In what is perhaps a sign of the growing reputation of the Australian craft beer industry, Nomad Brewing Co have teamed up with a well established American brewery, Cigar City Brewing, to brew this beer. Berry Cubana, an American brown ale, which has had riberries thrown into the mixture to give it that Australian slant – certainly sounds an interesting prospect.
For those not attuned to the world of berries, riberries are the fruit from the Syzygium luehmannii, an ornamental tree which only grows in Australia, between northern New South Wales and Cairns. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of it, but apparently they can grow to 30m tall, so it can probably supply its fair share of berries. The fact it only grows in tropical areas also explains the tropical aromas – passionfruit, pine, orange and floral aromas float out from the delightful looking beer – a deep brown liquid with a puffy, off-white head. The fruity aromas don’t quite flow through in the mouth, instead replaced by toasted biscuity malts, pine, earthy and resinous flavours. It feels thick and chewy in the mouth, allowing the resin flavours and medium bitterness to hang around in a big way.
This is a really good beer. It’s got smashing flavours and aromas with a good balance, and pretty well hits the mark with the American brown ale style. The resin bitterness is strong, so steer clear if that’s not to your liking (I’m a fan). I maybe expected something a little sweeter and with a more berry flavour given the description, but can’t take any marks off for that given the aromas give it the exact punch you would expect from it’s tropical location!
Drunk: from the bottle