Éphémère (Cranberry)

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Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #265
Ranked #39,780
3.68 | pDev: 13.59%
Quebec, Canada
Notes: As its name suggests, Éphémère is an ephemeral ale that comes and goes with the seasons. It was developed as a series to feature a seasonal fruit in a refreshing, lightly spiced white ale. The label depicts a fairy, an ephemeral spirit associated with fruits picked at the peak of ripeness during each harvest season. She first appeared in the spring of 2001 and has since been celebrated on a variety of seasonal fruit ales such as apple (brewed all year long), cranberry, blackcurrant, peach, raspberry and blueberry.

It has a delicate cranberry flavor which gives it the perfect sweetness-acidity balance.

2014 - Only available in Canada
Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 198 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: A 750ml cork and caged bottle, with the usual colorful Unibroue oval shaped label – for the Éphémère, a winged beauty clad in a tight figure hugging shimmering gold dress sits aside a light pink sash in the bottom right hand corner with a bunch of Cranberries pictured on it. Labeled as 5.5% on the front, with a Best Before 09-28-07 on the reverse. Cork is dated 0502 and need a firm grip to extract.

Appearance: Fuzzy pale golden body with some freshly squeezed lemon juice hazing, straw like looks. Firm white head has a whisked egg-white stiffness, which exudes an audible fizz as it slowly collapses, and curiously it leaves almost zero lacing when it does. Fast rising virulent streamers and a highly carbonated body.

Nose: Hmmm, this is quite tart, sharp and a little acidic, this soon makes way for a lemony-wheat middle; ultimately this rescinds and softens to reveal a feint smidgeon of cranberries in the back end. Nice Wheat's but little in the way of Cranberries, where are they!?

Taste: As with the aromas, the tastes entrance with a sharp tart feel but these soon soften. The wheat beginning has some lemony acidity; the middle is gentle in its transition from tart to smooth with a light sweetness. Only in the last quarter do the cranberries peak above the precipice and make themselves known, but only for a fleeting moment, they disappear as quickly as they arrived - sadly. I rankled with the marking here, maybe the 3.0 is a little harsh but I feel it absolutely justified in order that it demonstrates the level of my disappointment in the quantitative aspect that the Cranberries contribute, or rather, don’t as is the case here.

Mouthfeel: As with all the Éphémères I have tried, this one has a Champagne-like vitality, the mouthfeel is vivacious and bubbly and this is a refreshing libation. Light and airy, not a big mouthfeel by any stretch of the imagination.

Drinkability: An easy drinking wheat ale, but the lack of a decent slice of Cranberry really lets this one down, especially after I had the expecting build up to this. It is one aspect of this brew that fails and ultimately delivers a rather average wheat ale with little in the way of “returnability” after the first few mouthfuls, rather than a soft fruity Cranberry wheat ale as was advertised and anticipated.

Overall: Described as “a Wheat Ale brewed with Cranberry juice and natural flavors”. As with the Apple and Blackcurrant variants that I have previously sampled, this is an enjoyable beverage, nothing really “wrong” with it, however….unlike the Apple and Blackcurrant, the Cranberry is **very** feint, low key, far too faded.

Not bad, but the desperate lack of Cranberries in this version make it nothing more than a glorified sparkling Wheat Ale in the end to be honest, and at $5.49 for the bottle it has too much competition in that department to be picked up off the shelves again. The second disappointing Cranberry brew after the lacking Cantillon Spuyten Duyvil.

Jan 25, 2006
More User Reviews:
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Éphémère Canneberge (Cranberry) isn't red at all but instead a bright yellow that's sunny as the southern Mediterranean. (Be skeptical of vibrantly colourful fruit beers - those that use syrups or juices - but know that brewing with real berries typically lends little colour.) As is characteristic for Unibroue beers, this one has a head half the size of a cantaloupe.

The aroma is reminiscent of flower blossoms, apricot jam, and orange marmalade - all great things but none remotely cranberry-like. The only semblance of red berries would be in dried, sweetened form (think along the lines of an Ocean Spray product). No matter, this is a positively wonderful bouquet and far more complex than anything that hangs off an end aisle at the supermarket.

Cranberry is an autumn fruit but this ale, with its zestfulness and citrus fruit notes, is terrifically and decidedly summer-like. That's because it is, at its base, a Witbier (which explains the delightful orange marmalade flavour and white pepper-like piquancy). And this being Unibroue the yeast certainly factors in too; fresh bread, savory herbs, and peach and pear esters round out the profile.

Cranberries are unmistakably more tart than sweet, so it's a little odd that the real story here be honey, marmalade and canned tropical fruits. But in all this there remains a little tartness, enough anyway to conclude each sip with a tangy little bang!. And while the acidity is not dagger-like, there is enough of it that, for the thirsty, it's just what the doctor ordered.

