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Fruit beers suck! Theyre for girls! is what you might hear from some of the more delusional beer snobs who are caught up in their holier-than-thou purist bullshit. But we say: why not a fruit beer?
A well-crafted beer made with fresh fruit can be a most enjoyable, interesting, and refreshing experience. In fact, this last week during a beer dinner at The Asgard hosted by Hugh Sisson, founder and general partner of Clipper City Brewing Co. (Baltimore, MD), our second course featured a frisse salad with white asparagus and oven roasted tomatoes dressed in Oxford Raspberry vinaigrette, paired with Oxford Raspberry; a filtered wheat ale that was inspired by the fruit beers of Belgium and fermented and flavored with fresh raspberries; versus fruit flavorings that some brewers get away with. It was a delicious compliment of flavors, but how was the beer on its own?
Thankfully we were able to snag a bottle to give it a proper review on its own
Pours a clear, golden and rich brew, with a light tint of blush and topped with a creamy lacing. Soft aroma of raspberries, suggestions of something tart and a faint caramel on the nose. Quite smooth on the palate, firm, with a medium-body and moderate crispness. Malty base is just a tad sweet, with fresh pale malt and wheat flavors. A raspberry flavor rides in on off of the crispness and builds to a nice tart smack with salt and lime-like characters. Bitter, near puckering. The malts back things up just enough, too. Wheaty in the linger, which dries up nicely for a relatively clean finish.
Its all about the raspberries here and definitely a step above the usual run of the mill fruit ales on the market; offering a bit more character and a unforced, uncontrived fruit presence. And at 4.5 percent alcohol by volume it also makes it easy to drink and highly approachable. Interested? Give it a try.
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