Founders Brewing Company is the cornerstone of the mighty Michigan craft beer scene. Founded in 1997 by Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, this Grand Rapids brewery has become one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. Producing some of the most highly sought after beers such as KBS, Founders has a diverse portfolio of craft beers from light to heavy and everything in between. One their newest re-releases is a raspberry Belgian style beer by the name of Blushing Monk.
The beer pours a deep garnet red color with plum highlights, similar to the color of cran-grape juice. The one and a half finger soapy pink head shows good retention. Once the head dissipates a nice cap of lacing remains a top the beer.
Aromas of fresh raspberries dominate the nose. You can also detect fruity esters from the yeast, which also offers up an earthy aroma. There is a hint of sweet malts hiding in the background but the overwhelming aroma here is undeniably raspberry.
The palate echoes the bouquet perfectly. Notes of fresh raspberry juice flood the palate. The Belgian yeast is clearly discernible bringing an earthy note to mix. Sweet malt notes are hiding under the yeast and raspberry flavors. This beer is well balanced, sophisticated and easy to drink despite its (well hidden) 9.2% ABV.
So for the burning question on everyone’s mind…How does it differ from Rubaeus? Rubaeus is thicker, sweeter, and more concentrated with less balance and complexity. They are both excellent beers (providing you like raspberry) but are indeed very different. Try pairing the Blushing Monk with Chevre, mixed greens with raspberry vinaigrette and baked tilapia, or chocolate sour cream cake.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Pints