Fusion Brewing Black Cherry Pastry Stout is an alcohol-free beer I discovered via the social network medium I use the most for my non-alcoholic adventures – Instagram! The beer was featured in the March 2022 box from the popular AF Beer Club, and thus the lucky recipients were happily sharing their snaps of the beauty on the aforementioned website. It looked completely up my street (as any regular reader of this blog will know) so I bought some cans of it online and set about doing a little research on the brewer while I waited for them to arrive. But for once, my AF detective skills have pretty much failed me. I’m usually good at finding out at least the background on a brewery, but Fusion Brewing have eluded me almost completely. Apart from a website adorned with an ‘under construction’ message and a twitter account with 3 tweets, the only other information I’ve been able to find was via Robin at the AF Beer Club, who mentioned that the brewer is based in Barnsley, Yorkshire and consists of two chaps named Martin and Phil. How mysterious! It also seems that they use the same design firm as Funky Fluid for their can artwork.
Back to the beer – Black Cherry Pastry Stout. The name will already either be drawing you in or putting you off. The use of fruit in beer can be a divisive topic, and so can the use of the word ‘pastry’ in a beer description. ‘Pastry’ in beer terms was originally used to describe beers, mainly sours and stouts, that are brewed with rich adjuncts and are intentionally sweet and sugary, often mimicking the flavours of a dessert. We’ve previously reviewed a Black Forest Gateaux Stout which thankfully wasn’t as sickly sweet as I was expecting, indeed attracting high scores. This alcohol-free stout sounds to be a similar offering, and I can only hope that it hits the same high notes.
The beer pours a very dark brown colour, with the liquid being completely opaque to my eye. A thick soapy head is produced, reddish-brown in colour and keeps us company as we undertake our drinking adventure. On the nose we get rich roasted malts with an almost tobacco note, lots of preserved dark cherries, topped off with whiffs of both dark chocolate and milky coffee. It also manages to present all those aromas without too much sweetness.
The black cherries are up front when we taste, with no artificial character to it, offering sour and fragrant flavours which mellow out into restrained sweetness. The roasted grains serve up a capable backbone for the beer, which is built upon with coffee and dark chocolate. The body is heavy with a lovely pillowy mouthfeel, the lack of filtering being a big plus here. We get a smoky, bitter finish with a slight sour edge.
Fusion Brewing Black Cherry Pastry Stout is yet another triumph in the AF stout world. It’s so indulgent and flavoursome, one to keep in the fridge as a treat now and again. Whoever Fusion Brewing turn out to be, they are certainly a brewer to keep an eye on. I can only sum-up with a quote that adorns the beer’s can – ‘Deep – Dark – Delicious’.
Buy Fusion Brewing Black Cherry Pastry Stout
Not knowing anything about Fusion Brewing, I’ve certainly never seen anything from them before. I got my cans of Black Cherry Pastry Stout from this store:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Water, Barley Malts, Cherry (10%), Lactose, Maltodextrin
|Country of Production
|Fusion Brewing – https://fusionbrewing.co.uk/
|No, uses lactose
Fusion Brewing Black Cherry Pastry Stout Review
A high point in the alcohol-free stout world, and an absolute belter of a debut from this brewer.