If you are searching for a beer that is as fresh Spring itself, you will need not look any further than St. Louis Framboise. St. Louise Framboise is a Belgian brew made using fresh raspberry juice and a gueze lambic. The end product is a dry, sweet dessert beer that lends itself wonderfully to the lighter fare and flavors of the upcoming season.
The first thing you will notice upon pouring this beer is its rich, ruby hue with a pink head that quickly melts away to light lacing. The scent of this beer is a very obvious raspberry essence that announces itself with authority without overpowering your senses. The powerful combination of color and smell will leave fruit lovers drooling for a sip of this beer. The flavor is slightly tart and less sweet than one might expect from such a brew. It reminded me of a sparkling juice or wine, definitely not beer! It is fresh, balanced and somewhat punchy.
I first tasted this beer while attending a Belgian beer tasting at Heather’s Coffee and Café and was somewhat skeptical of a fruity beer. I am glad that I shoved my skepticism aside in favor of trying something new and different, because this brew truly delivers on flavor. It is light and bold and would make a wonderful accompaniment to a citrusy salad, cheese and fruit plate or a chocolatey dessert. I highly recommend serving this beer in a champagne flute to fully enjoy the unique flavor it offers. Drinking it straight from the bottle or in a double old fashioned simply does not allow you to fully experience the taste.
If you are a fan of dark, hoppy or strongly flavored beers, you will want to pass on St. Louis Framboise. If you are a fan of the more traditional American brews, you will also most likely be disappointed. However, if you have an open mind and are willing to put aside and pre-conceived notions of what a good beer is, you will most likely enjoy this pleasant change of pace.
St. Louis Framboise is bottled by Kasteelbier of Belgium and available locally at Heather’s Coffee and Café in Springboro. It contains 2.8% alcohol by volume and is available by the bottle or in six packs.