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Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Founder's Rübæus

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Jun 13, 2014 9:30PM

2014_6_13_rubaeus.jpgA few years back, one of our favorite Michigan breweries announced that they wouldn't be making a very popular seasonal (and 2007 "Beer of the Week" selection) for a while. Lucky for us, they didn't mean they weren't going to make it forever, and this year, it seems to be back in full force.

Rübæus is an ale that's fermented with fresh raspberries by the guys up at Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Mich. Depending on the lighting, it pours either a ruby-red/amber color or almost pink in the glass. There's no missing those raspberries on the nose as a tart, earthy aroma wafts right up out of the glass immediately after the beer is poured. There's no missing them on the palate either, since the tanginess pops right up front, which we find very refreshing, and levels out to let a hint of sweetness through to balance. While the raspberries are definitely dominant in Rübæus, the malts used still lend a crisp but substantial body to the beer, and we do pick up some underlying floral tones from the hops used. At 5.7 percent alcohol content, Rübæus is a considerable brunch beer option and a wonderful porch sipper on a hot afternoon.

We tend to be pretty picky about beers that are made with fruit, since we still want them to taste like beer. There are a lot of things on the market right now that are sugary sweet, syrupy and dangerously close to cough syrup, as several breweries tend to use artificial flavorings and extracts to make their renditions of these things. We recommend seeking out something made with fresh fruit or fresh fruit juice—hopefully something that doesn't have too much residual sugar in it.

It's a common misconception that fruit beers are always going to be sweet but the sugars lent by the fruit are fermentable by brewers yeast like many other sugars, so a lot of these beers are quite dry. While we may not want to drink a beer like Rübæus every day, we can't deny how amazingly quenching a beer like this can be when you're really in the mood for one.

Check to see where you can pick up some Rübæus this weekend.