What beverages are similar to a raspberry lambic?
September 19, 2016 1:17 PM   Subscribe

This summer, I discovered I really like raspberry lambic. Lindeman's framboise lambic is readily available to me, but I'd like to expand my horizons. Bonus points for something domestic and less-expensive. What should I try to find or sample?
posted by QuantumMeruit to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Abita Purple Haze isn't quite as tart, but it's pretty ubiquitous. Also check out the growing category of domestic shandies and radlers.
posted by holgate at 1:26 PM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

You could also look to anything that could be described as a sour fruit beer. They'll run a wide spectrum of sourness, from a little tart to mouth-puckering.

Berliner Weisse is also a soured beer that is traditionally served with fruit syrups; might be right up your alley.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:29 PM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Fruit infused sour beers are pretty trendy right now and are generally similar. If the idea of salt in your beer doesn't send you running, Goses are very popular right now and are sour and salty, often with fruit added. The Anderson Valley blood orange goae and the Victory cherry gose are both very good.
posted by Candleman at 1:31 PM on September 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

You should be able to get Founders in VA, in which case you should try Rubaeus.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:35 PM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agreed with DougieGee that you would probably like the New Glarus fruit beers, but I believe they are hard to come by outside of Wisconsin.
posted by ghharr at 1:42 PM on September 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm also a huge fan of Lindeman's framboise! I agree that the New Glarus Raspberry Tart and Serendipity are both really great, but ghharr is right, they don't distribute outside of Wisconsin.

And, I agree about the sour fruit beers hitting some of the same notes without being the exact same thing. I really liked New Belgium Fruit Fly, which I think is seasonal, but they make a couple of different sour beers you could check out.
posted by Sabby at 1:57 PM on September 19, 2016

Dogfish Head festina peche seems to be currently on tap at a lot of places in the mid-atlantic, it's a sour berliner weisse style.

There's also a ton of small-brewery meads and ciders around right now that hit similar notes. I'm not sure if they're available as far south as your reported location but charm city meadworks and millstone cidery are everywhere in the Baltimore area right now.
posted by advil at 2:30 PM on September 19, 2016

Blueberry beer is a thing here in New England. Most of them are basic blonde beers (hardly any hops/bitterness, nor a thick powerful maltiness, just a light crisp lager) with a blueberry aroma; at many bars, served with fresh (or frozen) blueberries floating in the glass. Wachussett's Blueberry is the epitome of the style in my opinion (not that I'd fight anybody for disagreeing). BUT, that's not really what you're after - it smells like blueberries but looks and tastes like beer. (beer enthusiasts would say it's very fruity, but on the scale of lambics, it's very much just beer)

What you're after is what would be (according to the average New Englander) a terrible bastardization of the style, Wild Blue Lager. Much sweeter, distinctly purplish color, nationally distributed.
posted by aimedwander at 2:32 PM on September 19, 2016

You should look into dry ciders! I really like the hopped varieties as they are less sweet and more full-bodied than regular hard cider (I don't even like hoppy beer but in cider, the hops really add something good here).

My favorite is Reverend Nat's hallelujah hopricot cider but there are other ones out there in other fruit flavors, including raspberry.
posted by joan_holloway at 2:48 PM on September 19, 2016

Cascade Brewing Company is wonderful for sours. They're in Portland, OR, but you may be able to order deliveries from Craftshack.

As Candleman said, sours are also pretty trendy right now, so your local breweries may have some. I can find some in my local Whole Foods as well.
posted by bananacabana at 5:40 PM on September 19, 2016

If you live near a Trader Joe's, look in their beer aisle for a decent price on the big bottle of raspberry Lambic!
posted by 41swans at 7:19 PM on September 19, 2016

Have you tried kombucha? Those fermented tea drinks with fruit tend to have a really similar flavor profile to sour beer. And you can sip while driving!
posted by sleeping bear at 9:35 PM on September 19, 2016

The quick, simple recommendation would be Founders Rubaeus, which I just had last weekend (Founders has just become available in Japan, and I'm a happy person). It's pretty amazing. Very, very raspberry, not overly sweet, just the right amount of tart to it. Definitely give it a try.

