Next week, the newest beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Company will be released on taps and in cans. The Raspberry AF (we’ll leave it to the reader to determine what the “AF” might stand for) is the result of some experiments conducted with Saint Arnold’s tart, low-ABV Berliner Weisse, the Boiler Room.
According to a press release, the brewers filled eight red wine barrels with Boiler Room and added a different fruit to each barrel. When the time came to taste-test the barrels, the raspberry was the unanimous winner. Each batch of Raspberry AF contains the equivalent of 405,000 raspberries, or 3,000 pounds of raspberry purée, added to the standard Boiler Room recipe.
The combination of the two processes makes Raspberry AF a unique challenge to brew. According to Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner, "This beer is the most technically challenging that we brew between the kettle souring and the secondary fermentation with raspberries.”
The result, however, looks to be a delightfully light and refreshing beverage. "It's an upfront, thirst-quenching raspberry delight that leaves your mouth wanting more," according to Stephen Rawlings, the Brewing Operations Manager for Saint Arnold, and also the developer of the Raspberry AF recipe. The beer checks in at a low 3.7% ABV, making it perfect for sessioning and for light refreshment.
A fun aside: The name “Raspberry AF” was initially intended for internal use only (where, we imagine, they had a pretty good idea of what “AF” stood for). It was after a tasting session six months ago that Wagner put the question to Saint Arnold’s Twitter followers: Should they name the beer the initially planned “Raspberry Boiler Room” or go with “Raspberry AF”? The vote came back 75 to 1 in favor of the latter.
The beer will be released in cans and on draft next week, and over the coming weeks will be rolled out across Texas and Louisiana. Though it’s suitable for any occasion for which one might want a light, fruity beer, Saint Arnold recommends having one at a barbecue with friends and family.