Perhaps the funniest Miller High Life commercial (directed by Errol Morris, no less) mocks the idea of garnishing your beer with fruit. “A British sailor circa 1740 knew that citrus fruit could prevent scurvy,” it begins before a long pause. “Now that’s got to be the only conceivable reason a man would put a lime in his beer. Then again, how bad could scurvy be?”
Clever. Of course, its ridiculous conceit is that there’s something pure about about a beer made from corn extracts, but it’s an effective way to imbue mass-produced, boring swill with a simple masculinity. Whether a guy can enjoy the latest offering from Founders really depends on his answer to this question: Is it unacceptably feminine to drink a fruit beer?
The fact that I drive a sea-foam green Vespa to work probably gives you a hint at my own answer.
This raspberry ale is fruitier than your average fruit beer, but its sweetness and juiciness never becomes too cloying or candy-like. There’s a tartness that reminds me a lot of Lindemans Framboise, a Lambic beer that I’ve used to convince a countless number of people who “don’t like beer” that they actually do—they just haven’t tried the right one yet.
Rübaeus will serve that purpose as well. Bring it to a 4th of July picnic and convert the wine drinkers. It’s even effervescent enough to replace your soda. And it goes down so easy that I almost accidentally finished off the 12-oz. bottle before I even started writing this review. I immediately wanted a second bottle, and at 5.7% ABV, I could have followed through on that desire, even at work, if my co-workers hadn’t so rudely polished off the other two we had. (Sometimes you need three bottles to fully grasp the subtleties of a beer, guys!—they’re not buying it.)
You and I will have to wait until July 1 for Rübaeus to make its way into liquor stores in those states where Founders is available (most states east of the Mississippi). It’ll be available through the end of August or while supplies last.
Or you could just continue in your belief that manliness is about drinking watered-down crap beer.