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Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Prickly Pear Hef by Garage Brewing Co.

May, 2023

Prickly Pear Hef

Prickly Pear Hef

United States
Prickly Pear Hef, Garage Brewing Co.

Also known by their Spanish name: Tunas, Prickly Pears are the edible and oh-so-tasty fruit from the Opuntia Genus of Cactus. Prickly Pears have long been used as an ingredient in brewing, especially in Mexico, where they are used to create a traditional alcoholic beverage called Colonche.

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
Rahr Two-Row, Rahr Wheat - SuperSack, Weyermann Acidulated
German Magnum, Mt. Hood



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Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Prickly Pear Hef by Garage Brewing Co. was evaluated as a BJCP 2021 Fruit Beer (29A) with the base style of American Wheat (1D).  

The serving steward reported that the bottle had a low fill (2.5 inches of air space) before being opened. The beer pours with a large poofy white head of tiny bubbles that fairly quickly fades to a thin layer of bubbles topping a slightly hazy gold liquid. The first whiff of the beer is very perfumy, like lavender and lilac, followed by a big dose of bread dough and bread crust.  

The flavor also shows a huge perfumy lavender note with moderate grainy bread crust wheat character. The prickly pear came through with big notes of very ripe strawberry and fresh asparagus (in a good way). Hops in the aroma and flavor are mostly floral with hints of lemon. There is a moderate hop bitterness that nicely balances a malty sweetness that lingers into a very perfumy semi-dry finish.  

Initially, the perfumy notes dominated but as the beer warmed, the bready and grainy notes really harmonized with the fruity perfumy character, making this a very pleasant and refreshing beer. With the big strawberry-like fruity and herbal perfumy character, this would pair nicely with chicken in a cream sauce with sautéed mushrooms and steamed asparagus.