Brau Brothers Brewing Company - Rubus Black
- ABV: 8.5%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 50–56° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Small Nonic, or Tulip
Brau Brother’s Rubus Black is a robust blackberry imperial porter clocking in at 8.5% ABV and 28 IBUs, with its hop bitterness coming from additions of Target and Goldings. There’s a hugely complex range of specialty malts present: Maris Otter, Chocolate and Brown Malt, Biscuit Malt, Wheat Malt, and Aromatic Malt, along with natural blackberry and chocolate flavors—with everything fermented by a British ale yeast. This limited bottling will be available through the club and distributed through Brau Brothers Brewing Co.
First brewed back in 2006, Rubus Black was originally a one-off batch meant to cellar. The brewery’s released it again from time to time ever since due to popular demand, and they’ve made a batch for a 750mL bottling specifically for our Rare Beer Club members.
This shows immediate, rich specialty-malt character from the get-go: layers of chocolate, toffee, nutty maltiness, and well-roasted coffee throughout. The deep blackberry and red-fruit character are apparent from the aromatics as soon as this gets poured, and the impact of those fruity elements increases as this warms up in one’s glass. Deep caramelization, loads of layered chocolate, and super generous from the start.
Rubus Black shows a full-bodied mouthfeel, leading with decadent chocolate, caramel, and blackberry elements from the very first sip. The raspberry and chocolate elements are nicely integrated within this imperial porter’s malts, adding generous, bright contrasts with the core cereal, toffee, nougat, and rather deep caramelization present. As this warms, we found the complexity of those darker berry notes throughout this beer continue to amplify, while that berry-chocolate-caramel trio works beautifully throughout. Finishes with lasting chocolates and roasted coffee, and underlying nuttiness—a hugely satisfying blackberry imperial porter.
This was originally designed to be a cellarable beer; we’d encourage popping a bottle every six months or a year to ensure increased caramelization isn’t changing the overall balance. For pairings, we’d be inclined to put this alongside chocolate-and-fruit-focused dessert courses to match those core notes of deep chocolate, caramel, and berry notes. Alternately: tiramisu, affogato, or some creamy vanilla-focused options to counterpoint the predominant notes in this imperial porter.
Straight out of college in 1999, Dustin Brau and his wife, Mary, bought a restaurant in the small town of Lucan, Minnesota (home to approximately 170 residents), which they named BrauHaus. In order to attract more of the local population to come enjoy a meal in town, the duo decided to begin offering their very own BrauHaus beers made on-premises, thus turning their homebrewing hobby into a legitimate microbrewery. Their tiny 2-barrel system was barely enough to keep up with the demand of their restaurant, so in 2006 they moved their beer production to a larger building in Lucan. It was at this time that Dustin’s brothers, Trevor and Brady, joined the enterprise, and their father, Dale, joined in to help too. With space to brew more beer, the team could now take the business to the next level. Brau Brothers Brewing Company was officially founded. A bottling line was installed and their beer began flowing out of the town of Lucan to retail accounts throughout the area. They also began farming their own hops and barley on a few acres of nearby land.
In 2013, an even bigger step was taken when Brau Brothers moved to an even larger facility in the city of Marshall, several miles to the west. BrauHaus was closed in order to focus entirely on the brewing company, which now enjoys 37,000 square feet of space, 3,500 of which is devoted to barrel-aging, allowing Brau Brothers to produce a wider variety of beers, including sours, not to mention their own line of sodas. The brewery collaborates with a variety of smaller producers, from distilleries to coffee roasters, and the brewery’s taproom offers over two dozen taps. In addition to providing tasty pub fare, Brau Brothers also offers growler fills so visitors can take plenty of beer home with them. As one of our two featured beers this month, we’re excited to offer a 750mL bottling of Brau Brother’s Rubus Black: an exceptionally tasty blackberry imperial porter featuring a wide array of specialty malts, with a balancing addition of Target and Goldings hops. For the latest visiting info, you can contact them at (507) 929-BEER or visit www.braubeer.com.
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