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Monday, July 7, 2014

Lake Effects Brewing's Brett Frambois

  • Style: American Wild Ale (USAUSA!)
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • Ease to locate: Chicago area craft beer stores & some craft bars.  Here's a link to their Beer Menu page for locations.  I don't have a link for places that won't show the World Cup matches in the background though.  So sorry.     
  • Color: Ruby liquid with orange tones.  Hazy like fresh fruit juice. Very pretty coloring for a summer beer.
  • Head: One finger head of pure white, tight foam.  Not much retention to speak of.  Slight, soapy lacing.
  • Aroma: Huge raspberry note with funky Brett on back of the nose.  Bit of spice as well.  Not particularly tart.
  • Mouthfeel: Light, crisp & extremely effervescent.  Refreshing.
  • Finish: Medium body.  Begins with the fruit & funk notes and slides to just funk on the tail.
  • Food friendly?: Try it with summer salads accented with fresh berries or lightly spiced grilled chicken.  Love this with buttery & creamy cheeses, such as Swiss or Goat cheese

 Apple User's link: Rodney Dangerfield kind of wraps up exactly what's wrong with soccer. Creepy men in shorts.

                                                                                                                                              Creepiest smile.  Ever.

It's amusing to me just how many seemingly normal people turn into rabid soccer (excuse me, futbol) fans once every 4 years.  These are the same people that I've given my cell number to.   People who know what I looked like during that "awkward age."  Hell, I've even shared a beer with most of them!  At any other point in time, I might let it slip that I happen to think that soccer (I mean, futbol) is a stupid, over hyped, waist of space on ESPN and no one would blink an eye at my statement.  World Cup time comes and BAM!  If I even roll my eyes at the mention that day's soccer (damn, futbol) game I'm suddenly deemed uncouth and unamerican.  What's worse is that these so called fans try to convert me to soccer (FUTBOL!) fandom like some sort of crazed cult members of a group that worships honeycombed balls and scarves in the summertime.  Ain't gonna happen.  No way.  No where.  No how.  I will tell you what I am a crazed fan of and that's beer brewed with fresh summer fruit.  Say, just picked raspberries (excuse me, framboise) for instance. 

My Lake Effect Brewing Brett Frambois poured a gorgeous ruby liquid that was tinted with bright orange tones.  It was opaque and lush looking (and sort of reminded me of a glass of freshly pressed grapefruit juice.)  A one finger, pure white head formed and fell very quickly to a ring around the snifter.  Shallow, delicate lacing crept up the sides of the glass.  It certainly looked refreshing.  I could smell the raspberries on it right away.  And they were fresh raspberries.  Like over priced, smugly self sustaining, farmer's market raspberries.  There was a strong funk presence just under the fruit and a hint of spice on the very end (I was thinking cloves or cinnamon.)  The taste was a bit different than the nose.  It was dominantly funky in the best possible sort of way.  Imagine KC & the Sunshine Band playing a concert in your mouth.  Yes, it was THAT funky.  I was a bit disappointed that the raspberry flavor was muted on the taste.  The fruit note was still there, but I found it slightly over powered by the Brett character.  As I was drinking this Wild Ale, I kept wishing for more tartness and a stronger fruit note (following the example of the nose.)  Of course this, like the forbidden love of soccer, all comes down to personal taste.  Did I think that the heavy Brett quality harmed the beer?  No.  Did I read the label which mentioned the name as Brett Frambois?  Yepper.  So there you go.  The slight spice element, however, was very welcome and gave the funkiness a needed depth.  I did find this beer very refreshing, especially on a warm summer's day.  The light and extremely effervescent mouthfeel contributed greatly to my refreshment.  A medium  finish that began with a dry funk and fruit feeling faded nicely to all funk during the swallow.

I would pair Lake Effect Brewing's Brett Frambois with slightly sweet and mildly spiced dishes to offset the beer's inherent funk-attude (yes, I just made up that word.  It's pretty awesome, isn't it?)   Try it with Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken .  I believe that the honey & Dijon marinade might compliment the Brett note while the addition of a steak sauce to the sauce's profile will add a savory element.  Alternatively, a fresh beery studded salad, such as a Berry & Spinach Salad with Curry Dressing will work at bringing the fruit flavor forward while letting the Brett note off set the mild curry spice.  Or, honestly, just wait to crack this ale open on a hot & humid Saturday afternoon.  Maybe while (other people's) kids are in some random field kicking a battered ball around in a seemingly pointless fashion.  I guarantee that it will help make those 2 hour games that end with a 0 to 0 tie a bit easier to swallow.