Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wild for Raspberry Ale

I've finally given up and admitted that I like fruit beer. I'm not ashamed. I even bought a six-pack of fruity, malty goodness recently (OK, a month ago):  Great Divide Wild Raspberry Ale.

Described as a "beer lover's fruit beer", Wild Raspberry Ale is dry, bitter, and full of raspberry flavor. It smells like pureed raspberries with a little bit of graininess behind the fruity aroma. A little reminiscent of raspberry cobbler.

The flavor is pretty similar to the aroma. Initially tons of raspberry, followed by flavors of baked malt & grain and finished by a balanced, lingering hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is also dry thanks to a moderate-high carbonation level. Perfect for spring & summer!

I found this to be an interesting fruit beer because it's not like most of the ones I've had before. It's not the sweet, fresh, bready Samuel Smith strawberry ale I discovered (and loved!) last year. It's not a Belgian fruit style, so it doesn't have the esters or signature lambic-style flavors that are so common with various Belgian fruit ales. And it's much drier and hoppier than the ever-popular O'Fallon Wheach, Pyramid Apricot, Founder's Cerise, or even New Belgium's Framboise.

So here it is. If you aren't offended by the concept of fruit beer but you often find the sweetness of most on the market a bit too much, this is definitely one to try. It has a ton of raspberry aroma and flavor but is pretty dry and hoppy compared to its fruit-filled peers. I give it a wort hoggy thumbs-up and will likely buy this again.


  1. Sounds like my wife would love this one. New Glarus Raspberry Tart is probably my favorite fruit beer.

  2. Yeah I really enjoyed this beer. The only fruit beers I've had from NG are the Cherry Red and something from their Unplugged series, but they were both quite a bit sweeter than Great Divide's raspberry one, if memory serves me correctly. I was really surprised at how dry the Wild Raspberry Ale was - and pleasantly so! :)

  3. Agreed, this is a great value fruit beer. My favorite is also from NG- Cran-bic. Not anywhere near as sweet as their Raspberry or Red, nor as tart as many lambics/sours.


Tasting Notes