Urban Artifact – The Gadget

Raspberry & Blackberry Midwest Fruit Tart

Urban Artifact – The Gadget

By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime

8.3% ABV, 3.2pH, sour beer with real fruit and vanilla

Urban Artifact Brewing, Cincinnati, OH

I recently discovered a new-found love for nice, tart kombucha, which in turn has put me in the mood for some sour beer. I’ve gone through a few streaks in the past where I really got into the sour end of the beer spectrum. Many lambics and Belgian-style sour ales as well as some artfully crafted American craft brews have tartly slaked my thirst. Then I’ll turn to other styles for a while, until the urge hits me once again. Well, my sour beer tongue just declared “I’m back, baby!”.

Now, I am a mega fan of fresh berries, particularly raspberries (black and red) and blackberries. One of my high school friend’s family grew both types of raspberries, and nothing beat the pure enjoyment of munching on fresh berries as we picked them on a hot summer day (“one for me, one for the bowl; two for me, one for the bowl; and on it went – LOL).

I have also employed berries in my homebrewing escapades, once adding a crap-ton of fresh red raspberries to my secondary fermenter for an American-style wheat beer. The resulting brew had the awesomest color, and incredible berry character. So, when I saw this on the shelf and read the description, I simply couldn’t pass it by.

This beer was designed “as an intricate experiment combining the explosive power of sour beer with the dangerous flavors of fresh fruit” per the legend on the can. Hence the moniker and graphic of what appears to be an explosive device. That’s setting a fairly high bar for my expectations; can it live up to that? Let’s find out, shall we?


Pours with the colors of the Real Deal – the reddish-purple body reminds me of grape juice, capped by bright, pinkish foam (I wish it lasted longer – it’s just gorgeous!). This was clearly made with real fruit, not some flavoring extract. I love that! (The can says they used 1,260 pounds each of raspberries and blackberries in a 30 BBL batch; as a barrel is 31 gallons, that translates to 930 gallons, and 2.7 pounds of fruit per gallon. And it shows!)

The aroma is resplendent with tart, fresh raspberries and blackberries, like a freshly-baked pie. Smells scrumptious!

Wowzers! Generous, fresh berry flavor explodes over my palate. (I guess I set “The Gadget” off!) Crisp and indeed tart; moderately-light body with light carbonation. There’s a wonderful depth of flavor to the berries. It’s like I just ate a great big handful of them (or pinched a spoonful of pie filling before anyone had a chance to add the sugar), with the blackberries bringing that tart, puckering edge they sometimes can. This one is really off the hook! I also note that this is probably the easiest drinking beer of this strength that I’ve had. One could get oneself in trouble quickly if one were not careful. Just sayin’.

Delightful and refreshing. Summer berries in a glass. I dig!

Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.


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