I’m not entirely sure what it is about fruit beers but I love them. My mom was a huge fan of Apricot Wheat Ales and that was some of the first beer I really started to enjoy so maybe it started there. However it started, my interest for fruit beers has translated into a number of homebrew recipes from our Sassy Blonde strawberry ale, to Dave’s Coconut Brown, the Blonde Wino and a number of others. This summer we have added another fruit beer to our taps.
When we were on our tour of Oregon we stopped at Sauvie Island to do a little u-picking. Now to this California boy a little u-picking is a haleck (a word I didn’t learn until spending time in Oregon) or two and calling it a day. Eryn on the other hand needs to make sure she has cleared off several rows of bushes and has enough berries to feed us for a month. We froze the berries while we hung out in Oregon then when we got home they magically appeared in our freezer (no Mr Agricultural inspector there are no fresh fruits or veggies in this car).
One afternoon while planning out our brewing schedule I remembered the raspberries sitting in the freezer and decided we should experiment a bit. I have had raspberry browns in the past and enjoyed how the flavor of the raspberries played off the chocolate roast of a brown ale. I was wanting to do up a batch of Dave’s Coco Brown anyway so I decided that after fermentation I would split the batch and do five gallons of each. After primary fermentation was complete I pulled out the bag of frozen raspberries very precisely eyeballed half and tossed them in. In hindsight the pound of raspberries may have been a bit more then I would add next time but overall the beer turned out great.
Off the tap the beer pours with a nice head that recedes to a thin layer of bubbles that linger on top, it has a great chocolate raspberry aroma that reminds me of Ghirardelli bar,and when you look at it it appears to be a dark brown ale but when held to the light you get a little crimson mixed in. The taste is berry forward with more tartness then sweetness, it moves to the little bit of chocolate roast and finally to a light hop finish. Overall the flavor lingers nicely and I think it is a great summer ale.