Located in Roeselare, Belgium, Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. has been brewing since 1821 and has been recognized as the maker of the original sour ale and the leading craft brewer of mixed fermentation Flanders red-brown beer. Having brewed only 18 documented and rated beers in its 196-year history, for the first time, the historical brewery has released its first canned beer in the U.S.: Rodenbach Fruitage.

The make-up of this release is 25 percent aged beer, spending two years in oak foeders, 75 percent young Rodenbach ale and the addition of cherries and elderberries.

According to Rudi Ghequire, master brewer for Rodenbach:

This is an exciting new innovation in our legendary portfolio of beers, and we’re thrilled to offer this product in the United States. Rodenbach Fruitage is a light and refreshing beverage that is full of flavors, perfectly balanced and compliments a variety of foods and occasions.

Poured from an 8.5-ounce slim can resembling an energy drink can, this 4.2 percent ale pours raspberry-brown in color with a moderate layer of fizzy pink head that mellows out and dissipates quite quickly. There are big aromas of ripe raspberries, maraschino cherries, damp wood and a light sourness on the nose.

Taste is semi-sweet, almost candy-like with nuances of raspberries, sweetened cherries, fresh, un-aged oak, a touch of funkiness and fruit juices. Fruitage’s mouthfeel is cool and coating. As the ale warms, tannins and a pleasant dryness get stronger and help neutralize some of the sweetness. The balance gets better with time and likens itself more to a wine as you pass the halfway point of the glass. The finish is still full of sweet fruit juices and a nice tannic feel towards the end becomes more complex during the warming process.

Rodenbach Fruitage
BREWERY: Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.,
LOCATION: Roeselare, Belgium
STYLE: Flanders Ale
ABV: 4.2 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $2.39
AVAILABLE IN: 8.5-ounce cans
Beginning of this beer looked like it was going to be a let down at first because of the overwhelming sweetness that attacked immediately, but as I continued through the drinking process, tannins, oak and light yeast helped cut the sugar down to become a decently balanced beer. Very sessionable at 4.2% abv, but one that you definitely want to savor and sip like a fine wine.
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