Thursday, July 8, 2010

Product Review: New Planet's Raspberry Ale

Just within the last week or two, Colorado's New Planet Beer Company has released its 3R Raspberry Ale, a second offering that follows on the company's wildly successful Tread Lightly Ale.  This alone makes New Planet noteworthy in the realm of gluten-free beer.  Most companies are one-trick ponies, offering gluten-free consumers a single option for GF beer: Redbridge, or New Grist, or Bard's.  The exception is some of the regional microbreweries, like Deschutes in Oregon and the Alchemist in Vermont.  But their beers are available only on a very local level - on tap at the breweries.  New Planet, in contrast, is distributed state-wide, sold by the bottle (or by the six pack) in liquor stores.

Like the TLA, the 3R Raspberry Ale is brewed from sorghum and corn, orange peel, hops and raspberry puree from raspberries grown in Oregon.  (The 3R, true to the company's environmental commitment, takes its name from the mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.)  The Raspberry Ale is sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles, perfect for sharing with a friend (and two pint glasses) or enjoying on your own if you're planning to have more than one 12-ounce serving of brew.

In the pint glass, the beer has just the slightest tinge of pink from the raspberries.  The flavor is clean and crisp, and when enjoyed on the colder side, this beer is very refreshing, especially in the summer time.  It's fruity without being too fruity.  The beer is slightly sweet, as you might expect from a beer with fresh fruit in it.

Admittedly, whether or not you like this beer may depend primarily on your preferences as a beer drinker.  If you enjoy darker and/or bitter beers, you'll probably take a pass on New Planet's Raspberry Ale.  But if you enjoy sweeter and/or fruit beers, this one is definitely worth your time.  With my Belgian heritage, I've developed a great appreciation for Belgian-style Lambic fruit beers (my favorite is kriek, a cherry beer).  While there are some notable differences between New Planet's Raspberry Ale and a Belgian Lambic Framboise, I still love this beer.  I'll happily be drinking it this summer while I'm busy enjoying our newly landscaped back porch, grilling away.

- Pete

Logo courtesy of New Planet Beer Company.

2 comments: said...

This one sounds like one I would actually like. And I was just talking to my friend up your way tonight and thinking about making a trip up in August - hopefully they will still have some then!

peterbronski said...

Hi BeyondR&T... You could always have your friend pick some up now and store the beer in his or her fridge. The beer is oh so tasty, and very different from anything else out there.

Cheers, Pete