Unibroue has added a new seasonal flavor to its long-running line of Éphémère Belgian-style ales. Éphémère Sureau showcases elderberry. Previous editions of this beer have included apple, blackcurrant, peach, raspberry. A few years ago, they released a Cranberry Éphémère for the winter.
The brewery sent me a sample, which I quickly opened. Immediately after I cracked open the bottle, a waft of fruity berry essence emerged. It was bright garnet in color and had an off-white head that dissipated slowly. Both the aroma and taste were full of bright berry and spicy notes. In the middle, the flavor of wheat emerged along with a gentle tanginess. There was no alcohol heat, and hop bitterness was not noticeable. It finished just as it started, with lots of berry and spice!
I appreciated the fact that Éphémère Sureau's offered bright berry flavors, but without the sweetness. If you're looking for a change of pace for your summer fruit beers, consider this one. I'm glad to see that this release will be available in 12 oz. bottles. I find it much easier to enjoy beers in smaller format bottles. For more details, check out Unibroue's press release below.
Unibroue Adds a New Elderberry Flavoured Ale to its Éphémère Family
A unique taste reminiscent of Muscat grapes' aromatic charm
Chambly, Canada — Quebec’s top craft brewer Unibroue is adding a brand-new flavour to its family of seasonal ales with the launch of Éphémère Sureau (Elderberry). The new Éphémère will gradually be available as of May 1st in 12 oz. six packs and Sommelier Selection variety packs at retailers across the United States, as well as on tap in selected bars et restaurants. Like its other seasonal flavors, Éphémère Elderberry will only be available for a limited time.
Éphémère Elderberry is a Belgian style fruit-wheat ale brewed using a balanced blend of elderberry fruit and flowers.
“This is the first time we’re using both the fruit and flower in making an Éphémère beer,” explains Jerry Vietz, Unibroue’s Master Brewer. “The elderberry flower’s aroma is a perfect complement to the fruit’s rich, delicious flavour.”
In fact, its berry flavours, subtle floral notes and hints of tropical fruit evoke Muscat grapes’ notable bouquet from the very first sip.
Elderberries’ deep purplish-blue color and unique flavour resemble that of blueberries and blackberries. There is nothing sour about this fruit as its French name, “sureau”, might lead some to believe! It is used in countless recipes, and its aromatic flower adds notes to many refined drinks and cocktails. Moreover, elderberries are an increasingly popular choice in dish recipes due to their high antioxidant levels and subtle flavours. Moreover, North America’s First Nations tribes, who made use of the berries, flowers, bark and roots, also prized their medicinal properties.
Éphémère Elderberry features a slightly cloudy and seductively reddish color with purplish hues, topped by a creamy pink head. Its medium bubbles and sustained effervescence make it a fun and refreshing choice when unwinding after a busy summer day.
“Éphémère Elderberry’s explosion of berry flavours and subtle floral notes make for a wide variety of pairings,” confirms Sylvain Bouchard, beer sommelier at the brewery. “This delicious beer goes very well with pork loin, grilled chicken, as well as fish and seafood dishes, and adds a refreshing touch to rosette sausages. It also pairs well with goat, Brie and Camembert cheeses.”