WeldWerks Coconut Symposium

22 Dec

An enigma wrapped in frothy Yoohoo coated in raw and toasted coconut, Coconut Symposium is a wild ride. If pastry barleywine was not already a thing, the demented minds at WeldWerks and Side Project have decidedly made it one.

This beer defies characterization and seemingly any consensus amongst its Untappd reviewers. When I first heard about this collab, I found the concept intriguing, and the experience has certainly fulfilled my premonition. Opening the opaque bottle and pouring it into a proper drinking vessel is a disturbing experience. Creamy oil slick liquid quickly foams up, forming a bubbly canopy looming over the actual contents of the beer. Not appetizing in the least.

Yikes

I was tempted to practice my newly perfected art, but morbid curiosity got the best of me. A perfunctory sniff of this vile looking concoction revealed alcoholic coconut milk, something pleasantly not disgusting to my sensibilities. Further adventuring into this experience revealed a body much thicker than any barleywine I had ever tried before – a stout base would have surely left sludge stuck in my glass. Coconut overpowered the flavor but not in a cloying manner. It was smooth and pleasant as long as you did not linger too long on the beer’s appearance. Any barrel presence was minimal, surely drowned out by the tropical milk masking itself as English barleywine. The sides of my glass were undoubtedly covered in the creamy film, another visual knock against this strange brew.

Overall this is wholly unique and understandably very divisive. For the beer aesthete, you will surely be abhorred as soon as liquid hits glass. For pastryphiles, you will appreciate the thicccness but perhaps want more confectioners sugar to advance your diabeetus. For beer lovers who appreciate something different and a surprisingly well rounded drinking experience (looks aside), this is a winner. Odd and unexpected but something that can be enjoyed and appreciated for the risks it took. I fall into this latter camp and would like to see more swinging for the fences in this realm. The result might not always be a towering home run, but sometimes a misplayed fly ball leading to a 4-base error is just as good.

Britt Antley

Britt is a native Texan, lived in Houston for 12 years, and loves his current life in the Mile High City (although his liver is having second thoughts). His liver is also not nearly as proud of his 12,000+ Untappd uniques as he is. Stupid liver. He loves flavorful complex beers from juicy IPAs to fruited sours to barrel aged stouts, and he has vowed to some day be buried with a 4-pack of Ghost in the Machine.