Fruit beers for serious beer drinkers
The addition of fruit juice or extract can accentuate flavours, bitterness and aromas in a beer
While the Belgians have long used fruit in making beers, it is a relatively recent development everywhere else. According to writer Jeff Alworth in The Beer Bible, “in the polite world of professional American brewing” it was considered a vulgarity to mention adding fruit, vegetables or other ingredients – or adjuncts as they’re known – to beer.
That’s all changed now with craft brewers adding anything and everything from tomato ketchup, foraged herbs and unicorn tears to beers. As for fruit, it can play many different roles in beer – from adding or accentuating aroma, flavour, sweetness and bitterness to changing the colour.
Breweries often make a point of using local, seasonal produce to tie in with their own seasonal offerings, such as Kinnegar’s use of local Donegal gooseberries in its Geuzeberry kettle sour, or YellowBelly’s addition of Wexford blackcurrants in its recent Kotbusser kettle sour collaboration with Brewdog, which had a distinctly light-pink hue.
Often tropical fruits are used to accentuate flavours of hops that have similar tropical fruit aromas, such as in Wild Beer’s Pogo pale ale. These are added in the form of extract or juice, pulp and/or skin and put into the tank at the end of fermentation to maximise their flavour contribution to a beer.
Based in Somerset, Wild Beer has recently landed on these shores and it is particularly good at blending interesting natural flavours. Pogo is a 4.1 per cent, easy drinking pale ale for a sunny day, with heaps of passionfruit, orange and guava flavour and with a good rounding bitterness.
Lindemans Framboise is a lambic, which is an ancient Belgian sour beer made through a process of wild fermentation. Made with raspberry juice it pours a dark pink colour with a touch of light pink in the frothy head. You’ll get a delicate raspberry aroma with a nice interplay of sweet and sour in the flavour to finish at a very refreshing 2.5 per cent.