I love the name of this beer. I thought of two things when I picked up this bottle; one of them was obviously the song that looped over and over in my head, as the only lyrics I know are “Jungle Boogie” and the other thing that I thought of was Jumanji. I guess there’s a loose connection with Jumanji, but I’m not entirely sure why… maybe it’s the prehistoric vegetation adorning the label. I’m hoping that when I pry off the cap, elephants and lions don’t come running out at me, however what I do expect is a nice helping of some tea. Marz Community Brewing, out of Chicago, put together an eclectic brew with Jungle Boogie. It’s a wheat pale ale brewed with Rooibos tea, so I am expecting to feel refreshed and invigorated once it’s gone. Let’s get some energy!
Appearance: Much darker than I was expecting. I was thinking this would be a similar color to a murky west coast IPA, but it’s a dark golden brown that is completely transparent. The head was surprisingly fluffy and it laced incredibly in my glass.
Smell: Peaches, peaches, and more peaches. This is more peachy than any peche beer I’ve ever had. It smells absolutely incredible. In addition to the strong peach notes, I get some tropical flavors like yuzu, mango, orange, and starfruit. There is some herbalness to the brew, but it’s actually hard to pick up on because of the massive fruit notes emitting from the tulip.
Taste: Really interesting. The body is more heavy than I would have expected from a wheat beer with tea, but it gives it more depth and character. The flavor in here is all over, but in a good way. First thing I get are the tropical and peachy flavors I smelt. It’s an Hawaiian fruit smoothie blended together – mango, peach, nectarine, orange, yuzu all jump out to me. Without missing a beat, the brew smoothly transitions, in an appropriate 70s funkified way, into the herbal tea notes, which were also tropical, slightly earthy, and a bit peppery. All of those flavors lingered over on the finish, but the malts and hops were able to break through giving way to some bitterness and minerality (which complemented everything that was going on in here). The yeasty flavors which are often associated with wheat beers are nowhere to be found here, and personally, I find that to be a good thing. The tea adds enough to the party that if a strong yeast attended there may be too many competing personalities.
This is certainly one of the more complex beers I’ve had in a while and was really nice. Drinking it on the first day of February probably isn’t the best time to enjoy this; I’d rather save it for a fourth of July bash or those 90 degree days in August – it’s a total summer brew in my opinion. The one thing that allows this beer to be consumed in the winter is a heftier body one would expect to find with a wheat beer, but it doesn’t come close to matching what one would find in a stout, porter, or even a brown ale. The carbonation in Jungle Boogie was fine, perhaps a little more bubbles would have made it a better, but no major complaints from me.
Overall: One of the more unique brews I’ve had – and it was great. Although I would make a few changes to the brew if I could – lighter in color and body and a touch more carbonation, but other than that, this beer is spot on. I’d give it an A- in February, likely an A in July. This beer is great and I will be seeking more of it in the summertime while jamming to Kool And The Gang.