I’ve tried all manner of tweaks and changes to the bog standard tinned wort and dextrose, extending to honey, flat lemonade, plum jam, raspberry conserve, epsom salts (no, not for the laxative effect), finishing hops, salt, raw & brown sugar. In fact, you name it and I’ve probably experimented with it.
The results are always different, thankfully, none have been unpalatable, although to be honest, I’ve sailed close to the wind on occasion. This evening, my other half splurged and came home with a bottle of Malt Shovel Breweries Raspberry Wheat Beer. It’s a limited run, hand-crafted beer from the makers of the James Squire range of speciality beers & ales. Being a limited run, it’s not cheap. A 640ml bottle (why they can’t use standard sizes defeats me) will set you back $7 in your local, but a ‘case’ can be had from the brewery of $50. Mind you, a ‘case’ is only 9 bottles. That’s marketing for you.
As a long time home brewer, I’ll happily wax lyrical about this drink, because it’s a damn good beer. The bouquet is heavily redolent of freshly crushed raspberries, the colour isn’t quite red and falls short of being brown. The palate is quite simply extraordinary. The raspberries will assault your tastebuds from the first sip, but won’t over-power the beer flavour which remains, despite the fruitiness. It’s almost a raspberry soda, but once you’ve savoured that first mouthful, you’ll still be very much aware that this is a beer. A very special and unique beer. It’s crisp, clean and doesn’t hang on your palate as, say, a Fourex can with it’s consistent bitterness, or a Carlton brew with it’s somewhat cloying sweetness.
If you’re a beer drinker, then I strongly recommend that you get a hold of a bottle, chill it right down and have a crack in a clean, chilled glass. You won’t be sorry, I can assure you.