Marcella Needs a Beer: Collective Arts Brewing Mash Up the Jam


The week was long. Laundry piled up in the corner of my bedroom. I could no longer ignore my check engine light with a nervous sigh. My fridge was a mess. I didn’t know what to do. So after work I bolted to the craft beer store a few blocks from my office because Marcella needed a beer. I then waited until AFTER doing laundry and getting my car looked at to crack one open.

I was always attracted to Collective Arts Brewing’s cans. First, cans are always well labeled. This week’s pick had the word SOUR in large letters on the side in bold serif font. Hard to miss, and just what I needed. Second, can artwork is an ingenious way to attract new drinkers and support local artists. Illustrations, bright colors and characters make a difference to me. I’m looking for something delicious and something kinda cute and I’m not sorry about it. It’s also just good marketing to make your can standout when so many new breweries are entering the game.

This week’s pick was Mash Up the Jam, a dry hopped sour, which as expected was dry, a little hoppy and very sour. There was a lemony lightness to it and it was very clean. I could guzzle this down (but I didn’t, of course). What I liked about this was it was vastly different from Collective Arts’ other sours, like the Guava Gose which was juicy and a little savory (with the addition of pink Himalayan salt) and the Prophets and Nomads which, to be honest, I don’t remember too much (I gave it a 3.25 on Untappd which means it was fine). Update: as it turns out, Prophets and Nomads is Collective Arts’ core gose so the Guava Gose is just Prophets and Nomads with the addition of guava. This explains why I don’t recall Prophets and Nomads too well.

One thing that unites these sours, however, is how border-line IPA they taste but in unique ways. The dry hopped sour was, obviously, a little hoppy and the Guava Gose had that juicy citrus flavor that New England IPAs take-on, almost like grapefruit. Maybe it’s because I’m starting to enjoy IPAs, but I tasted some similarities which explains why I like IPAs like Sloop’s Juice Bomb and Dogfish Head’s Flesh & Blood. Whether Collective Arts is aware of this or not, brewing sours that resemble IPAs is a smart tactic in a time when IPAs continue to reign supreme and sours are middle of the road. Some people feel that sours taste very unpleasant, just like how some people really can’t stand IPAs. However, the IPA train is packed while the sour bus is looking to fill seats.

At any rate, Marcella got her beer and drank it too.