Éphémère Cranberry may be my favourite of the series. It admittedly does a pitiful job at capturing the essence of the fruit but is nonetheless a genius little recipe insofar as easy quaffing and warm-weather drinking is concerned. Those who appreciate the dry, spicy berry flavours of Tavel or Bandol rosé, and even those who prefer chugalug pink-tinted plunk, should love this.

Oct 07, 2014
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Billolick from New York

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, with freshness dating and caged and corked. Pours light tangarine, cloudy and showing off a moderate almost white head. Head dissolves to a thin tiny bubble film. Lacing is minimal. Nose is sugary sweet and just a wiff of fruit. Light, fresh tasting and sweet. Cranberry flavors not really distinct, just a fluffy candy sweetness. Pleasant hot weather beer, decent with light fare. Probably would be a crowd pleaser with the ladies.

Dec 26, 2005
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CortexBomb from Michigan

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out cloudy, yet pale yellow with an enormous white head which does not want to dissipate. Smell is strongly wheaty with a cranberry edge...sweet as well.

Flavour starts off with a nice, sweet, yet tart cranberry flavour which then combines with the wheat and some malty edges. Finish is perfect, a tart kiss. Very refreshing. Not my favourite Epherme, and not as distinctly fruity as the other versions, but still distinct and tasty.

Mouthfeel, nice. There are tingly spots at the right places and in the right quantities. The beer is very light bodied, but that is to be expected. Drinkability is good, no problems drinking this one. The fruit flavour is very distinct, but not so overwhelming as to make it hard to put down.

I love Unibroue's offerings almost top to bottom, and this is just one more beer by them that is well worth having in the fridge. Definitely a better summer beer than a winter one though.

Dec 22, 2005
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Dithyramb from Maryland

3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at Max's.
Pours a hazy strawberry blond with a tight, bright-white head. Minimal lacing and life to the foam.

Fruity tartness on the nose with faint wheat malt

Light bodied and crisp due to the excellent carbonation. There is a decent sweet/tart mix of the beer. From what I've seen of earlier reviews the tap version appears to be less cranberry like than the bottle. Delicate and nice, but not a head turner.

Of the different Ephemere versions that I've had, this one was my least favorite. Though nice, like a cheap glass of wine, I would rather have one of the others. It had less oomph and character. Might have been due to the subtlety of the cranberries, but I only eat the overly sugaried ones on Thanksgiving.

Jun 15, 2005
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vwahaszee from Canada (QC)

3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my favorite of the Ephemere beers so far. It's similar in color to the others, maybe a little darker shade of yellow. The smell was good, definitely could smell the cranberries. The taste was not too bitter, and the cranberry came through nicely, making it taste a bit like cider. The mouthfeel was pretty good, with plenty of carbonation. Would not drink a lot of this, as the flavor might get tiring, but it is pretty easy to drink.

Feb 08, 2004
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arguemaniac from Virginia

4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another tasty fruit-flavored wit beer from Unibroue. The cranberry, though a distinct flavor, is mellow enough to avoid that sickly-sweet freeze-dried quality. It adds a nice fruity bouquet to the aroma and an extra bit of tartness to an already pleasantly acidic brew. Otherwise it’s a just a solid wit beer: hints of grassy hay and a delicate grainy malt profile, along with that mildly spicy acidity. Light mouthfeel with a very mild carbonation tang.

Light, tart and refreshing. Recommended.

Jan 31, 2006
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Jacobier10 from New Jersey

3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yellow color with a small head. Nice aroma with an obvious cranberry smell, but it didn't stand out too much. The taste was just lacking. Fizzy carbonation and watered down. A little disappointing. This beer is decent, but if you're going for a good fruit beer, try the Éphémère Apple instead. I found this to be lacking in all the categories where the Apple excelled.

Apr 12, 2005
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy beige body with faint peach highlights; the head is initially prominent but quickly disappears and leaves no lacing

Smell: Yeasty, wheaty and vaguely fruity, but I would be hard-pressed to identify the fruit as cranberry

Taste: Starts with a sweet, perfumey fruit juice flavor; after the swallow, those elements are concentrated further; the finish is rather sweet

Mouthfeel: Light and effervescent

Drinkability: Not unpalatable, but needs to be paired with something fruity

May 19, 2006
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kmpitz2 from Tennessee

3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid hazy straw color with a nice billowing head that falls pretty slowly to a solid coating over top. Litttle particles of chunk hang out at the bottom of hte glass. Nose is slightly tart and fruity telling me there are cranberries used to make this one. There is a light belgian spiceyness, light pepperyness in there. I like the balance. Not too sweet or fruity or spicey. Flavor is much the same. The base beer seems to be more dominant here than in the apple or cranberry flavors. It comes across lightly grainy and spicey, with a sharp cranberry tartness in the background that fades pretty quickly to a spicey and moderate grainyfinish. Okay. Feel is a solid moderate with an active carbonation. This beer is just okay in my book. Nothing really makes it stick out at all to me. The flavor could even use a touch more cranberry for me. I'll have it again since I have another bottle.

