For this week we will be going through various examples of Belgium’s well-known fruit-styled beers. Framboise (raspberry), Kriek/Cerise (cherry) and Geuze (an open vat fermented beverage yielding a cidery-type beer). Other examples are what the Wallonie (Belgian Francophones) call a mazout (Jupiler and cola), panache (Jupiler and lemonade/white soda) or tongo (Jupiler and grenadine syrup); which all yield a slightly sweeter beer-and are regularly available throughout Belgium.
Today we go for a fruit beer.
Liefmans Fruitesse: 4.2%abv Suggested serving temperature cold.
It may be hard to define this as a true “beer” in the fact that the ingredients include matured cherries, raspberry, bilberry, elderberry and strawberry-as well as “sweetner”? Not sure what that means. It continues to say that it also contains barley malt, an integral part of the brewing process. Beer or not beer, that is the real question.
Poured into a classic Leffe glass it pours quite fluidly, and dark pinkish/red in color with a creamy, pink head. It has a wine cooler like carbonation. It looks and smells exactly like I suspected, sweeeet. The color is very artificial looking but there is no indication of there being any color added. Not a lot more to be said about this one-advertised as a fruit beer, it is a fruit beer. A slight cough syrup taste in the back of my palate at the end of sips, definite tones of the various fruits stated above. Stay tuned this week for a number of beers in this style. Hope they are better….
Liefmans does produce other styles of beer, but all are based on a long cellaring, with various steps of fermentation. As well as new beer being blended with old beers for a distinct kind of flavor.