Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers both had steady jobs when they decided to chase their dreams and open a brewery…which meant writing a business plan, quitting their jobs, and taking out giant loans. They figured if you’re going to live life, you ought to live it hard, without regrets. It seems like taking this chance has benefited the craft beer community the world over!
Founders is a reputable and well-loved brewery that has an amazing portfolio of craft beers. Their Rübæus Raspberry Ale is a seasonal specialty offering that highlights the star ingredient, raspberries! During fermentation fresh raspberries were added at five separate stages throughout the life cycle to achieve the ultimate raspberry ale.
The beer pours a cranberry juice red with deeper crimson hues in the center of the glass. There is a thin pink tinted head that dissipates rather quickly but leaves a slight lacing. The deep rich red color with the slight lacing actually looks elegant in the glass. The stunning appearance tells a tale of what is to come.
The aroma is dominated by raspberry. At first sweet raspberry notes are detected like in a raspberry jelly. There are also pure and slightly tart raspberry aromas like that of a raspberry puree. There is an ever so slight malt note underlying the raspberry but it pales in comparison to the overpowering aromas of fresh, juicy and lively raspberries.
The palate echoes the nose. This beer is just chock full of raspberry, raspberry and more raspberry! The flavor of pure naturally sweet raspberries like a puree created from the juiciest and ripest raspberries in the world is the flavor that hits first. On the midpalate a tarter raspberry note hits, knocking down the sweetness. The slightest hint of malts make a brief appearance at this point as if to remind you this is indeed a beer, but if you aren’t open to seeking it out, you will miss it as it is quickly drowned out by – you guessed it – more raspberry!
The finish showcases the mouthfeel of a malt laden beer with the flavor of tart raspberries. When you combine these two with a pop of the beer’s carbonation, you end up with a mouthwatering sensation similar to that of the finish of a very dry red wine. With the raspberries being so prominent, this beer could easily be paralleled to a Lambic but with two major distinctions. First, it is not overly sweet like many Lambics (such as Lindeman’s). The balance of sweet and tart in this beer is dead on. Second it doesn’t carry that syrupy mouthfeel that many Lambics have. The body of the beer is on the lighter side of medium and not cloying at all.
Overall a great beer. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in purity. This is in no way comparable to a Shandy or a fruit “flavored” beer. In the realm of fruit beers, Founders Rübæus is in a league of its own. The perfect beer for warmer weather or pairing with berry or chocolate based desserts.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.5 Pints out of 5
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