Michael Heniff's picture

Judge's Review: 92 Rating - Nightmare Fuel by Pontoon Brewing

September, 2020
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Nightmare Fuel by Pontoon Brewing is a fruited Berliner Weisse and is being evaluated as a Fruit Beer (category 29A in the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). The fruit in Fruit Beers should complement the base style without overwhelming it. Berliner Weisse (category 23A in the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines) beers are sharply sour beers noted for their clean lactic acidity; oftentimes, a bready, wheaty character can be noted in the sour, refreshing, well-carbonated beer. Nightmare Fuel was fermented with raspberries, tart cherries and black currants with added lactose.

Nightmare Fuel pours dark red (almost purple) with excellent clarity and a medium pink-colored head. The aroma is moderate-strong dark berries of cherries and raspberries and a hint of currant; a light lactic acid aroma is also noted. The flavor is moderate lactic acidity with moderate dark fruit of currants and raspberries. The beer finishes lightly bittered with a moderately high carbonation and lingering dark fruits of cherry, raspberry and currants.

This is a very well-made beer. The level of fruitiness was slightly high, but each of the fruits came through the flavor with an excellent balance between them. The level of acidity was slightly low for a true Berliner Weisse but is at a level that will be well received by both sour beer and fruit beer aficionados.  Seek this one out!