Basic Beer Info:
- Brewery: Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
- Beer: 2013 Chris Framboise
- Batch: 2013
- Beer type: Belgian Framboise finished with Brettanomyces
- ABV: 7.5%
- Imbibition date: 11-29-13
- Temperature: 55° F
- Serving type: Poured from 750ml bottle into a large tulip glass
- Price: $15.99/22oz (Binny’s, Chicago)
Against the Grain was entirely off my radar before seeing this on the shelf at Binny’s when I was looking for Goose Island BCBS (yeah, I didn’t find any). I’m always interested in beer that has been brewed using Brettanmoyces (Bret.) because of the great sour characteristics it gives to beer. While living out in Northern California, I got an opportunity to drink some of the, arguably, best American beer brewed with the help of Bret. at Russian River Brewery. I’m always on the look out for more sours. Unfortunately I would classify this beer as much more of an American Wild Ale instead of a Sour Ale. Perhaps a seemingly pedantic differentiation (especially since BCJP doesn’t even recognize American Wild Ales) but I think the flavor profiles between the two styles are pretty far apart.
It really pours beautifully. A deep copper red with a finger’s width or so worth of light beige head that sticks around in force for a good bit. Eventually the bubbles recede to a fairly dense lace over the entirety of the glass for the remainder of the session.
I’ll admit that I am disappointed here. There wasn’t much in terms of aroma throughout the entire session. I get a faint but perceptible whiff of tart raspberries and if I really, truly stretch I can get some earthy funk. But at this level of attempting to smell something one must wonder, is the odor actually there, or am I perceiving the odor because my brain is expecting it to be there? This is the main reason I don’t read other reviews before publishing my own, I don’t want to go into a tasting with expectations. The label says “funk” though, so I’m tainted. I’ll call it as there, but just barely.
A bit of a struggle on this one. Dull raspberry up front, maybe they’re a little tart, followed by a bit of acidic cereal grain and finally the smallest hint of alcohol flavor. The beer is very dry, absolutely no residual sweetness or maltiness anywhere to be found.
Along with the appearance this is one of the areas in which this beer excels. I immediately notice the carbonation and medium-light body of the beer. It’s refreshing feeling (even if not necessarily refreshing tasting).
It has a great label and overall bottle presentation, which probably led to my purchase. In addition to the crisp, clean, and well design label above, the top of the bottle was wrapped in foil. No cork though, just fancy foil that made me think there was a cork.
It’s hard to hide my disappointment. The beer was good but I won’t be buying another bottle and I don’t think I’ll be recommending it to anyone. The beer seems lost, it tried to be too much and ended up losing most of it’s identity in the process.
Final Rating1: 3.23/5
To see a list of all my beer reviews and ratings, check out the Summary of Beers Reviewed page.
The aFR (adjusted Final Rating) is my attempt at standardizing beer ratings across the increasingly vast pricing and container volume differences. It ranges from near 0 to near 25, the higher the number is the better the beer is in terms of quality and value. See the Beer Review Methodology Page. ↩