was super carbonated and provided a really great burp! The taste was somewhat complex and well balanced since I had a hard time discerning any one particular flavor. The description on the label (which is also beautiful) states that it’s fruit-forward which I would agree with. It was somewhat tart and fruity but once you swallowed that went away, and you were left with the funky yeast taste from the wild yeast being used. I liked that it had a dry finish because it reminded me of a wine in that sense. 

I enjoyed the Dry Creek Zinfandel more than the last Buzzerkeley I tried. I think they’ve gotten a  tad better at making their wild sparkling ales. At almost $11 for a 500 ml bottle I wouldn’t be buying this all the time, but it is specialty crafted and you can tell a lot of time went into the making of this beer. I would recommend trying this beer or bringing it to a party/giving it as a gift if you see it available. It’s not your average beer, but if you’re into trying farm house ales, give it a try. They definitely don’t fit everyones palates but 3 out of 4 who tasted it in my family liked it. I’d say that’s a good sign! 


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

David W. January 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

Yup, I reeeeally enjoyed this one. Actually, just looking at it makes me quite thirsty!


Giselle January 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm

This sounds so interestingly good! I’d love to try it and will have to look for it next time I’m at Total Wine or in Sonoma!


Meghan January 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Dry Creek? Zinfandel? Ale? I want to try this!


Jane January 29, 2015 at 8:30 am

Ooooh this sounds pretty awesome. I want to try this, like a lot.


Theresa January 29, 2015 at 10:05 am

I just had this at the Brew Festival last weekend, I really liked it!


Kelli H. January 29, 2015 at 10:06 am

That’s awesome! Glad you liked it!


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