The Kooinda “Boutique” Brewery brews out of a dodgy industrial area in Heidelberg Heights, just around the corner from a carpark where in 2009 my motorcycle was stolen, ridden five kilometres, and then doused in petrol and set aflame in residential parkland. Thankfully Kooinda’s beers do not reflect this sorry tale, and their core range is indeed boutique. I am a big fan of their silky milk porter and their English Red. Great stuff! They opened their site in 2010 and regularly pop up at beer events across town, though I’ve never spoken to the brewers. Their Blackberry Wit is a new beer they’ve launched after some personnel changes.
This wheat fruit beer had a orange, tangerine look, darker than your average wit. It was also apparent that the head couldn’t retain as much as is common for a wheat. A dusty aroma was present, with a light berry jam smell, like a sweetened puree or preserve, folded around a few banana esters. It’s an interesting and unique aroma, but not as pungent as a standard wit, nor as fruity as a full-on berry beer.
The 4.5% ABV witbier’s flavour was shallow, watery and tricky to distinguish at first. It is not at all tart – unlike actual blackberries. Instead it tastes mellow, tannic, European-yeasty. It’s an intriguing beer that makes me want to try and brew with blackberries, mostly because I found the blackberry component a little dissatisfying. I wonder how fresh the berries were and when they were added to the beer – I assume in secondary ferm as is so common.
I drank this beer at the Terminus Hotel, North Fitzroy.