Brewery: Shannon Brewing Company
Beer: Blackberry Wheat
Style: Wheat Beer/Kristallweizen
Character: A wheat ale fermented with fresh blackberries
Ratings: BeerAdvocate: 3.19/5 | Untappd: 3.57/5
Metal Connection: DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT – Blackberry
BeerMetal Rating: 4.25/5
Shannon Brewing Company is from Keller, TX, which is located just north of Fort Worth. My first time having anything from this brewery was at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival in 2014. I was impressed by the beer back then, and looked forward to trying other beers by them. Since then I have had several of their offerings. Today I will be drinking and dissecting their Blackberry Wheat. As it turns out, I had already had this beer before back in 2018 at a local Craft Beer bar called The Corner. I enjoyed this beer bac then on draft, so let’s see what I think about this beer from a can.
One thing that intrigued me about this brewery is that they use an old-world fire technique that enables them to precisely control enzyme activity, produce strong malty flavors, and delicately caramelize the sugars. It is an old process that is more difficult to control than other heating sources. To recreate this process, Shannon Brewing Co. commissioned a unique fire-heated mash tun. You can read all about their brewing process right on their website. It’s pretty interesting.
Over time they have redesigned their can labels. Before they used to print directly onto the can but I have seen a lot of sticker labels lately. They are glossy, and for Blackberry Wheat the bottom of the can label, it’s colored a dark red. The top of the label is white and it has an upside down triangle shape, splitting the dark red part open to where it kind of reminds me of an open book. at the bottom of the white park, there is a rainbow colored triangle. The Shannon Brewing logo is towards the top of the label with drawn blackberries all around it. The beer name is in a simple font within the bottom dark red part. They are very simple designs, but they work, as this one still caught my eye at the store. Here is my dissection of the beer…
Appearance: Pours a nearly clear pinkish/purple color, topped with a white/slightly pink foamy head. No much head retention throughout this session.
Aroma: Definitely getting the berries right away. Not picking out blackberry by itself, it’s almost like a berry medley aroma. Picking up on the wheat, hay or straw. A very faint banana scent is thrown in there as well for me.
Taste: Right up front I am getting the berry flavor. Again to me, it’s not just blackberry flavor, as I am getting like a berry medley that I am getting with this beer. I am also getting the wheat, like wheat bread. Grainy and fruity for sure.
Body/Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.
Overall: I am pretty impressed by this beer being a fruited wheat beer, and not following trends of a gloopy over fruited slushy bullshit beer. This is old school and it is delicious. I have had this beer on draft, and now out of a can, and both times I have really enjoyed this beer. My Untappd rating is a 4.25/5. I really do want to visit this brewery one day.
Metal Connection: For Blackberry Wheat I actually found a Metal song that is called “Blackberry.” I really didn’t think I would, but given who this song is from, it actually didn’t surprise me anymore. The song “Blackberry” is from Metal’s mad scientist, Devin Townsend. Mr. Townsend was discovered by guitarist extraordinaire, Steve Vai. He had asked Devin Townsend to sing on his album, Sex & Religion, and Townsend even toured with Vai. There is a very weird and funny clip of both Vai and Townsend on the set of Mtv’s Headbanger’s Ball. Check it out here. Townsend then went on to form Strapping Young Lad, and this is where he would really shine as one of the craziest mother fuckers in the world. He has also released albums un der the band names The Devin Townsend Band, Devin Townsend Project, and just Devin Townsend. So, our song “Blackberry” comes from the 4th full album, Ghost, released by The Devin Townsend Project. Despite the similarities in his band’s names, he does consider each band to be a different entity as the music of each band is definitely all different from each other in some weird way. DPT is considered Ambient Progressive Rock/Metal. This song is way different than anything I have featured before. It’s a very ambient smooth folky acoustic jam which also features a banjo. Townsend performed vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and banjo on this album, and had some guest musicians help him out like, Mike St-Jean (drums, percussion), Dave Young (Keyboards, Mandolin, Pump organ, Programming), Kat Epple (Woodwinds, Flute), and Katrina Natale (vocals). All these musicians seem to only appear on projects by Townsend. Well, at least in the Metal world, that’s all they’ve contributed to. Please crack open a Blackberry Wheat by Shannon Brewing Company, dim your lights, put on some strobes or blacklight or whatever trippy shit you have, and crank this tune up.