I came across this raspberry brown ale, by New Belgium, just after Thanksgiving. It is seasonal and brewed around that time as the wreath on the label suggests. Since I love a good sour beer and know New Belgium has come out with a few great ones lately, I thought I just must try it. Why not?
It pours a dirty ruby color and you can immediately smell the raspberries. But the brown ale really comes in nicely with a malty, breadiness aroma.
Frambozen is more malty then I expected. But the raspberries provide a tartness later that I much appreciate. The combination and playfulness of the flavors really make this an interesting beer to drink. I love the balance between the brown ale and the tartness from the fruit.
To finish it off, the bubbles from the carbonation make the experience of drinking this beer similar to a soda. Very refreshing. At least it is only 6.5%! Drink up.
For anyone looking to move into the fruit beer genre (fruit, lambics, krieks) I would highly recommend this as a gateway beer. The raspberries provide that sour kick but the brown ale keeps it in check for those less willing to venture too far into the sour beer field.
New Belgium’s Description
Frambozen begins with the aroma of fresh red raspberries, followed by the ripe seductiveness of a fruity brown ale with depth and delicate malt notes. It is deep ruby in color, with flavors just as rich. Every year, New Belgium sends a delegate to the Pacific Northwest to oversee the process of turning freshly picked berries into a pure juice to be added in fermentation. The coming of Thanksgiving at New Belgium is ushered in with the first sighting of our cellar operators scuttling about, covered head to tow in a festive crimson berry wash.