It snowed today in Fort Collins. Also noteworthy: Today’s the official release day of Frambozen, which rhymes with “frozen,” which is how I felt while walking outside the brewery in the snow. Coincidence? Maybe. Or…maybe not. When Frambozen hits shelves, two things are assured. One, winter’s settling in and, two, Thanksgiving, the most feast-friendly holiday, is just around the corner. So, naturally, I warmed up with a sample of the stuff, and then interviewed some folks here about their favorite New Belgium and Thanksgiving pairings. Heading back to my desk, I noticed the brewery’s Liquid Center had been transformed into a wintry wonderland. Things are getting festive real quick around here. Frambozen is right on time.
If you haven’t tried Frambozen, this is the week to introduce yourself to the fruity, tart beer (find your supply here), and then stock up on a few sixers—the holiday season is a little less cheery without it.
Technically a raspberry beer, Frambozen’s story is more interesting than that simple descriptor. The beer actually starts off as Abbey, but our brewers swap out Abbey’s Belgian yeast for another house yeast strain. After primary fermentation, the beer’s blended with raspberry juice from the Pacific Northwest, resulting in a invigorating tart, fruity pour with a nutty, caramel malt backbone. Each sip makes my taste buds feel a little something like this.
But drinking Frambozen is only half the fun. Here at the brewery, it’s pretty much everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving beer. Our own Grady Hull think’s it’s the perfect match for turkey and stuffing (I agree). But beyond Thanksgiving, pairing dishes still abound: Creamy, funky Bleu D’Auvergne cheese adopts the beer’s tart mouthfeel and sweet/tart berry notes perfectly. Dessert? White chocolate cheesecake with berry compote is another winner. I found out quickly that there’s a whole bunch of people here ready and willing to tell me their favorite Frambozen pairing.
But, if you’re holed up in the house this week and dreading the upcoming holidays, here’s my tip: Try pairing Frambozen with a second pint of Frambozen. It’s got just enough berry tartness to snap you into the festive holiday season.
Happy upcoming holidays — Chris