Feb 01, 2006
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DrJay from Texas

3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, fluffy white head that reduces quickly to a thin lace. Hazy pear colour. Lots of cranberry fruitiness in the aroma, backed up by some caramel malt. Moderate sweetness that's mostly fruity, low residual sugar. Dry, caramel and tart finish. Low bitterness and slightly acidic. Crisp carbonation and lightish body, slightly airy texture. Not my favourite from the ephemere series, but still a tasty offering.

Aug 15, 2005
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber, huge white head forms, some nice lace on the glass. Smell is wheat, yeasty, cranberry, honey, citrus. Taste is cranberry, wheat and yeast. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and high carbonation. Not bad, although lacking in complexity.

Dec 01, 2005
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tall flute)

A- This beer poured a hazy straw yellow body with a thick white head that turned rocky but lasted for a bit. There was a strong carbonation of tiny strings of bubbles. There was no sign of any coloration from the cranberries.

S- The slight tart yeasty note had a faint lemon hint and a light earthy funk which was very faint. There was a light sugary cereal note like Fruit Loops in the background.

T- The pale malt taste had a slight sweetness with a faint lemon soapy hint. There was a very faint sweet cranberry candy note that I probably would have missed if it weren’t printed on the bottle.

M- The mouthfeel had a medium texture that was due to fizz more than anything.

D- There wasn't much depth to this but it did have some faint notes of interesting characters. It did have some artificial flavor qualities, which put me off a bit. I kept think it was almost a wheat beer with fruit loops in it.

Sep 22, 2006
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danadeny from Colorado

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Anam Cara on new years eve. Golden cloudy body with a bubbly head. Smells very light, crisp, and a hint of cranberry. Taste is light, crisp, and dry. Good light cranberry bite on the finish, no hops. No after taste, smooth and clean. Mouthfeel is bubbly, medium body and dry finish. Drinkability is good because of it's overall light nature, and not too intense cranberry flavor.

Jan 03, 2005
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goodbyeohio from Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

far from retired, this is in a 750ml.

pours a light, muddy straw color with equal parts overabundant, fast-moving carbonation and small flecked floaties.big head, sticks around for a while and resembles dish soap foam.

smells like unibroue yeast, no fruit in the nose save an orangey note from the breadiness.

tastes quite.. blah. mouthfeel is well-weighted but a little flat considering the fizz wars happening in the glass. wheaty, chalky base beer evokes aspirin-mouth. warmth brings out the cranberry, which is more sweet concentrate than tart puckering (which i would have preferred). finishes crisp but then that medicinal funk creeps back and leaves quite a dirty aftertaste.

this would be great for a summer refresher, as would most ephemeres.. so why am i seeing bottles of this in december? unibroue, please make these beers export seasonals. they don't have shelf-life, they're not that great, and as the fable would have it, there aren't many canadian girl(friend)s here in the u.s.

Dec 03, 2005
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allengarvin from Texas

4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, poured into a fluted chalice glass. It is a cloudy orange-amber color with a chunky head that fades within a few minutes. After some settling, the beer clears up quite a bit. Huge aroma of cranberry, vanilla, honey. A beautiful, complex dance of flavors: lightly fruity cranberry, sweet and smooth vanilla, a strong flavor of wheat, and a sour, acidic base that makes the beer a perfect accompaniment to food. Medium-light body but with a large amount of carbonation.

Apple Ephemere is one of my favorite Unibroues. This Ephemere is even better. And infinitely better than the only other cranberry beer I've ever had (the Sam Adams one). A masterpiece!

Dec 07, 2005
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orbitalr0x from Illinois

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Lunar Brewing...was a bit suprised to see it on tap! Arrived in it's very own Unibroue tulip glass a cloudy straw yellow with a billowing head of creamy white foam. Some nice lacing on the side of the glass as well. Aromas here started out with some light grainy wheat tones with a fresh, tart berry aroma that was quite nice. The cranberry aroma was quite noticeable.

First sip brought a light, elegant pale/crystal maltiness along with a great tart, slightly acidic cranberry flavor. I was amazed at how well placed the real cranberry flavor was in this beer. It was not at all syrupy or artificial. The underlying Unibroue house yeast worked nicely along with the fruit flavor. Easily the best cranberry brew I've ever sampled. Unibroue seems to have a knack at integrating wonderful real fruit flavors to the Ephemere line.

