Summer is finally upon us. The season of bathing suits, campfires on the beach, BBQ’s, and of course, fruit beers! What? Yes, I said fruit beers!
Ok, I know many of you are shaking your heads, because, IPA’s. I know this is hard to believe, not everyone likes the same beer styles. Crazy, I know.
Fruit beers don’t seem to get the kudos they deserve. Some are light and refreshing, others are best to sip after dinner. Many are great while sitting around a campfire, and there are even some that aren’t so bad with food.
I’ve taken it upon myself to do some research and find fruit beers, ciders, and honey wines that tie in perfectly with summer. Yes, I’m taking one for the team! Ha!
I’m going to start off with a cider. I don’t write about ciders very much because many American ciders are too syrupy and sweet. I prefer British ciders as they are dry and crisp, and don’t have that sugary vibe. The cider I’ve chosen is Ace Cider’s Space Ace Bloody Orange Cider. This cloudy, unfiltered cider is chock full of gorgeous blood orange from start to finish. Syrupy?? Nope! Fruity aroma, lovely mouth feel, and beautiful blood orange sweetness. Since it’s not overly sweet, it goes rather well with food! I would suggest shrimp tacos or a simple Cobb salad.
Next up is a honey wine made by Sky River Meadery. This Blackberry Honey Wine is made with Washington Honey and blackberries. The aroma is a harmonious blend of honey and fruit and the body is not as thick as you would suspect, which is a good thing. It’s not heavy, yet still very full-bodied beautiful, juicy blackberry from start to finish. This is he perfect after dinner sipper while sitting next to that beachside bonfire.
One of the most popular breweries in Western Washington is 7 Seas Brewing. They recently release their 2019 Sour Raspberry Wheat. What a delightful beer! Another sipper, it’s made with 400-600lbs of fresh raspberries. It’s a prefect balance of sour and sweet. It’s currently on tap in Western Washington, but if you can grab a waxed-sealed bottle, (In the words of the late Carrie Fisher) DO IT!!
Louisiana knows a thing or two about hot weather. Their favorite beer son, Abita Brewing, released their annual Strawberry Lager. I’m a huge fan of Strawberry beers and this one is “top drawer” in my book. Perfect for a day of yard work, lounging by the pool, or hanging with friends around the grill, this light- bodied lager has just enough strawberry yumminess to keep you coming back for more. It goes great with steak, BBQ, pretty much anything. This is a seasonal beer so grab them while you can. You will not be sorry!
A little gem from Oregon popped up on my list. Little Beast Brewing thought that a Blackcap Raspberry Ale was fair to release upon society. Not fair! This beer has now spoiled me when it comes to raspberry ales! Gorgeous beer! I cannot state that enough. It is medium to fuller bodied, but beautiful fruit with a pretty effervescent finish. I consider this a very “romantic” beer that would rival any red wine or sparkling wine/champagne.
Ommegang Brewery outdid itself with Rosetta. A name fit for a Queen, the beer is a decadent mix of sour and sweet. Perfect for the evening cigar and fireside chats. Cherry in the nose, the start and the finish. I can’t say enough about this amazing brew.
Belching Beaver Brewery’s Me So Honey Blond Ale is the only non-fruit beverage on the list. I love honey ale but, like fruit beers, it’s difficult to find one that’s not over-the-top with sugary sweetness. This one is an exception. Honey aroma and flavor, yet, a nice hop crispness finish. Very nice.
One of the more unusual beers on my list is from Utah. Epic Brewing creates some pretty epic beers. The one that caught my attention is Common Interests Honeydew Sour Ale. This beer is truly amazing. There is an essence of honeydew but not overpowering at all. Perfect for a hot day of yard work, an evening of spicy food, or just a casual lay by the pool kind of day day. Slightly sweet, week-balanced, this is an incredible beer that even hop-heads would like.
This next beer is not only pretty on the palate but the packaging is pretty on the eyes as well. Tropical Rumble IPA is brewed in Denmark by To Øl and is absolutely lovey! There is a ton of tropical flavors without an overwhelming sweetness. It would pair greatly with Asian or Hawaiian food.
North Coast Brewing Co. Berliner Weisse Cranberry-Quince is absolutely gorgeous! Cranberry tartness with a lovely touch of sweet. This is another sipper just due to the prettiness. I wouldn’t mess with the flavor by mixing with food.
Straight from Yorkshire, England’s oldest brewery comes Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale. So English. So strawberry/fruity. So good. Jammy, sweet, full-bodies, but not overwhelming. I love Samuel Smith’s fruit beers. All of them! If you’ve never looked into the history of the brewery, please do. It’s fascinating.
Kulshan Brewing Company produced an amazing Blood Orange Gose. Sour blood orange fruit with just a touch of salty-goodness. I would recommend this one with salad or a lovely bowl, fresh fruit, or even a piece of chocolate.
The last bit of fruity-goodness on my list is from Brasserie Dieu de Ciel! Solstice d’Ete is possibly one of the best fruit beers I’ve ever had. Jammy, effervescent, real Fruit from start to finish. I couldn’t get enough of this gem. No food with this one. You need to experience it on its own.
Thankfully, fruit beers are no longer considered “chick beers.” Over the last decade respect for the beer style has grown.
If you want to spice up, or sweeten up, your summer, grab something a bit different.