has been making their Cherry Raspberry Ale for years, and I’ve had it
on tap many times. I’ve never given it a formal review until now as it
was difficult (and expensive) to buy before the recent opening of their
new production brewery (everything had been bottled manually in the
basement of their taproom until now). This bottle replicates the tap
experience quite well, as this is indeed a fun fruit beer to drink.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mason jar. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).
Appearance: Pretty magenta/light brown hue, translucent. Pours to a
small, off-white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leave no
Smell: Jam-like aroma of red cherry and raspberries.
Taste: The thing about fruit beers is that they’re kind of the beer
equivalent of alcopops since the fruit character tends to override the
base brew (though that’s true of traditional lambics, too). In the case
of Brown’s Cherry Raspberry Ale it’s a beer that delivers as the name
suggests: plenty of cherry/raspberry sweetness and that’s about it.
Slightly tart at first, but becomes a little richer-tasting towards the
end. It’s probably made with puree rather than whole fruit, and it
certainly tastes that way. There’s no soda-like quality of
artificial/chemical flavoring here. The base brew appears to be
something in the amber or brown ale styles, as there’s a light bready
character here. The hops are faint if they are noticeable at all. While
not quite as delicious as some of the better examples of the genre, this
one is still pretty enjoyable.
Drinkability: Getting down a glass of Brown’s Cherry Raspberry Ale is no
challenge whatsoever (not that it should be, though). The mouthfeel is
thin and calm with a smooth texture and finish to match. It leaves a
mostly clean aftertaste, which is a tad disappointing as these are the
kinds of flavors you’d prefer to linger. At 6.5% ABV it’s seems rather
inefficient as this beer drinks like something in the more overtly
sessionable range. I’d expect a little more robustness and complexity to
a brew this strong. Regardless, it works fine as a liquid dessert or
standalone beverage (or blend it with their oatmeal stout for an