Steamworks Frambozen

Reviewed by on August 19, 2015 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Steamworks Brewing Company

  • Origin: Vancouver, BC, CA

  • Rated On: August 19, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Fruit Beer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

This downtown Vancouver brewpub/brewery releases what they call ‘summer in a bottle’ as their current seasonal, and seem to go along with a few others in appropriating the Dutch word for ‘raspberries’ in their naming convention.  Also, lots of steampunk brewing imagery depicted on the embossed graphics label.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium magenta colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly pale pink head, which leaves some decent layered low-lying cloud lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of musty, kind of underdeveloped raspberries, grainy and lightly biscuity pale malt, a twinge of earthy yeast, and really not much else. The taste is bready, mildly crackery pale malt, a growing raspberry pie fruitiness, gritty yeast, perhaps a suggestion of clover honey, a weak flinty stoniness, and plain leafy, weedy hop bitters.  The bubbles are fairly tame in their equally playful and perfunctory frothiness, the body on the low side of your typical middleweight, and generally smooth, the raspberry essence here not really capable of messing things up. It finishes on a strong drying trend, the malt starting to think about announcing that it is giving up the ghost, with the now ethereal raspberry fruitiness having tapped out a long time ago.

Not a bad craft fruit brew, but the middling nature of the raspberries that enables this brewery’s urge to use the ‘Frambozen’ moniker precludes me from getting particularly florid here. Easy enough to put back, I guess, especially with the well-integrated booze sort of laughing at my naivete – I can’t smell or taste it, so why should I even worry, right?

Brady White

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