The more complex recommendation would be New Glaurus's Serendipity. They make amazing fruit beers. The cherry ale, the raspberry, they're all great. Serendipity made me cry the first time I had it, and even thinking about it makes me tear up a little. I live and teach in Japan, and due to the schedule of the Japanese school year, I haven't been able to attend my family's thanksgiving in roughly 17 years, during which time several members of my family have passed away. It was always the biggest, most important day for our family, and since I've been gone, I've seen the family drift apart, and deeply feel that, had I stayed home, I might have been able to prevent that.

(I know, this is getting weirdly off topic, stay with me)

A friend brought back a bottle of Serendipity from a beer tour of the midwest. We actually sampled several of the New Glaurus fruit beers first, and then he poured Serendipity. Just the smell of the beer was almost exactly the same as the scene from Ratatouille where the critic takes a bite of the titular dish and is immediately transported back to his childhood. Serendipity is a cranberry, cherry, apple ale, and it smells and tastes like fall in the midwest. It smells and tastes like Thanksgiving with loved ones. It smells and tastes like home, and dear friends and family long past. It's one of the best things I've ever had in my life, and if you're anywhere near Wisconsin, you owe it to yourself to get a bottle of it.

(Damn it, trying not to cry at work.)
posted by Ghidorah at 12:34 AM on September 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Since you said "Beverages" and not "beers", I'd actually recommend a raspberry kombucha. For me kombucha scratches a similar itch to a tart sour fruity beer, and it makes a great replacement for soda or other designated-driver time drinks, too. I really wish more bars would carry some.

Bonus, if you like it, it's extremely easy to make at home, unlike beer.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:08 AM on September 20, 2016

I love that raspberry lambic, too!

My other favorite similar thing to drink is Evil Twin Nomader Weisse, served mixed with some passionfruit syrup. (I keep a thing of frozen passionfruit puree (purchased at Kalustyan's in NYC), then microwave a bit of it with some sugar and stir that into the beer.) (And really, berliner weisses generally!)
posted by 168 at 5:14 AM on September 20, 2016

Since you said bonus point for domestic and less-expensive, a couple of suggestions in the other direction: De Cam Framboise Lambiek and Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus. Both are a fair bit more sour than the Lindemans, but many people find that once they start liking lambic they slide in that direction anyway. Neither are cheap and whilst Rosé De Gambrinus is not one of the more sought after Cantillon beers it may be hard to find too.

On the cheap, sour and refreshing front, there's always Rodenbach. Even comes in cans these days.
posted by hawthorne at 5:18 AM on September 20, 2016

Rodenbach! Say it louder for the people in the back! Rodenbach Grand Cru is really great and widely available. So is Duchesse de Bourgogne: less fruity, more just sour, but very drinkable.

Bell's Oarsman is a very mild sour wheat beer, I don't think it calls itself a Berliner Weisse, but you might like it with or without a fruit syrup added. Whatever fruit you like, but I'm obsessed with those Ikea fruit syrups and I think the lingonberry one would be good.
posted by clavicle at 9:58 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Liking Lindeman's doesn't necessarily mean you'll like sours or "real" lambics, as Lindeman's is extremely sweet, and sour beers/lambics usually aren't. Just a caveat.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:51 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Founders Rubaeus seems to be exactly what I was looking for. Easily sourced in Northern Virginia, and delicious.

I did try an Abita Purple Haze a few days ago and it was tasty, too. (But I the extra-fruitiness of the Rubaeus is what I was looking for.)

I'm going to continue sampling suggestions from this list, but yet again the Hive Mind has come through for me in spades. Thanks!
posted by QuantumMeruit at 7:59 AM on September 29, 2016

If you get a chance, try Cascade's Sang Noir. Spectacular.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:07 PM on September 29, 2016

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