On Rotation Moar Blackberry is Bright, Playful And Better Than Your Average Fruit Beer.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on On Rotation’s Moar Blackberry.Fast Facts on On Rotation Moar Blackberry.
Style: Saison.
ABV: 6.1 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 15.
Color: Ruby.
Availability: Draft & Crowler.

In a bold move, On Rotation sent a New Year’s Resolution email to customers and friends outlining its ambitious plans for 2017. These plans include producing one new beer each week – a feat alone by itself. But it didn’t stop there. On Rotation also mentioned that it has some local distribution in the works. And that means that you might see some of its beers around town at a few select locations.

Furthermore, and now that the Cuvee vs. TABC case has been somewhat settled, On Rotation got its crowler game going. In case you have been living under a rock, crowlers are giant-ass cans that can be packaged on-site and taken home for consumption. Like growlers, crowlers are for take-home beer. However, crowlers are cans, and they’re meant for one-time use. Pretty freaking convenient if you ask me. DFW is a couple years in on getting folks adjusted to the growler lifestyle, and the crowler addition is hopefully here to stay. If you look closely in a couple of these photos, you can see a giant, wrapped pallet of crowlers in the background. Dang, seems like a lot of crowlers!

Background on Saison.
For a review on the saison style, check out our review of Four Corners’ El Superbee Saison. The saison style originates in Europe, meant as a harvest-time refresher type of ale. French and Belgian yeast strains are used in saisons, and you can usually pick up a bit of fruity spice and funk if you look for it. While Moar Blackberry is a fruit variation on the saison style, I’m not going to go so far as to place it in to the fruit beer category. Yes, it’s a fruit beer, saison purists be damned. But to me, it’s more of a saison than a fruit beer. So let’s roll with it here, OK?Appearance.
Moar Blackberry pours a bright ruby color in to the glass. It has brilliant clarity, and it is imminently inviting. Saisons are typically poor to good on the clarity factor; Moar Blackberry is not cloudy. Saisons range from pale to dark roasty in appearance. Moar Blackberry is ruby colored. So, yeah, it’s a bit out of style for a saison. But I am not here to hold it to task on the style. The head pillows up for photos, and while it does fade after a few minutes, it has an excellent, effervescent appearance.

On the nose, Moar Blackberry walks the line between what my brain thinks of when it thinks of a fruity saison, and a smooth deep berry aroma. It smells inviting and bright, and neither the saison-ness nor the fruit factor is overpowering. It’s subtle. I can appreciate a beer that doesn’t punch me in the schnoz; sometimes those super aromatic beers are trying to cover up flaws after all.

I get a lot of blackberry on the taste and I dig it. It’s not bitter or sour, although this beer does move a bit in that direction. It’s a bright saison after all, and it does have a little bit of saison funk hiding there behind the blackberry. Overall, this is a clean ale with just a hint of funk. On Rotation states that this beer is “finished on champagne yeast and blackberries.” So I take it that the blackberries are added at the end of fermentation when the champagne yeast is added. And what sugary sweet flavors the blackberries add are gobbled up. So what we’re left with here is the fruit flavor, but without the overpowering sweetness that some fruit beers are notorious for.

This beer is attenuated nicely, providing for a bright, dry finish. This beer also seems like it has the carbonation dialed up a bit from your everyday drinker, spot on for the saison style. The dry finish and the high level of carbonation play nicely together. My lips don’t sense any sugar, furthering the dry finish feeling. Though the beer finishes quite dry, I don’t get any sense that this is a thin beer. Moar Blackberry is a 6.1 percent ABV beer, and it has a slight warming kiss of alcohol. It’s important to note here that this beer is finished on champagne yeast. If the conditions are right, champagne yeast will get down to business and help clean up residual sugar bits that ale yeast leaves behind.

Overall Impression.
I’m a fan of Moar Blackberry. Unlike some fruit beers, I want to order another round. The fruit is here and quite noticeable, however, it finishes very dry and there seems to be little residual sugar. That sugary fruit thing is what normally drives me nuts about fruit beers – they are just hard to get through. Not so with Moar Blackberry. Furthermore, the saison characteristics keep this beer bright and playful, and provide another dimension to an already-interesting beer.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give On Rotation Moar Blackberry an 8. What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Friday, January 27: Pop-Up Beer Dinner w/ Maple & Motor at Noble Rey Brewing Co.
• Saturday, January 28: Barbecue Pitmaster Cooking Class w/ Heim at The Collective Brewing Project.
• Saturday, January 28: Grand Opening at On Tap.
• Sunday, January 29: Girl Scout Cookies & Beer Pairing Flight at L.U.C.K.
• Saturday, March 11: Tater Tots and Beer Festival at Fair Park.
• Friday, March 31-April 2: Big Texas Beer Fest at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• Collective Brewing Project’s SMaSHY: 9.2
• On Rotation’s Lingonberry Sahti: 9.25.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Manhattan Project’s Plutonium-239: 7.
Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Four Corners’ Celebración: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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