Michael McGuire's picture

Judge's Review: 85 Rating - Passion Project by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.

August, 2021
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
33 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Passion Project by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is a Berliner Weisse brewed with passion fruit and was judged as a Fruit Beer (BJCP sub-style 29A, with consideration of its base style BJCP sub-style 23A). It poured a light gold-orange color with some haze into the glass, forming a frothy white head with moderate retention. The aroma featured intense, pungent sour notes followed quickly by distinctive passion fruit. The dominant flavors closely mirrored the aroma’s sour-then-fruit sequence and intensity, with some wheat malt to finish. 

The net result was a well-brewed Berliner Weisse with a too-heavy dose of passion fruit flavoring. There were no hops noticeable in the aroma or flavor but were presumably used mildly in bittering. Although there was pleasant astringency and juiciness on the palate, the pleasantly sour base style was overwhelmed by the passion fruit additions.

In terms of drinkability, only true lovers of passion fruit will be drawn to drink much more than a single glass. A more subtle blending of the two dominant flavors would have produced a more appealing mouthfeel, but only a reduction in the amount of passion fruit used in the brewing process would have broadened its appeal.