New Belgium Frambozen

Got beer mail?  Well I do.  I trade beer with people all over the U.S. because there are so many craft beers and not all of them are distributed in my lovely state of New Jersey!  This New Belgium Frambozen was sent to me by my new Beer Buddy, Scott in Colorado.  I’d heard some good things about this beer so I was excited to try it.NewBelgium_Frambozen2

Here is how New Belgium Describes this beer:

Frambozen begins with the aroma of fresh red raspberries, followed by the ripe seductiveness of a fruity brown ale with depth and delicate malt notes. It is deep ruby in color, with flavors just as rich. Every year, New Belgium sends a delegate to the Pacific Northwest to oversee the process of turning freshly picked berries into a pure juice to be added in fermentation. The coming of Thanksgiving at New Belgium is ushered in with the first sighting of our cellar operators scuttling about, covered head to tow in a festive crimson berry wash.



A very pretty garnet color to this Raspberry brown ale.  It is almost startlingly clear, so much so I can see my fingers through on the other side of the glass even though it is beer fairly dark.  Almost no head on this beer, which isn’t surprising me, but would have hoped for a bit more than the thin collar.


Very mild aroma, slightly fruit with a bit of brown sugar/molasses and a hint of yeast.  Then again, brown ales and raspberries tend not to be super aromatic.



Not really knowing much about this beer, besides I can’t get it in NJ and it had an interesting name, I was expecting a sort of sour brown ale.  Was I got was tangy raspberry.  The second sip was a bit more of a sweet and tart experience, Sweet raspberry jam and a bit of tartness.  The thing that made this beer a bit different for me, the tangy tartness to covered by the raspberry sweetness until the aftertaste when you can lick the tartness from your teeth.  Very interesting.

Calories: 6.5% abv and a sweet beer that tasted like it had a lot of residual sugar.  Estimate 210 – 245 calories per 12/oz (Calorie Chart)

Glassware: Tulip

Overall Impression:

More Sweet then tart, actually two extremes with no balance through the middle.  I can’t say that I was enjoying this beer a whole lot, I liked the first couple of sips, but the sweetness became too much for me.  I don’t have a big sweet tooth.  If you have a sweet tooth, this may beer the beer for you.


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12 Responses to “New Belgium Frambozen”

  1. Tweets that mention Simply Beer - New Belgium Frambozen -- Says:

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  2. nate Says:

    I actually ALMOST bought this beer when I was in KC, MO. I am just too afraid of uncharted fruit beers, and it was only available in a 6 pack. I am glad I stayed away.

    You highlighted exactly why I fear the fruit…a lack of balance. If the beer is blowing me away with a sweet/fruit bomb, it’s not for me: the only exception being a true lambic.

  3. Simply Beer Says:

    I would never (almost never) suggest not trying a beer, but the commitment to a sixpack may be much if you don’t think you’re going to like it. If you find a single of it, try it. If you like it get the 6′er

  4. Don Says:

    Peter, living in Idaho I get all the New Belgium products, and I have tried just about all of them. They are fast becoming a mini mega brewery, and their products to me are at best mediocre, and at worst downright bad. I’ve had their Fat Tire which is ok for an amber, but I’ve had way better, I have a six pack of their 2 below which has a bad flavor I really don’t enjoy, BTW my friend gave it to me after he had one and hated it too, I have 4 left. I just had their Blue Paddle Pilsner Lager the other night, and it made Bud Light taste good. They just miss the mark every time for me. They are like a less talented Sam Adams Brewery. I’ve learned to avoid their stuff entirely.


  5. Simply Beer Says:

    wow, don. How do you really feel? :-)

    I have enjoyed their sour beers the most, la folie in particular. Since I don’t have access to a regular supply, only via trade, I’m very particular about what I get.

  6. nate Says:

    haha, that is a great rant Don. you guys want to know something silly…I hate it when a brewery switches to bottles that have their name inscribed in the glass bottle (sam adams, New Belgium). I just like the “craft feel” of a plain brown bottle.

    And good point peter, I’ll look for a single.

  7. Billy Broas Says:

    Hey Peter, thanks for the review.

    You’ve made me realize I need to get more into this beer trading business. Do you use the boards at Beer Advocate? I’m interested to hear about your experience, and hell, maybe trade with you!

  8. Simply Beer Says:

    Billy, it is a great way to get beer you can normally find in your area/region. Just have to be careful with your packing. I actually just posted my first BA trade request today for Flying Dog Dog Schwarz. DM me on twitter or email and we can talk about trading.

  9. luvlee Says:

    i normally detest beers with fruit flavors (with the exception of magic hat #9′s apricot, which to me doesn’t taste like apricot). however, i like new belgium and i am constantly on the lookout for a great brown ale, so on a whim we picked up a 6er of frambozen, got it nice and chilled, sat down with some godiva chocolate after dinner, cracked open a bottle, poured it in a goblet and tried it.
    i really quite liked it. husband didn’t like it at all so i finished off the pack. i’d buy it again but not on a regular basis, it’s nice for something different. it’s perfect with desert, especially chocolate. call me a silly girl for liking it but i do.

  10. Simply Beer Says:

    luvlee, sometimes a beer needs something to do with it. I could see eating dark chocolate godiva truffles with these. The dark chocolate and raspberry is a good combo.

  11. Ferment Nation Says:

    I agree on most counts regarding New Belgium. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, as they are of the original generation of craft brewers, but most of their standards reek of the 80s. I have been pretty happy with their collaboration with Seattle’s Elysian brewery. The series of beers is called
    “The Trip” and have a Belgian slant. I would not count out New Belgium entirely until you have sampled one of these fine beers

  12. Simply Beer Says:

    Ferment Nation, I’m particularly fond of the La Folie Series, I have a 5 yr vertical of it. waiting for a real special occasion for that!

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