Jul 26, 2018

Unibroue Ephemere Strawberry & Rhubarb

Unibroue Apple Ephemere was one of the very first beers that I reviewed when I started the Barley Blog. While my inexperienced palate was surprised by the tasty treat it’s taken twelve (yes, 12) years for another version of that series to come my way. And that’s only because the brewery’s PR company was nice enough to share a bottle with me for review. In that decade plus since that initial review, my palate has changed a good deal, as has the industry. And so we come to Ephemere Strawberry & Rhubarb, a combination of flavors that I have never encountered before, but one of which I may need to further explore.

This 5.5% ABV (11 IBU) Belgian-style witbier presents a solid amount of strawberry fruitiness and rhubarb earthy tartness while yeast, wheat/grain notes and subtle herbal traits fill in the gaps. The strawberry is so aromatic, in fact, that it fills the immediate area around the glass once it’s been poured. I was initially worried that it was going to be too much, but the smooth tartness of the rhubarb is the perfect contrasting element to keep that fruitiness from going too far. The medium bodied Ephemere Strawberry & Rhubarb delivers the well balanced and nicely blended array of flavors on a lightly crisp and refreshing mouthfeel.

Much like that bottle of Apple Ephemere surprised me so many years ago, I was once again pleasantly shocked at how well these ingredients work with one another. After opening this particular bottle and that initial surge of strawberry, I was worried. I was, honestly, expecting to hate this beer. The fact that I didn’t and that the glass was half empty before I knew it told the truth.

Is this the best beer ever? No. Will it finally alter my perception of wheat-based beers and their desirability? Nope. But, Ephemere Strawberry & Rhubarb is still a treat of a beer — one that certainly was fun to drink and experience.

This is a review of a promotional sample.