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Friday, January 9, 2015

Marz Community Brewing The Bubbly Creek

  • Style: Berliner Weisse
  • ABV: 3.0%
  • Ease to locate: Brand new baby brewery so rather limited release.  Here's a link to their Beer Menu page but at the time of this post, only Maria's Package Goods in Bridgeport and Fischman's Liquors in Jefferson Park are listed as having any bottles.  Hopefully, Marz will expand distribution soon.
  • Color: Hazy, straw yellow liquid with highlights of amber tones
  • Head: One finger white foam with spotty lacing that settles into a delicate ring
  • Aroma: Somewhat shallow with notes of lemon, pineapple, a bit of funk, but not especially sour or tart like other Berliner Weisses that I've enjoyed
  • Mouthfeel: Crisp & dry with a light body and lots of carbonation.  Might have been my favorite thing about this beer
  • Finish: Short to medium.  Initial taste fades quickly, but the lemon note is stronger on the finish and lingers a little.
  • Food Friendly?: Yes, like most Berliner Weisses, it's very easy to pair it with a variety of foods.  Serve this with a seasonal hearty chicken stew or dress it up with a roasted pork tenderloin.

Apple User's link: The Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band. I'm not even kidding.

Chicago is a city that loves it's choices.  Thick or Thin crust.  Cubs or Sox.  Mustard or Ketchup (Trick question.  No  Chicagoan will ever answer ketchup.  If they do, they're probably really from Indiana.) Still or sparkling water.  I mean bubbling.  A certain branch of the Chicago River, running through the Bridgeport neighborhood, is commonly known as Bubbly Creek.  And it has been for over a hundred years.  If you look closely at the surface of the water, you can see tiny blurps of air break the surface tension, hence the "bubbly" moniker.   I wish that I could say that it was a bizarre  natural phenomenon or the labored breath of our very own mythical Midwest sea monster.  Unfortunately, the truth is that the bubbling effect of the river's fork is due to the release of methane and hydrogen sulfide gas from the rotted remains of sewage and pollutants dumped there by the now closed Union Stockyards.   Not quite as lyrical, huh?  Even today the Chicago uses this area as a dumping ground for over flow during periods of heavy storms.    So of course, how could brand new Bridgeport baby brewery, Marz Community Brewing, even think to call their very first Berliner Weisse anything other than The Bubbly Creek?

My Bubbly Creek poured a hazy pale straw color with hints of amber tones.  A white, one finger head rose quickly and then settled to a solid surface layer.  A tight shallow ring of delicate lacing ran around the circumference of the glass.  The scent was not what I had expected at all.  I've been conditioned to expect a certain type of aroma from a typical Berliner Weisse.    This beer was not particularly sour in aroma nor measurably tart in nature (at least on the nose.) I found the shallow notes of lemon, pineapple and some murky dankness lurking in the glass as I inhaled deeply.  Because of this,  I was a bit trepidatious with the first sip.  Luckily, my fears were unjustified.  Everything was in the taste.  The flavors there  were proportionally bigger than the aroma.  I found a lovely tartness present that mingled with notes of lemon citrus, pineapple and other tropical fruit.  There was no dankness on the taste that I noticed on the nose however.  The mouthfeel was light in body but very crisp and dry with tons of carbonation.   The dryness and carbonation made this beer extremely drinkable.  A somewhat confusing short to medium finish concludes the Berliner Weisse.  The initial taste dissipated rather quickly but a lemon sharpness lingered on the tail.

Such is the nature of most Berliner Weisses, I'd pair my Bubbly Creek with a variety of menus. Berliner Weisses are wonderful Summertime beers and a natural to reach for when the temperature aces the nineties.  However, their inherent dryness and citric nature can easily lend them to heavier  winter meals as well.  A citrus forward Cuban Pork Tenderloin would compliment the flavor profile and benefit from the dry finish of this beer.  You should also try this one with a  Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew  The sweetness of the sweet potato will be tampered by the acidic citrus of the lemon and tropical fruit notes while working with the white wine being used in the sauce.  I actually have half a mind to try this recipe using Bubbly Creek in place of the white wine.  This particular Berliner Weisse would be an excellent ale to experiment with cooking.  Just maybe don't mention the whole Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide thing.  At least until desert.