One leg of my Friday sojourn was to the beloved Morris Beer Store. Inside there was bustle as a couple of customers were being waited on and Gail, the Beer Maven was strong-arming a dolly laden with cases of wine ready to be displayed or stored. I quietly made my way to the craft beer shelf and scanned for new arrivals for a potential Saturday review candidate.
One beer wasn’t new for this week, as it caught my eye a while back. On the top shelf sat a four-pack of a beer made by Founders Brewing out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The beer in question was called Cerise Cherry Fermented Ale. Hmm. Cherry beer. I wondered what that tasted like. I checked the price. $10.99 for four bottles. OOF! A little steep. But I thought it’d be a different change of pace from the oatmeal stout I scheduled for Friday’s review. I figured, what the hell, and bought it just for the experience. Perhaps I’d learn something. I paid the bill and bid a fond farewell.
Saturday came and dwindled into darkness before I knew it. With a fruit beer on schedule, I grabbed a new beer glass my son had bought me from a recent trip he took to Antioch, Illinois near the Wisconsin border. It was an Ommegang flute glass which looked more like a wine glass to me. I figured that since wine was made from fruit, why not drink fruit beer from this glass? I grabbed the first bottle and uncapped it. Hmm. Twist-off. The beer poured.
It looked like strawberry lemonade going into the glass. The liquid had an apricoty orange-reddish tint to it. The small pink head quickly dissipated but the carbonation was pretty lively with a mixture of all sized bubbles. There wasn’t much of an aroma, I guess a sip is in order.
The taste was odd. A mixture of sweet and tart and fruitiness. By the second sip I was thinking “chick beer” all the way. The front of the sip has a nice sweetness to it and the back goes down smooth, but the middle has a unique taste of the meat of some tropical fruit I’ve never tasted before. Oddly, I got very little cherry flavor out of the first few sips and more of a mango type taste. By the time the glass was thirds empty, the cherry flavor really came forward.
As the sips went on the cherry flavor became more cherry-like and reminded me of the dark red Bing cherries, more tart than sweet. The drink itself was pleasant enough but the sweetness got old a few sips into the second glass. Perhaps a little too much for my taste buds. The cherry-sweet flavor became cloying. By this time, I was rueing the eleven bucks I paid for this beer.
The surprising aspect of this was that this is an actual beer, an ale. But to have it taste like it does must be some sort of an artificial flavoring technique that gives this liquid the cherry taste. This is more like a Rosé wine as it tastes nowhere near like a beer. This was the same experience I had when I reviewed Wild Dog’s Wild Blue blueberry beer. The sweet was over the top. This is at the exact opposite end of the spectrum of sweet versus bitter. This is the anti-IPA. It’s like that froo-froo aromatic soap that you can never wash off your hands.
The sweetness of this beer can’t even qualify it as a lawnmower beer. It doesn’t even taste like a beer. It more like an experiment cooked up at the labs of Dole or Del Monte. And at almost three bucks a pop, it’s a drink that’s best left on the shelf at your local beer store.
Taste: C- > Unmanly and unbeerly.
Smoothness: C- > Cherries with other rinds thrown in for zest.
Drinkability: C- > Your teeth might hurt after a while.
Bang for the buck: D- > Pass on this one altogether.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sip) Wow! Ooo, cherry. (sip) Ooo, real cherry. (sip) Oof, sweet. Very sweet. (sip) Very, very sweet. It tastes more like a wine than a beer. It’s not bad, I don’t think I could drink a whole one, though. (The entire review in a nutshell.)