Now that summer has officially started, breweries across the country are rolling out fruit beers as a thirst-quenching relief from the scorching sun.
Various fruits have long been an added as flavoring agents to beers, but now more than ever there’s a trend to give brews fuller tastes by utilizing loads of real fruit or fruit purees. Brewers have also learned how to better use different varieties of hops to give full fruit notes without the inclusion of produce.
We’ve collected a list of best fruit beers available throughout most of the country. There are also some breweries of note that are regularly making incredible fruit beers day-in and day-out that should be picked up with regularity if you can, like Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing Co. and Maine’s Allagash Brewing.
Tart Peach Kölsch
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Ballast Point is an unofficial leader in fruit beers, with several fruit variations on the iconic Sculpin IPA, including grapefruit and pineapple, as well the Watermelon El Dorado Double IPA, Mango Even Keel, and Sour Wench, a blackberry ale. The Tart Peach Kölsch brings the juiciness of a peach to the almost fruity, yet bready yeast in Ballast Point’s kölsch. Just enough fruit flavor adds a little touch of tart to keep a palate guessing in the warm weather.
Hell or High Watermelon
21st Amendment Brewery
Wheat beers have been a staple for craft breweries as a summer seasonal, which makes sense because they’re incredibly refreshing brews. They also offer a nice base to add fruits to. For example: 21st Amendment Brewery’s Hell or High Watermelon. Fresh watermelon puree adds cool, light melon notes reminescent of drinking watermelon juice — even though it’s not red.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Goses are great summer sippers, with the lip pucker of lemonade and plenty of versatility to add in fruits. While most breweries are sticking to fairly mainstream, craft beer pioneer Sierra Nevada has branched out and thrown agave and lime into a slightly sour gose. If you’re looking for other fruited goses, check out Victory Brewing Company’s Kirsch Gose and Anderson Valley Brewing’s Blood Orange, Briney Melon, and Framboise Rose goses.
Founders Brewing Co.
Founders is known for its big, aggressive beers and Rübæus is no different, as it tastes just like a freshly picked raspberry. While it’s not as high in alcohol as many of the highly-lauded beers Founders produces, it’s a beer that non-beer drinkers might gravitate too because it’s so fruit-like. Using fresh raspberries helps keep this beer slightly tart and true to its name — a godsend on a hot day on the water.
Peach Beerllini Radler
Left Hand Brewery
Like Founders, Left Hand Brewery might be best known for its stouts — and therefore often thought off as a brewery specializing in winter sippers — but the Peach Beerllini helps diversify the reputation. As the Colorado brewery’s take on the classic peach bellini cocktail, it begs the question, “What’s better than a juicy peach on a scorching day?” At 4.1 percent ABV, the beer is light and bubbly and contains half a peach’s worth of puree in every can. We’re guessing The Presidents of the United States probably like this beer.
Article originally published by Lee Heidl on April 8, 2017. Last updated by Pat Evans on June 26, 2018.