Framboise is quite the summer suds

Aonghus Kealy/Metro Toronto


Amsterdam Brewing's Framboise

This special beer, Framboise, by Toronto brewer Amsterdam Brewing is a berry difficult beer to describe.

(Please don’t tell anyone I wrote that.)

What’s tough is that when you’re sniffing and tasting these suds, drawing a wave of the maroon drink dangerously close to your moustache, if you have one, or washing it over your tongue and looking up to the sky for answers, only one dawns upon you ... well, me anyway — this is a hit-you-over-the-head raspberry beer.

And oh, did I mention it tastes like raspberries?

Raspberry liqueur is what comes to mind from the nose. (Makes sense — it’s a high-alcohol beer at 6.5 per cent).

To drink, it’s slightly sweet at first and with a bite of tartness to the finish. Despite it’s massive berry flavour, it is light-bodied and highly carbonated.

There are four pounds of raspberries used in every two-four, say Amsterdam president Jeff Carefoote and brewmaster Noel Clarke during a recent visit.

This isn’t a gulper.

Carefoote says he leaves the gulping to his Natural Blonde for a Friday night, then serves up Framboise for Sunday dinner.

I say this would be a terrific dessert beer —maybe one or two max — served up with vanilla ice cream and perhaps throw in a few berries, not necessarily raspberries —try strawberries and blueberries.

After all, you probably shouldn’t decimate your tongue with tartness.

Get six for $10.95 at the LCBO.

Get Festive:

More than 30 beers will be poured at the Ontario Craft Beer Festival, with the taps running starting at 4 p.m. tomorrow and ending on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the the LCBO Summerhill store (10 Scrivener Square (Yonge south of Summerhill Ave.).

There are 16 Ontario craft brewers involved, including Stratford Brewing, which is running a contest to be a “VIP

Brewer for the Day.” Imagine making their pilsner — cool!

Friday: 4-8 p.m.

Saturday: 2-6 p.m.

Sunday: 1-5 p.m.