Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Ephenmere Apple

Chambly, Quebec

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 5.5%

Rings’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Drinkable, but flawed)

International Month rolls on, and despite the lessons learned from the kids in South Park should the Canadians ever go on strike, Canada is, in fact, another nation, which means that Unibroue counts among February’s list of passport bearing beverages.

The Uniboue story begins in the early 1990s, when a pair of French Canadian partners took over the existing La Brasserie Massawippi, a financially troubled brewery in Lennoxville, Quebec. They partnered with a Belgian brewery and quickly established themselves in the North American craft brewing scene with the launch of their first abbey beer, Blanche de Chambley. Their reputation—and business—has grown from there and they are generally regarded among Canada’s premier craft brewers. As a now publicly held company, its products are distributed throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Today, I tried their Ephemere Apple, a rare venture for Rings into the world of fruit beers. As regular Dorks may recall, my German brewing roots typically prohibit much palate for spiced or fruit beers, but I do keep trying ’em, just in case something gives.

Ephemere pours blonde, as its base is a simple Belgian wit. There’s a huge Granny Smith nose, however, which leaves no doubt as to the direction this one will go. It has a slightly sour bite, off-balanced with a nice fruitiness that is (thankfully) a mere fraction of the bouquet. The body is thin and it’s highly carbonated, perhaps due to age, as the bottle conditioning may be a little “overly-done,” to quote Mel Blanc. It finishes tart, with lingering sour notes.

While this wasn’t horrible—as I feared—it still wasn’t good. Despite my reluctance, I have had a few decent, and even “good” fruit beers. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them, although I suspect age may have been the greatest factor in its lack of balance. I can’t muster any more than two mugs for this one.

Reviewed by Rings on February 18, 2011.
Agree with this review?
Happy anniversary, Lakefront Brewery!

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...