Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI
Cerise fruit beer
If I haven’t made it clear already, I really love Founders, and having them back in South Carolina has reminded me just how great their beers are. But while I’ve had most of their slate, there are a handful that I hadn’t had the chance to try yet, including Cerise, their summer seasonal fruit beer.
Cerise is brewed with Michigan tart cherries, which are added at five different points in the brewing process. This gives the beer a more full fruit flavor instead of just flavoring a base beer, which makes things taste artificial. What you end up with is something sweet, tart and refreshing, and easily the best fruit beer I’ve had.
First off, the beer is gorgeous. It’s slightly opaque and has a beautiful deep cherry red color. The finger of head doesn’t last long, as does the mild lacing and alcohol legs.
On the nose is a big bready malt sweetness and obvious cherries. The sweetness and tartness hit you right in the face. It’s definitely more of a real cherry flavor than cherry juice.
The cherry tartness is quite strong on the tongue. It’s sort of like biting into one of those chocolate-covered cherry candies as far as cherry flavor goes. There’s a really smooth mouthfeel and really good carbonation. It ends with a big pop of cherries on the back, again as if biting into a cherry tart or cherry pie. There’s a slight syrupy sweetness to it, but it’s extremely mild.
As I said, this is the best fruit beer I’ve had. The fruit flavor is tart and sweet but very easy to drink and extremely refreshing. Fruit beers catch a lot of crap as being weak and not something “true” beer geeks should enjoy. Screw that. Cerise is awesome, and it’s definitely something to not pass up on.