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Can you really add fruit to beer? Not only is it possible to incorporate fruit in the brewing process, but for thousands of years, brewers have also found that fruit adds more complex flavors and seasonal appeal. And we're not just talking about adding a slice of lime or orange to your brew. Get the scoop on fruit beers and discover your new favorite type.
How Is Flavored Beer Made?
Think all fruit beers are the same? Think again. Though this type of beer dates back over 9,000 years, its journey through history hasn't been a smooth one. There's no one way to make fruit beer, and particular styles are more popular in certain areas. These days, two types of fruit beers have taken the world by storm.
- Lambics: More sour than sweet, these Belgian brews are essentially wheat beers with fruit added after the first fermentation completes. The sugary fruit prompts a secondary fermentation and adds a higher alcohol content.
- Shandies: Sure, you can make your own shandy by mixing sparkling lemonade with your favorite lager. But why not pour one straight out of a bottle? Several brewers have perfected the balance of beer and soda, making this an increasingly popular summer beverage.
Most Popular Types of Fruit Beer:
If you have a favorite fruit, there's a fruit beer out there with your name on it. Whether you're looking for a refreshingly fruity beer or one that isn't too overwhelming, try one of these top picks.
- Lemon: Popular in shandies, lemon-tinged beers are ideal refreshments on warm days. You'll also find lime and other juicy citrus flavors in some of the summery fruit beers.
- Tangerine or Grapefruit: Surprisingly great complements to certain types of hops, tangerine and grapefruit add complex citrus flavors to IPAs and other hoppy beers.
- Peach or Apricot: Brewers tend to add these light, fresh fruits to blonde ales and wheat beers to produce refreshing, lightly sweet brews.
- Raspberry or Cherry: Popular in lambics, raspberry and cherry produce rich, sour flavors that some brewers complement with hints of strawberry or lemon.
- Pumpkin: You might be a little burnt out on pumpkin everything — thanks Starbucks, Oreos and Pringles — but one of the most highly anticipated seasonal brews every year is pumpkin. This flavor works best with brown ales and other darker brews.