Even if you’re not much of a healthy eater, when summer hits there’s something about a fruit salad that’s just so appealing. The crisp natural sweetness combined with the chilled quality of the fruit is perfect for a summer afternoon of lazily passing the time, whether you’re on a beach or your backyard (or your bedroom, if you’re living in an apartment). Now imagine that same fresh, delicious taste in the form of a beer. Bingo: welcome to the world of fruity beers.
You don’t need to enjoy candy-cloying, mouth-gumming sugar in order to appreciate a fruity beer, because fruity beer isn’t a formal term. There are tons of different kinds of fruity beers: lambics, ciders, and other various styles (IPAs, porters, etc.) made with just a hint of fruit. Some fruity beers are uber sweet while others are pretty dry. Some are dark, some are light. We’re pretty confident that even the most skeptical of the word “fruity” will find a fruity beer they’re proud to drink by the end of this list. Find a warm spot in the sun and check out these amazing fruity beers that will send off your summer in style.
1. Maui Brewing’s Co.’s CoCoNut PorTer BEST ON A BUDGET
If you want a fruity beer that has a great roasted flavor, this is the choice for you. CoCoNut PorTer has the earthy, meatiness of a coconut without the powdered sugar drugstore cake sweetness. The body is on the thinner side, so this porter won’t make you feel like you’re drinking cream in the middle of the summer. We recommend not over chilling this beer. Instead, serve it a little colder than room temperature and pour it in a glass in order to pick up all those island aromas. You might not be able to travel to Hawaii this summer, but CoCoNut PorTer is a good substitute.
2. Lindemans Framboise Lambic
If you like Moscato, you’ll like Lindemans Framboise Lambic. Warning: it’s damn sweet, some might even argue it’s a sugar bomb. But when you’re craving dessert and another beer, there’s no better compromise. Bursting with tart raspberries, Lindemans Framboise is a classic Belgian lambic that would be sessionable (it’s only 2.5% ABV) if it weren’t so packed with sugar. Like a great dessert, it’s perfect in moderation, preferably pairing with a drier foil like dark chocolate or starchy vegetables.
3. Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider
Come on, who doesn’t love rosé in the summertime? This “dry,” shell-pink cider is actually pretty sweet, but it has enough acidity and lip smacking apple goodness to round itself out. If you’re a fan of rosé wines that are on the sour side, give Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider a chance. It gains its blush color from grape skin extract. While there isn’t a whole lot of grape flavor in Wölffer 139, there is an intoxicating nose of gardenia and elderflower. The palate is full of orchard freshness, which makes a lovely accompaniment to mild seafood like steamed shrimp or west coast oysters.
4. Dogfish Head’s Sixty-One BEST OVERALL
This is a super cool wine/beer mashup that brews Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA with Syrah must, that’s why it’s called Sixty-One (sixty plus one more ingredient). Syrah is a highly tannic, dominant grape, so the grape must asserts itself aggressively in the beer. The color of Sixty-One is deep red, and you can taste the dark fruit that the Syrah must imparts on the brew. 60 Minute IPA is already a highly drinkable beer, and the wine elements found in Sixty-One makes it that much more agreeable. Sixty-One is the ideal way for both wine and beer lovers to get their fruit on.
5. Bitter Root Brewery’s Huckleberry Honey Ale
Have you ever tried a huckleberry? It tastes like the aftermath of a blueberry and a strawberry getting busy following too many drinks. Huckleberries are potent to the point of being medicinal tasting, so having a full-on huckleberry cider would probably be too much for the average drinker. However, this Huckleberry Honey Ale tames the huckleberry power with the earthy taste of wheat and grass. The finish is crisp and, like CoCoNut PorTer, there’s a bit of a toasted quality here. If you’re a wheat beer enthusiast, welcome this huckleberry flavored beer with open arms.
6. Free Will Brewing’s Kriek
Unlike Lindemans Framboise, this is a Kriek (cherry lambic) that is not super sweet. The color of this beer is similar to a Spanish rosé: reddish pink. Enjoy an intriguingly spicy nose that leads to a palate packed with brandied cherries, vanilla, and cloves. Although there is distinct fruity sugar (hey, it wouldn’t be here otherwise), Free Will’s Kriek has a warm sourness that will make you feel like you’re drinking the best of two seasonal worlds: fall and summer.
No, it’s not Thanksgiving yet, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeking out this spectacular pumpkin beer. Fear not, this isn’t an alcoholic pumpkin spice latte. Instead, you’ll pick up on numerous spices and seasonings and a taste that gently treads the fruit/vegetable line – think molasses covered baked squash with brown sugar sprinkled on top. Enjoy Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale with barbecued meats or a saucy pizza. You can count it as your daily serving of both fruits and vegetables.
8. Abita Purple Haze
This is another raspberry beer. However, it’s made by adding raspberry pulp to the beer. Funky! The wheat beer base provides enough grit to temper the shocking berry taste. This is a beer that goes great with breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes, and starchy dinners like pasta or casserole. In terms of method, it’s wonderfully creative, like a textured shandy. This is also a perfect beer if you want to experiment with brew cocktails.
9. Blue Point Brewing Company’s Blueberry Ale
Like huckleberries, blueberries are highly flavorful, so it’s important that blueberry beers go light on the sugar. Luckily, Blue Point’s Blueberry Ale does just that. This is an easy-going beer that’s incredibly flexible in terms of pairing. If you’re bringing a six-pack over to someone’s house, bring this guy, no one will complain. The blueberry flavor is subtle from nose to finish, instead of assaulting your senses with laffy-taffy taste.