Rodenbach Grand Cru was one of the beers that initially made me fall in love with beer. At a time when craft beer was hard to come by in my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, Grand Cru somehow managed to find its way into most of the beer bars in town. It was my first sour, and my go-to nightcap for years. I’d have a few IPAs, and then I would always end the night with a small pour of Grand Cru. The beer will always hold a special place in my heart (and I still grab one every now and then when I’m out), which meant that when Rodenbach reached out a few weeks ago to tell me about a new canned sour it was putting out I was STOKED.
Fruitage is Rodenbach’s latest offering. It’s the first time any Rodenbach beer has been available in cans in the United States (yesssss!), and it’s being sold in four-packs of 8.25 oz. cans nationwide.
The beer is 25% Aged Rodenbach (two-year matured beer from oak standing Foeders) blended with 75% young Rodenbach ale, and then infused with cherries and elderberries.
And Just like my Grand Cru favorite, it’s unbelievably delicious.
Fruitage comes in at just 4.2%, which makes it very sessionable ABV-wise. My boyfriend was also curious about the brew, so we split one of the cans that they sent. He thought the beer was “crushable” and he could see himself knocking back the whole four pack on a hot summer day. He was actually disappointed that they’re selling it in 8 oz. cans rather than 12 or 20 oz. options. For me, I really enjoyed what I had, and would absolutely drink another (and will, because luckily they sent two!), but I can’t see myself consuming more than one in a sitting.
For what it’s worth, there aren’t many sours out there that I would want to consume more than 8 oz. of in a sitting, so the problem isn’t uniquely Rodenbach.
For me, this one falls under the same umbrella as Grand Cru. It’s very fruit-forward, with raspberry and cherry on the nose. It tastes more like a (delicious) Italian soda than a beer to some extent. The tartness of the sour balances nicely with the sweetness of the berries, and makes for a really interesting and delicious beer.
I think I may have just found my summer nightcap.
Style: Flanders Red