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Flip Your Flavor Profiles and Enjoy Some of the Best Infused Beers Out Now

The seasonality of beer stretches well beyond the hop and barley harvest. Today, crafty brewers are throwing everything from chamomile to CBD into their batches. With spring fully in gear and the summer produce season just around the bend, it’s a great time to enjoy beers made with a bevy of attractive adjuncts. Here are a few well worth your time.

Wolves and People – More Aplomb

Wolves and People - More Aplomb

This Willamette Valley producer is bringing farm-fresh beers to wine country. The hazelnut-farm-turned-brewery is a great afternoon visit if you’re in the Portland area. If not, look out for their hyper-seasonal ales in your favorite bottle shop. The More Aplomb is a great choice, made from plums and blackberries which offer a nice hit of dark fruit. And at 5% alcohol by volume, it’s practically a rustic session.

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Public Coast Brewery – Peach Kettle Sour

Public Coast Brewery - Peach Kettle Sour

Infusing beer with fruit requires some measure and balance. This sour from Public Coast Brewery is perfectly dialed-in, fusing ripe peach flavors with a tangy sap all while maintaining a nice beer-y backbone. This is a go-to can for your cooler as camping and backyard barbecue season heats up. The Cannon Beach, Oregon brewery is canning and distributing more and more of its solid lineup.

Propolis Brewing – The Zephyros

Propolis Brewing - The Zephyros

Washington brewery Propolis has been foraging and blending for years now. Their beers are complex and take full advantage of whatever happens to be growing at the time. The Zephyros is unique, swapping the more typical addition of fruit to the vat for a bill of elderflowers. It’s pretty yet slightly bitter, with a light medicinal hit of Brettanomyces. Enjoy this puppy in a wine glass for good measure.

E9 – Tayberry Saison

E9 - Tayberry Saison

Tacoma’s E9 makes some of the best fruit beers in the Pacific Northwest. Their Tayberry is rare and delicious, revolving around a lesser-known fruit that’s essentially a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. This beer is richly flavored, with aromatics you could sniff all day.

Dogfish Head – Lupu-Luau IPA

Dogfish Head - Lupu-Luau IPA

Iconic Delaware brewery Dogfish Head recently merged with Sam Adams. Hopefully, that won’t spell the end to interesting, somewhat more experimental beers like this one. The Lupu-Luau is proof that coconut can work with other beer styles outside of the more traditional porters and stouts. The tropical flavors do great with the hop profile and one sip will have you imagining you’re napping under some palm fronds. Try it with mango salsa or grilled halibut.

Cigar City Brewing – After Sesh

Cigar City Brewing - After Sesh

Tampa’s Cigar City has helped jump-start the craft beer revolution in the Sunshine State. The After Sesh is a delightfully refreshing patio pounder, made with orange, lime, and salt. At 4.5% ABV, it’s not going to knock you out and a portion of the proceeds go to a noble non-profit called Boards for Bros.

Maui Brewing – Pineapple Mana Wheat

Maui Brewing - Pineapple Mana Wheat

Pineapple doesn’t always complement its surroundings — just ask a hastily made pizza. This beer from Maui Brewing is the perfect package deal of tropical fruit and grains. It’s smooth, thirst quenching, and evokes an evening swim in the Pacific Ocean. We’ll call it a tasty prelude to your next skinny-dipping adventure.

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While sugar substitutes have been around for more than a century, they didn't really become mainstream here in the United States until around the mid-70s. According to Carolyn De La Pena, professor of American Studies at UC Davis and author of Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda, between 1975 and 1984, Americans increased their consumption of artificial sweeteners by 150 percent. This timeline makes sense when you take into account that the late seventies coincided with the start of our crazed diet culture and the revolving door of fad diets.
One such diet that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, however, is the Keto diet. Still hugely popular among Americans trying to shed a few pounds, Keto focuses heavily on limited or no carbohydrates. Because sugar contains carbohydrates, followers of Keto have turned to artificial sweeteners to satisfy those late-night cravings - sweeteners that, more often than not, contain erythritol. Erythritol in particular has become hugely popular because it's much better for baking than other sugar substitutes, has less of an artificial flavor, and will keep the eater in Ketosis, which is key for losing weight on the Keto diet.
A new study has made waves recently because its findings indicate there's a link between erythritol and higher rates of heart attack and stroke (though the study did note that only an association was found — not causation. So should you be worried?
We asked Dan LeMoine, RD, the award-winning author of Fear No Food and the Clinical Director at Phoenix-based Re:vitalize Nutrition, what he had to say about erythritol, including its benefits and potential health risks. "Artificial sweeteners are still sweeteners. While many are non-nutritive or zero-calorie, we tend to view them similarly as we do regular sweeteners or sugars — moderation is key. While many have amazing implications on weight loss – being low to no-calorie options and having little impact on blood sugar, some have their downside," he says.

While some of that sugar substitution has been good for waistlines and health issues that come from obesity, it seems to be causing more and more concern when it comes to other potential health issues. "For example," says LeMoine, "some research indicates the popular sweeteners stevia may have negative effects on the gut microbiome. And the recent study showing correlation between the sugar alcohol, erythritol, and heart attack and stroke."

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We all love a good cocktail, but it's easy to tire of the classics. There's nothing wrong with a perfectly frosty, salted-rimmed margarita, or a warm-to-your-bones, cherry-topped old-fashioned, but sometimes, you just want something new. Something that makes you think. Something that, perhaps, gives you a chuckle. These are those cocktails.
Pig's Blood Piña Colada (USA)

Back in 2014, bartender Jason Brown of Chicago's Kinmont restaurant and bar, concocted this cocktail after listening to a Werewolves of London lyric about a werewolf drinking a pina colada. His creativity sparked, and the "Werewolves of London" cocktail was born.

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With as busy as we have become as a society, we always seem to be on the go. This can make life challenging, especially when it comes to wellness goals. In a perfect world, you could hit the gym hard, crush a workout, then immediately refuel with a balanced, home-cooked meal. But, since life happens and we are always on the go, it’s not always feasible to take the time to actually cook up a muscle-building meal right after your workout. Whether you’re on the go and short on time, or just can't stomach a full meal after exercising, having a quick and easy, protein-packed option that doesn’t require kitchen time, is a helpful alternative to refuel your body and maximize your results.

This is where protein shakes come in handy. Numerous ready-to-drink shakes are available that provide muscle-building protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories to fortify your body after a workout. They offer the benefits of protein powders with the convenience of eliminating the need for a shaker bottle, or high-speed blender, let alone making a mess with powders. Simply give the bottle a quick shake, pop the top, and you’re good to go.

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