Welcome to Into The Pint Glass fruit beer edition. Katie’s giving us the low-down on what a fruit beer is….
When you think beer, you think strawberries and peaches and oranges, right? Wait, no? Oh, I didn’t think so.
But you wanna know what, when you add fruit to beer, it tastes freaking awesome.
The original “fruit beer” is going to be the Lambic-based style, which we touched on a few weeks ago, when we talked about Sour Ales. Usually when fruit is added to the fermentation process it’s after the initial malt and hop drop, when yeast can start eating the sugars and keep the flavor of fruit present.
Brewers are now more apt to add in fruit extracts and essence instead of actual fruit to their brews. These need to be added in a stage after boiling, or else you’re going to get a weird haze to the beer. Also, these should not be added to anything hoppy. Generally, fruit and hops don’t mix well. Citrus is the exception. Have you had the Grapefruit Sculpin IPA? That’s pretty much the jam.
When judging fruit beers, you should still be judging based off of the original style of the beer and not just if the fruit flavor comes out strong. If the fruit has altered the essence of the original style, then the brewers got it wrong. Go home brewers, you’re drunk.
On the last Into The Pint Glass, I mentioned I considered saisons the champagne of beers. Well, the fruit lambic to me is the mimosa of beers. I felt like I had to include a lambic in my tasting of fruit beers. A lambic was my first ever fruit beer tasted in college. Not only are lambics a nice light beer to enjoy on it’s own, it’s also a good mixer. One of my favorites is a raspberry truffle (raspberry lambic + chocolate stout).
Smell: Distinctive raspberry aroma, no “beer” malt scent.
Taste: Very refreshing, dry, a hint of tartness, but not sour tasting. It’s almost like raspberry soda. Good thing it has a low ABV of 4%. The fruit flavor is the dominating flavor of this beer.
This was a good beer, clean and refreshing. Might be a bit too hoppy to be a truly great beach day beer, but one or two would be good on a hot day.
Smell: Light in aroma, sweet orange with a malty hint.
Taste: Not sweet at all in the taste. The orange is there in the end, but comes across as a clean, crisp taste. More hop than sweet or malty. Dry with a pronounced bitter finish that finishes with a twist of sweet orange.
What fruit beer was in your glass this week? Link-it up below!
Join us June 25th for Witbiers (Wits), it’s perfect for enjoying in the sun!