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Raspberry jam in a glass isn't a thing I knew I was looking for in beer, but with the first whiff of Founders Brewing's latest specialty release, I realized what I was missing all this time. Fresh raspberries are added to this wheat-based beer at multiple stages during fermentation. The brewery won't reveal much more, except that they didn't use a Belgian yeast strain for this (like they did with Blushing Monk, their Belgian raspberry ale.)
Head brewer Jeremy Kosmicki says, "We wanted to make a fruit beer that actually tasted like the fruit, not just subtle fruit nuances buried beneath beer flavor. We figured people that really enjoy drinking fruit beers would appreciate that. Raspberry was our first choice because both the sweet and the tart characters balance out nicely."
The resulting brew is richly raspberry-flavored and tangy, as sweet as fresh berries but no sweeter, and not viscous or artificial tasting. The end of each sip is dry and malty, a hit of graham crackers to go with your jam. This beer would be awesome with a slice of chocolate cake, but you could also serve it quite successfully with grilled chicken brushed with barbecue sauce.
The beer, which was released for the first time in 2005 and hasn't been produced since 2008, clocks in at 5.7% ABV and is available in four-packs of 12 ounce bottles through August. Have you tried Founders Rübaeus? Any other great fruit beers you're enjoying this summer?
Sample provided for review consideration.