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Pipeworks Brewing Company | Scarlet Betta

Scarlet Betta
Mike Zoller

ABV: 9.5%

The latest release in the well-known Pipeworks’ Fish Series, Scarlet Betta is an imperial IPA brewed with honey and raspberry puree. Those that have enjoyed other Fish Series beers like Square Grouper and Spotted Puffer will enjoy the newest fish to the pond.

At first glance Scarlet Betta pours a golden orange that is brighter than normal beers – this can be attributed to the honey. Those expecting a redder beer because of the raspberry puree won’t find it in the appearance.

The raspberry will first be noticed in the aroma. Scarlet Betta has an extremely fruity and floral smell. Pipeworks’ IPAs must be fresh to really enjoy all the complex flavors they put into their beers. Assuming you’re not sitting on Scarlet Betta, when you open it up you’ll get a burst of freshness that paired with the floral notes give it a really pleasing smell. To someone that doesn’t like the smell of typical beer, this is a complete 180 degrees.

Scarlet Betta

When tasting Scarlet Betta it should be noted that you don’t want to drink it ice cold. You’ll lose the raspberry taste. I drank mine in two different time periods. Once right out of the fridge and then again after it had sat out for about 30-45 min. The latter was a much more enjoyable taste. You’ll get a sweet flavor with a hint of raspberry. If you’re thinking this will be like Founder’s Rubaeus, it’s not. The raspberry is subtle but noticeable and provides a nice balance to the hops.

If you’re outside of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs you will have a hard time finding this beer, mainly because Pipeworks doesn’t distribute outside of Illinois right now. If you can trade for it, I highly recommend getting your hands on this beer or when other Fish Series beers are re-released. They must be fresh though – Pipeworks’ beers have a batch number on them and you can reference their website so you know exactly when your beer was packaged.

Mike Zoller is the Chicago Editor for Follow him on Instagram @chicagobeer.

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