Apple Brandy Derivation by Side Project Brewing

Finally! Success! I’m closing on my house this week and both my kids are in town for Christmas! Yes, I’m jacked up on coffee and ready to hang with my girls in St. Louis for a day. I took my girls over to Side Project for their 2nd Anniversary of the opening of their tap room at the brewery. It was an interesting day to say the least. Let me explain…

After lunch at Stacked, probably the best burger joint in the STL, we ventured over to the Side Project brewery for some awesome drafts, or so we thought. We got to the venue 15 minutes after they opened and there was a line stretching around the parking lot. Ugh. I’m old. Too old to stand in line for beer, but yeah, I did it anyway. We ended up standing behind a very intoxicated individual who was carrying a Magnum bottle of Fencerow, a foedre-aged wild ale! This dude couldn’t even stand straight when he was leaning against the wall. I told my adult girls that he was destined to drop this bottle. He clearly had been in line early to get some To Go bottles and was back in line to get some On Site bottles. And on cue, as soon as the line snaked its way into the door of the brewery I heard a crash. Dude dropped Fencerow and it exploded on the floor. Classic. There goes $120 folks, onto the floor. Thankfully, the brewery refused to serve this guy once he made it to the bar. He was in no need of more alcohol.

Well, it took about 45 minutes for us to get inside the brewery and by the time we did all the On Site bottles of BBT and Derivation were sold out. No worries, I was more interested by what they had on tap. However, we did notice that the On Site bottles were going for $60 and $65 each. Holy craphole! Man I’m all for paying for good beer, but damn. People were dropping $300 on five bottles. That’s insane. Even the draft pours were expensive, going for $2 per ounce. So, do the math, for a five ounce pour of Barrel Aged Coffee Shop Vibes, it was $10. Yowzer! Pulling Nails was on point (and less expensive) and then there was this beer.

I previously had Apple Brandy Derivation when a buddy of mine did a guys night out with my brother-in-law and myself a year ago. It was pretty good then. So, how did it stack up this year?

IMG_1018Apple Brandy Derivation pours like liquid night in the glass with a thin dark caramel head. Swirling the beer around leaves a burnt orange tint in the glass. I can just tell this is heavy. The head quickly dissipates to a slight ring around the inside edge of the tulip.

Aroma is full of apples, sweet and fruity. There’s a hint of fig here as well. It’s not a real pleasant aroma, to be honest. I’ve never understood any fruits in stouts other than dark fruits. Apple brandy is not something I would ever drink in any setting, let alone as a barrel aged beer. Perhaps I’m not refined enough. I don’t know. The colder this beer is, the worse it is. Freshly poured, it has hints of rubber cement…no, not pleasant.

This beer is full-bodied, thick, viscous. There’s a ton of apple brandy on the tongue. It’s very boozy. The apple is a displeasing contrast to me. There’s some chocolate there, hidden behind the acidic apple brandy. As it warms, the apple is even more prevalent, which doesn’t make it better.

I’m a huge fan of Derivation, just not so much of this variant. The apple brandy is not my thing. If you’re a fan of apple brandy, you’ll probably love this beer. I did not, unfortunately.

Beer Stats

  • ABV:  15%
  • Untappd Rating:  4.32

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