Chambly, Quebec

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 5.5%
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 the 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 my German palate into the world of fruit beers. As regular readers may recall, my German brewing roots typically prohibit much tolerance 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.