Since adding a small brewhouse to its Holbrook-based headquarters at the beginning of the year, Spider Bite Beer Co. has used the new system to make limited and experimental brews available only in its tasting room.
These "alerachnids" include Raspberry Quake, a flavorful fruit-infused ale that returns to 920 Lincoln Avenue this Saturday, being released in 22-ounce bottles for the first time. It will be joined by the debut (and quick disappearance, most likely) of a special sour beer, Raspberry Quake Vintage, in 12-ounce bottles.
We chatted with Larry Goldstein, Spider Bite's owner and brewmaster, to learn more about the pair of Quakes.
NextStop Magazine: What kind of beer is Raspberry Quake?
Larry Goldstein: The base is a strong golden ale, but I hesitate with using that label because beer people will assume it's a Belgian beer. Since this wasn't fermented with a Belgian yeast it's more like an American golden ale, or maybe an imperial blonde ale if I had to categorize it. Regardless, we add 20 pounds of fresh whole raspberries to a golden base with lightly toasted malts.
How would you describe it?
The beer smells and tastes like raspberries, but it's not over the top. We get a lot of beer drinkers that dislike fruit beers but they all seem to love this one. It appeals to everyone I think because of its high carbonation which lightens it on the tongue, and because any trace of sweetness is balanced by the 9 percent ABV.
What's the origin of the name?
The first time I tested this recipe at home a few years ago, there was an earthquake on Long Island. So I named that one Blueberry Quake, because we used blueberries originally. This is essentially the same beer but with raspberries.
Raspberry Quake has been released before, right?
Correct. This is the third time we've made the beer but it's the first time we're bottling it.
What about Quake Vintage? Can you tell us about it?
Sure. Not to confuse everyone, but we also have a beer named Bohemia Raspberry. That's similar in style as it's a high-alcohol beer infused with raspberries, but we only made it once and I like the Quake name better. Anyhow, when I originally made Bohemia for a special event I pulled a small amount off to the side and fruited it warm to allow nature's wild organisms to take over. I also inoculated it with wild yeasts and bacteria and let it sit for three more years. That's Raspberry Quake Vintage, and only 25 small bottles of this sour exist.
You really love raspberries.
[Laughs.] I do.
Where can we find both bottles?
We're only going to sell them here in the tasting room. We open at noon on Saturday.