Overview for the Fruit Beer

The Fruit Beer category is for beer made with any fruit or combination of fruit under the definitions of this category. The culinary, not botanical, definition of fruit is used here – fleshy, seed-associated structures of plants that are sweet or sour, and edible in the raw state. Examples include pome fruit (apple, pear, quince), stone fruit (cherry, plum, peach, apricot, mango, etc.), berries (any fruit with the word ‘berry’ in it), currants, citrus fruit, dried fruit (dates, prunes, raisins, etc.), tropical fruit (banana, pineapple, guava, papaya, etc.), figs, pomegranate, prickly pear, and so on. It does not mean spices, herbs, or vegetables as defined in Category 30, especially botanical fruit treated as culinary vegetables. Basically, if you have to justify a fruit using the word “technically” as part of the description, then that’s not what we mean.

Style Expectations

A harmonious marriage of fruit and beer, but still recognizable as a beer. The fruit character should be evident but in balance with the beer, not so forward as to suggest an artificial product.

Appearance

Appearance should be appropriate for the declared base beer and declared fruit. For lighter-colored beers with fruits that exhibit distinctive colors, the color should be noticeable. Note that the color of fruit in beer is often lighter than the flesh of the fruit itself and may take on slightly different shades. Fruit beers may have some haze or be clear, although haze is a generally undesirable. The head may take on some of the color of the fruit.

Aroma

The distinctive aromatics associated with the declared fruit should be noticeable in the aroma; however, note that some fruit (e.g., raspberries, cherries) have stronger aromas and are more distinctive than others (e.g., blueberries, strawberries) – allow for a range of fruit character and intensity from subtle to aggressive. The additional aromatics should blend well with whatever aromatics are appropriate for the declared base beer style.

Flavor

As with aroma, the distinctive flavor character associated with the declared fruit should be noticeable, and may range in intensity from subtle to aggressive. The balance of fruit with the underlying beer is vital, and the fruit character should not be so artificial and/or inappropriately overpowering as to suggest a ‘fruit juice drink.’ Hop bitterness, flavor, malt flavors, alcohol content, and fermentation by-products, such as esters, should be appropriate to the base beer and be harmonious and balanced with the distinctive fruit flavors present. Remember that fruit generally add flavor not sweetness to fruit beers. The sugar found in fruit is usually fully fermented and contributes to lighter flavors and a drier finish than might be expected for the declared base style. However, residual sweetness is not necessarily a negative characteristic unless it has a raw, unfermented quality.

Mouthfeel

Mouthfeel may vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer. Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the declared base beer style. Fruit generally adds fermentables that tend to thin out the beer; the resulting beer may seem lighter than expected for the declared base style. Smaller and darker fruit have a tendency to add a tannic depth that should overwhelm the base beer.

Reviews

SPF

Fruit Beer  •  Goose Island Beer Co.

SPF is a Fruit Beer by Goose Island Beer Co. that blends tart tropical fruit with a mild dose of hops and a light bready malt. Read More

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Mixed Media

Fruit Beer  •  Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Mixed Media is a Fruit Beer by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery whose wine-saison hybrid palate delivers fruity grape, apple, melon, and yeasty flavors. Read More

Frootwood

Fruit Beer  •  Founders Brewing Co.

Frootwood is a Fruit Beer by Founders Brewing Co. that blends sweet vanilla and maple syrup with tart cherries in this barrel-aged brew. Read More

Sweet Potato Casserole

Fruit Beer  •  Funky Buddha Brewery

Sweet Potato Casserole is a Fruit Beer by Funky Buddha Brewery that blends sweet potato, vanilla, caramel, toffee, spices, and crusty bread. Read More

Founders Rubaeus

Fruit Beer  •  Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Rubaeus is a Fruit Beer by Founders Brewing Co. that might be too sweet for some but its tangy raspberry flavor is nicely refreshing. Read More

SummaLime Ale

Fruit Beer  •  603 Brewery

SummaLime Ale is a Fruit Beer by 603 Brewery that packs a lot of juicy lime and floral hops flavor into a sessionable brew. Read More

Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale

Fruit Beer  •  New Belgium Brewing

Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale, a Fruit Beer by New Belgium Brewing Company is a bright blend of lime juice, piney hops, spices, and corn. Read More

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