New Releases from Pure Project

By BeachRock Bill

Writing a beer blog is not always a picnic. Brewery visits can sometimes be underwhelming, some posts struggle to attract eyeballs, and my all-time favorite bummer–hours of writing disappear forever due to a website glitch. Overall, however, the good outweighs the bad, and when that good includes offers of free beer, well, it just doesn’t get any better than that. That’s right. BeachRock Bill isn’t in this for the money, the accolades, or the groupies, he’s in it for one thing–free beer!

As my readers know, I have a tendency to take my posts into the weeds, with a lot of background and history about my beer travels. There are some (Mabel, are you reading this?) that beg me to keep things to a minimum and just focus on the beer. When I received a package of new releases that Pure Project asked me to try, I thought this would be a perfect time to turn over a new leaf and keep things short and simple. No Bill backstory, boring history lessons, or wonky beer nerd dissertations. Today I will TRY to just give some biased (the beer was free after all) observations on four recent Pure Project beer releases. This is for you, Mabel.


Collaboration with Fieldwork Brewing Co.
Murky Double IPA with Simcoe, Citra, & Southern Cross Hops
8.5% ABV Format: 16oz can

My ‘duh’ moment with Murkely came when I realized the name was a play on Pure’s ‘murky’ descriptive for their hazys combined with ‘Berkeley’- the Bay Area town where Fieldwork Brewing is located. Fieldwork and Pure collaborated on the making of Murkely. A collaboration beer or ‘collab’ is when two breweries agree to brew a beer together. The brewers swap notes and agree on a recipe before traveling to each other’s…….. Oops, backstory–damn Bill you promised.

Let’s try that again.

Pure describes Murkely as a timeless murky DIPA curated with the palates of IPA lovers in mind. That hits the nail pretty much on the head.

The appearance is light straw with a big opaque murkiness. There is a big tart mango aroma that jumps up from the glass. On the tongue, there is an initial citrusy sweetness that quickly pivots to a pronounced dank and bitter finish.

This murk bomb is the best of both worlds between dry single Hazys and sweet Triples and above. It’s rare to find a beer that Wife Helen and I both like, but the slightly sweet and moderately bitter Murkely does just that. It’s deceptively crave-able, which at 8.5% makes it deceptively dangerous!

Lady Jane’s Lament

Are those Lady Jane’s tears on the side of the glass?

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arctic Ale
12.2% ABV
Format: 500ml bottle

Ok, nobody has ever heard of an Arctic Ale, so how can I explain what it is and where its name comes from without doing some backstory about 19th-century explorer Sir John Franklin, whose ship was lost exploring the frigid (where only a very high alcohol beer could withstand freezing from the cold) Northwest Passage leaving the wife Jane lamenting and a widow.

There, I did it with just one long (albeit run-on) sentence. Let’s make it easy and just call this what it tastes like–a terribly decadent and delicious high ABV Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.

Lament has big bittersweet chocolate and molasses notes on the nose, continuing through in the mouth along with sticky fig and toffee. There is a slight cola-like bitterness on the long drawn-out finish that balances out the moderate sweetness. Overall, a spectacular effort.

Forgotten Brilliance

Barleywine with Centennial, Amarillo, and Cascade hops
12.3% ABV
Format: 500ml bottle

Non-glass shard bottle photo courtesy of Pure Project

To be totally honest, I dropped and broke the Forgotten Brilliance after downing the majority of the previously mentioned Lady Jane’s Lament. Risking glass shard ingestion, I sampled the few sips left in the bottle. So this review has several asterisks by it:

*small sample size.
*glass shards
*last sample after two high-ABV beers

The Beer Gods were obviously upset I was opening this age-worthy beer, and I learned something–breaking a bottle of free beer is as traumatic as breaking one that was paid for.

Moving on. Sniffing the deep copper-hued remnants, I picked up burnt toffee along with notes of butterscotch and sherry. On the tongue, there is a nice malty body and noticeable bitterness that masks the high alcohol content. Young Barleywines aren’t my favorite style, but I could see this beer turning into something truly special with several years (or more) of aging.

Bonus Beer!

This Blogger’s bliss

Along with amazing beer across the board, the thing that sets Pure Project above the rest is its employees. Everyone I’ve met at Pure is efficient, helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable about Pure’s beer. One of our favorite beertenders is Carissa at the Vista location. She is genuine and welcomes Wife Helen and I like family whenever we visit. As I was picking up my free box of beer, Sweet Carissa had stashed a few bonus cans of Helen’s current fave–a Triple Murky IPA called World’s Away.

Taking your senses on a trip Worlds Away

Worlds Away

Triple Hazy IPA with Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Cashmere
10.2% ABV
Format: 16oz cans 

World’s Away pours murky pale with a big fluffy white head. The nose has huge tropical pineapple and citrus notes that switch over in the mouth to stone fruit and a pleasing dank bitterness. There is a long lingering fruity finish that begs for another sip, and at 10.2%, sipping is all you should do with this beer.

I mentioned this beer is Wife Helen’s current fave, and I get depressed when she asks, “Can you make me one of these?”

I can’t!

After many attempts to duplicate Pure’s high ABV Hazys, my disappointing results always have me asking “HOW THE HELL DO THEY DO THIS?”

It’s obvious that Pure’s brewing team, led by Head Brewer Winslow Sawyer, is on another level than us mere mortals.

See You at Pure Real Soon

So that’s it. I hope I was short and sweet enough and got the point across, that Pure beer rocks. The best thing is that along with some amazing core beer always on tap, no matter how often you visit, there’s always something new and different to try. If you are at any one of Pure’s five tap rooms around San Diego, tell ’em BeachRock Bill sent you. Better yet, look around for Wife Helen and me, chances are we will be there hanging out.


— BeachRock Bill

Instagram: @beachrockbill

Featured photo at the top of this blog post courtesy Pure Project’s website.

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