I’ve always enjoyed wheat beers with hints of lemon or orange in the summer time. I still get that good ‘ole yeasty beer taste, but it’s a bit lighter and refreshing during those warm months when you add in a touch of citrus here or there. My Dad always turned his nose up at my Mom’s and my affection for Shock Top’s Lemon Shandy. He claims beer isn’t supposed to have fruit in it, and I don’t see his opinions changing any time soon. I thought I was always open to beer with fruit it in, that is until I met sours.
If you’ve checked my Instagram, or read my other posts, you probably know I’ve been struggling with getting on board the sour train. The craft beer community seems to be completely enthralled with them recently, but I can’t seem to not wrinkle up my nose with each very sweet sip. Beer that has more of a prosecco like carbonation, and tastes like fruit juice confuses me, and I can hear my dad in my head saying, “that ain’t beer.” Regardless, I’m still trying.
This week I checked out Clinton Hall, a Beer Hall that opened in the Financial District of Manhattan in 2013. They were hosting a beer release for Founders Brewing Co.’s newest Barrel-Aged Series Beer, Frootwood. I guess when I heard “barrel-aged” I was expecting something heavier, darker, etc. But the waitress sat down in front of me a crisp, clear, and cherry red pour. Not afraid of trying new things I took a sip, and my nose immediately got that little crinkle on top. Sweet, sweet, sweeeeeet.
To create Frootwood, Founder’s took their cherry ale and stashed it away in oak barrels previously used for storing maple syrup and bourbon. I definitely got hints of vanilla and maple, but to me it was still mostly tart cherry. I finished my glass, and didn’t hate it by any means, but I also think given the choice I’d still stick to my more hop-filled favorites. I’m still a big fan of the brewery in general, and love that they stuck true to their roots with Frootwood. They’ve never claimed to make beer for the masses, and have found fame in going the non-traditional route; so keep it up guys!
If sours are your thing then definitely give this one a taste! As for me, I think I’ll go have a breakfast stout and move on.
Founders Brewing Co.
235 Grandville Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Monday to Saturday: 11am to 2am
Sunday: 12pm to 12am
21+ after 9pm
Tours: $10, include Founder’s pint glass, must be 21+
Friday @ 5:30pm
Saturday @ 11 and 11:45 am
Sunday @ 12:30 pm
90 Washington St.
New York, NY 10006