Mouthfeel is light and airy with a slight creaminess. Refreshing and utterly drinkable...a very well proportioned fruit beer. If you enjoy cranberries then this is well worth seeking out. I wish I could find this in bottles. After this and the green apple..I'm very excited to go out and try the cassis.

Nov 27, 2005
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AlexJ from North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellow amber pour with distinct pink highlights and a thin white head that settles as a ring.

Aroma is wheat malts, lemon, tart yeast, and of coarse sweet cranberries.

Flavor is rather one sided, some light wheat notes, citrus, and subtley sweet cranberry that just doesn't taste authentic to me.

Body just above light with a creamy soft mouthfeel and light, fluffy carbonation. I like the apple much better.

Dec 26, 2005
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tboom29 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served this in flutes as that was the most similar glass I had to the suggested glass on the bottle. The head was thick, not terribly long lasting but nice and full. The beer was golden in color, and very bubbly.
The nose had quite a bit banana and clove, a bit of wheat, and hinted at the cranberry. Not overpowering.
The tartness of the cranberries is very present with the first sip, really hits the tounge all around. Wheat and clovey/banana flavors balance nicely with the cranberries, and there is a bit of bubblegum finish. Cranberry flavor, although there is definitely not overpowering.
Although I think I prefer the apple offering better, this is a nice summer brew. Also pairs nicely with some brie, for you cheeseheads.

Jun 15, 2006
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elricorico from Canada (AB)

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Feb 03, 2012
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BigBry from Canada (AB)

3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After reading the other reviews I was really expecting something great. The Apple is good so assumed this would be simliar. 750 ml brown bottle, corked and caged. Color is dull yellow and hazy. Fluffy white head, inch high. Hint of cranberry aroma, but also smelled like cherry cough syrup. Taste was sour and bitter, little bit of cranberry flavor right at the finish, but still overpowered by cough syrup. Active carbonation throughout which left nice lace and nice mouthfeel. Not overly impressed, might try again to see if this was just a bad bottle.

Dec 11, 2004
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swamiswamu from Indiana

4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

14 oz. serving at Chocolate Bar

Yellowish hue with a healthy head served in a Unibroue tulip glass. The aroma is all cranberry, real cranberry not sweetned. The first hit of flavor his a perfect wit, then it goes into a sour cranberry that balances out to a lambic-like flavor. IMO fruit beers only work when the true essense of the fruit is allowed to shine though and that was the case here. The tart, sour taste dominated and made for an excellent brew.

Apr 16, 2005
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Sycodrummer from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the black bomber into a pilsner glass the beer was super carbonated and produced a huge three-plus-finger white head. Tons of carbonation bubbles streamed up the glass and continued to do so throughout the sample. The beer itself was a golden yellow color. Suprisingly little lacing from this head.

The nose is obvious cranberry with yeast and wheat apparent. A slight spice in the nose and some softer citrus aromas as well.

A crisp taste with bold fruit flavors balanced with a heafty wheat presence. A slight spiciness in the finish and I left the yeast in the last pour.

Light bodied and super carbonated, very crisp.

Enjoyable, but not memorable. I probably won't rush back to it, but I enjoyed what I had of it.

Mar 25, 2006
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VoodooBrew from South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

xeryuspool (aka Dave) shared this one with me.

The look is hazy peach, with a luminous quality. She sits beneath a generous pillowy white head. On the nose, fresh fruit, including blackberries and cranberries, combine with a general tartness, hinting at... Tart and fruity flavors on the palate, obvious cranberry along with other mildly sour fruits. Also, yeasty, spicy notes round out the crisp, light flavor profile. The carbonation is lively and zippy on the tongue without scouring the esophagus. There's a lingering tartness.

Ephemere is refreshing and fruity, as advertised, but not terribly deep. It's good enough for what it is, but I'd take the other Unibroue stock any day of the week.

Apr 27, 2006
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ikats from New York

4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy, light gold color. Large white head disspates quickly, and I got almost no cover after a minute or two. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Taste is pleasantly tart. Surprisingly, cranberry is not too evident in aroma or taste. I guess I was expecting more after tasting Ephemere Apple. And to think, cranberries themselves do not have a strong taste. All in all, this is a very pleasant, drinkable brew that would be perfect on a hot day. High quality. I only have a problem with "artificial colors" added to the beer. Was that really necessary?

750 ml bottle purchased at Half Time, Poughkeepsie, NY

Dec 27, 2005
Éphémère (Cranberry) from Unibroue
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 198 ratings