California-based sour specialist The Bruery makes some incredible wild ales and barrel-aged brews. The kind of beer that the word “beer” doesn’t do justice—handcrafted ales made with time and attention to detail. But let’s face it, no one wants to drink $25 dollar wine bottles of barrel-aged wild ales all the time. Enter The Bruery’s side hustle, the aptly named Offshoot Beer Co. Offshoot focuses on “hop-forward beers… the Bruers like to drink when we're off the clock,” and, if its hazy double IPA Retreat is any indication, I like to drink them too.
Offshoot’s offerings may be billed as a simpler alternative to The Bruery’s artisanal ethos, but don’t think Retreat lacks the careful crafting that marks its parent brewery’s more mouth-puckering menu. Offshoot packs tons of tropical fruit into Retreat: mango, guava, and pineapple. Though it's billed as hazy, Retreat is more opaque, as it is impossible to see through this gorgeous glass of golden-orange beverage.
The aroma has plenty say as well, pulling you in with a bouquet of fruitiness that reveals a dank, piney undertone. Offshoot says Retreat boasts a “bright berry medley,” but I get way more of the berry flesh that is leftover after juicing than any berry brightness. Don’t be mistaken though, there is plenty of juiciness to Retreat—but it’s more akin to pineapple. As it warms, the beer becomes more creamy than crisp with a melon-vanilla cake combo that is something I’ve never tasted before, but it works.
With Offshoot, The Bruery stepped out of its wheelhouse in a big way, but its hazy double IPA Retreat shows that the expertise translates. Sometimes good brewers just make good beer, regardless of the style.