Let’s have a little chat. I’ll do all the talking. You do all of the reading. It will be good, I hope. Fruit. Fruit in beer has been around for hundreds of years. Before hops were discovered, brewers would use most anything to make the beer palatable. Since the flavors of fruit can range anywhere from savory, sweet, bitter or sour, it was a natural addition. With the discovery of hops, fruit ended up showing up less and less, but some styles continued to embrace fruits.
Here in the states, fruited beers have often been given a bad rap. “Hardcore” beer drinkers would often complain that if it doesn’t taste like “beer” – hoppy, light, crisp, etc… that it wasn’t beer. Obviously, they’re wrong. It’s actually more of a beer than their lighter counterparts. Fruited beers are also great choices to serve those who don’t like that “traditional” beer taste, allowing a wider range of folks to be converted into craft beer geeks!
Regardless of where you stand on the fruited beer debate, there are some truly amazing beers being produced with fruit. They range from IPAs, sours, Stouts, Wheat, traditional Belgian-style ales, and everything in between. Step out of your comfort zone and try a new fruited beer today. May I suggest one of the delicious beers below?
And Now, the Brews
|Insight Brewing | Doe Eyes Sour | Cherry Sour|
|Door County is known for a lot of things, but the one thing that they are really known for are cherries. They may not be world-renowned but definitely known throughout the Midwest. Harvest season starts in mid-July, and every mid-July, Insight comes out with Doe Eyes, a beer to celebrate these delicious door county cherries. In the past years, Doe Eyes has been a Saison brewed with cherries, but this year, they came out with a new version of Doe Eyes, a sour! Brewed with more than 7,500 pounds of cherries per batch, this sour highlights Door County’s famous cherry crop which is soured with a blend of two Lactobacillus strains. The nose is strong with cherry, tart, and a hint of grain. The palette also comes with a boatload if sour cherries, an ever-so-slight hop bite, a honey-like sweetness, and a nice smooth finish. This light bodied cherry forward drink would go incredibly well with some chocolate cake! If you can’t get your hands on some fresh Door County cherries, this may be the next best thing, if not better!|
|4 pk 12 oz Cans | 7.3% ABV | 23 IBUs|
|Prairie Artisan Ale | Pink Guava Funk | Kettle Sour with Brett & Guava|
|Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains and the beer flows like the Illinois River! Prairie has been making beer since 2012 and their repertoire is incredibly diverse ranging from barrel aged stouts to funky farmhouse ales and everything in between. Pink Guava Funk is a one that leans more towards the funky side but is incredibly refreshing! Intense aromas of fresh guava comingle with some earthy funk from the Brett, sweet grains, citrus, and mild Meyer lemons. The taste is packed with juicy goodness. Loaded with flavors of fresh guava, tart lemon, orange, citrus, pale malts, and mild Brett. There are no noticeable hop characteristics leaving no bitterness or spice to be found. Overall, if you didn’t know this was a beer, you may think you’re simply drinking some juice. Super easy drinking and well-balanced.|
|4 pk 12 oz Cans | 5.4% ABV | 30 IBUs|
|Brouwerij Bockor N.V. | Kriek Des Jacobins | Cherry Lambic|
|If there is one thing that I have mentioned too many times, it’s that I love beers from Belgium, and, more specifically, Lambics and Guezes from Belgium. Kriek Des Jacobins is a spontaneously fermented blended with fresh krieken cherry juice. The addition of cherries not only adds some delicious flavors but also helps speed up the fermentation. The added sugars give the yeast something to eat so they can fart out alcohol. The natural sourness of krieken cherries blends wonderfully with the tart lambic base. This blended ale is a combination of the uncut Lambic and the cherry cut Lambic at about a 50-50 ratio. The uncut Lambic also has been aged for 18 months in foeders. All of this results in a refreshing yet complex beer with a fragrance of cherry, oak, tobacco, toasted bread, and yeast. The taste of cherries dominates, but slight chocolate, tobacco, tart lemon, oak, and brandy characteristics are also present. With a low carbonation, this has to be one of the best Krieks around. Incredibly refreshing and perfect with goat cheese, vinaigrettes, or as an aperitif with brownies or ice cream.|
|4 pk Bottles | 4.5% ABV | N/A IBUs|