Home > BeerRevues & Perspectives > Beer Mixology: Fruitin’ Up the Beer

Beer Mixology: Fruitin’ Up the Beer

Beer Fruitology….the artful science of beer and fruit compatibility. Ok, not really a science, but more of a research project that I’ve been playing around with this summer.

Ah yes, I hear the “eews” and the “icks” already.  I agree, this experiment is not for the finicky, and finicky I am not. I am however, a huge lover of fruit, and I consider myself a bit of a beer mixologist.  Since I’ve already waved my freaky beer mixin’ flag with  Waterweizen and Beersicles posts, what the heck, I’ll wave it a little higher and share my fetish for mixing fruit and beer.  Many beers have fruity character anyway…whether they’re made with fruit or not, so it’s really not as far fetched as it sounds.  And I’ve seen a number of bars throw a spoon full of somethin’ somethin’ into a pint of beer…stranger things than fruit, I assure you.  So fruit, my fun beer drinking friends, is just the beginning my beer mixology experiments!

Now, I do give these mixes some thought beforehand, and some are definitely better than others.  I haven’t tried anything with bananas yet, perhaps a nice banana orange clovey heffeweizen would be interesting.  Hmmm, I’ll save that for the winter project.  But I have discovered a few interesting combos. Some look prettier than they taste, and some I thought were exceptionally (even surprisingly) good.

So without further adieu, here’s a visual review of the summer’s beer fruitology findings…


Hubster’s Hopricot Homebrew with Fresh Grapefruit

The beer is a delicious fruity hoppy IPA with great citrus character and apricots thrown in during fermentation. The grapefruit pair perfectly with this beer. The beer brought out the sweetness in the fruit, and the fruit brought out the citrusy hopiness in the beer. A surprising favorite among my research subjects, regardless of its fleshy appearance.


Kiwi Berliner Weiss

Berliner Weiss has to be one on the best light summer beers (another homebrew). Mildly sour, light, crisp, and of course, fruity.  It lends itself so well to beer fruitology.  You can throw just about any kind of fruit into this beer and it’ll work.  Some just work better than others.  The kiwi in this mix isn’t overly sweet or sour and has a very distinct flavor that I wish had blended more with the beer. The flavors worked, but the kiwi was too crunchy and didn’t absorb the liquid, so the mixology part didn’t really happen. If it had, then I think this would’ve been a good combo.  It does make for an interesting photo.


American Strawberry IPA

Sliced strawberries in a full bodied, fruity American IPA homebrew. It looks pretty, but I didn’t get any wow flavor factor from this combo. Again, very separate flavors that remained separate throughout the drink – they weren’t complementary, but they didn’t clash either.  I’m leaning that some fruits might be better crushed first.  Strawberries are one of them. However, IPAs definitely work best with citrus.  Lancaster Brewing Company’s Strawberry Wheat is perhaps an obvious choice for this fruity combo.  But I tend to steer away from the obvious in search of happy accidents.  Much more fun that way.


Blueberry Weizenbock

I used the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Weizenbock and added a nice scoop of fresh blueberries.  You see this done at a lot at of bars that serve blueberry beers.  But this is a different combo that really works well.  A great beer on its own, the Weizenbock has a nice heavier, malty fruitiness that’s complemented by the more complex, sweet and tart flavor of the blueberries.  Next time I drink this beer, I’ll be sure to have blueberries on hand.

                             

Sweet Bumbleberry Berliner Weiss

Traditionally, sweet woodruff syrup is added to Berliner Weiss’.  Sweet woodruff actually imparts a sweet Lucky Charms marshmallow flavor to the beer.  However, Northern Brewer recommends the addition of blackberry syrup to their Berliner Weiss homebrew kit. I didn’t have blackberries available, but I did have frozen mixed berries on hand. So I made a bumble berry simple syrup.  I suspect you can use this simple syrup recipe for virtually any kind of fruit.

Fruity Simple Syrup – In a small saucepan I brought to a boil equal parts water, sugar, and berries.  Blend the mixture smooth, then strain and discard the seeds and skins.  Allow to cool some, then add 1 tbsp of the syrup to 12 oz beer, or use more or less syrup as desired.

This is a sweet fruity beer, comparable to a wine cooler actually.  If you’re trying to convert someone from wine coolers to beer, this is a great way to start.  Most of the sour characteristics are masked, leaving a mild, smooth, refreshingly pleasant berry flavored drink.

Tip:  Keep the syrup refrigerated and try it in lemonade and some of your favorite cocktail beverages.


Cranberry Water-Lambic

What can I say? Watermelon is my fruit of choice, and Sam Adams’ Cranberry Lambic is my beer of choice.  The two make a great pair.   Tart, sweet, crunchy, melony, and pink with a distinct lambic taste.  Only two problems, watermelon is only available in the summer, and Cranberry Lambic is only available in the winter.  But I managed to keep a few lambics on hand from the several cases that Santa brought me last year.  So excited that Sam Adams finally decided to release the Cranberry Lambic in cases!  If you find yourself without Cranberry Lambics, then no worries, Sierra Nevada’s Pomegranite Wheat and Magic Hat’s Wacko are two worthy substitutes.  Sadly, Smuttynose no longer makes Hanamai, which would be my other choice.  Watermelon works with most light fruity beers, and for me, it’s ideal because the fruit blends well with the beer, and the beer absorbs into the fruit, making it a great drink and good eats!

Cheers beers!

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: