12oz bottle in the usual New Belgium presentation. 20FEB11 is dot-matrixed on the label.
New Belgium has been in the GA market for sometime, but this beer is a relatively new entry. Single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Pour is a really attractive, dark copper brown with great clarity and a spectacular abundance of bright read highlights. Really great color.
Head is initially large but fades quickly to give a little lace and some thin film across the surface of the beer.
Nose offers some light, fruity acidity and not much else.
The beer is pretty much exactly what is says it is going to be on the label; in some ways that is very encouraging. There is a pretty solid, brown ale base that offers some good malts, and on top of that we get the fruity acidity of the raspberry flavor. Both elements (raspberry and brown ale) compete for ones attention in equal degrees. Both are there, and both make an appearance, but to be honest this is also the weakness of the beer. It gets caught between the two and never really makes it as a brown ale OR as a fruit beer.
Lots of fine, reserved carbonation that makes the beer very creamy.
The color (when held up to the light) is the strongest feature, and although I don’t DISLIKE it as such, it never really gets to where it needs to be as a Brown Ale or a Fruit beer.
Strange, a beer that limps to nowhere in particular but in a non-offensive manner.