Normally condemned to rot in a mediocre glass bowl, the fruit salad has finally been given the respectable and stylish home it deserves — Peaks and Pints’ craft beer flight. That’s right, this is not your mama’s fruit salad. It’s more like a fruit salad on … hops. Once considered a maligned novelty, fruit is now one of the arenas where brewers experiment most, uh, fruitfully. According to archeologists, the Mesopotamians were brewing with fruit thousands of years ago. In 1999, Fruitheads became a type a drinker after they gobbled up gallons of Dogfish Heads’ Aprihop, a fruit beer made with pureed apricots. So, Fruitheads, Peaks and Pints presents Craft Beer Crosscut 8.26.17: A Flight For Fruitheads on yet another sunny, hot summer day.
5.5% ABV, 5 IBU
Despite being well known throughout the world for making great hoppy beers, the Lupulin-obsessed brewers at Green Flash feel the need to keep pushing the envelope rather than resting on their green, leafy laurels. Enter Passion Fruit Kicker, an India pale ale brewed with wheat malt, 2-row malted barley and dry-hopped with experimental hop cultivars so even the brewers aren’t sure how it’ll turn out. And here’s the kicker: the beer is aged in oak barrels and has tart, tangy passion fruit added to the mix for an escapism IPA unlike any other.
The name of the style, Berliner weisse — a light, sour wheat beer — is protected by German law, which states that a beer should only be called by that name if it is brewed in Berlin, just as a Kölsch must be brewed in Köln. At the height of its popularity during the late 19th century, Berliner weisse was the most favored alcoholic drink in Berlin, and nearly 50 breweries were producing it. However, it fell by the wayside, as pale lagers became the beers of choice worldwide. Currently in Berlin there are only about three makers. North Coast Brewing Co. has embraced the centuries old Berliner weisse style, debuting a new, special release brew this week. Just in time for the season, Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse is with the juice of Montmorency cherries sourced from orchards in central Michigan. It tastes like cherry pie.
5.7% ABV, 15 IBU
Founders Brewing’s Rubaeus has major raspberry going on. This stunning berry red beer bursts with fresh raspberries, which are added multiple times during the brewing process to get the most raspberry bang for your buck. The color, smell, and taste of raspberries reflect the fruit’s addition throughout fermentation. Biscuity malt supports the sweet berry flavor; when combined with spritely carbonation, this ale tastes almost soda-like. Slight tartness serves as a reminder that this is, in fact, an alcoholic beverage, and the perfect one to experiment with beer-based sangria.
5.5% ABV, 15 IBU
For those of you who want a light and cheerful beer, Lost Coast Brewing‘s Tangerine is your best bet — but you better like tangerine. Tangerine Wheat combines the California brewery’s Lost Coast Harvest Wheat with natural tangerine flavors. It’s brewed with a combination of wheat and crystal malts and finished with Perle hops. This candy-scented wheat beer is crisp, clean and refreshing. Try mixing it with orange juice for a beer mimosa.
4.6 % ABV, 21 IBU
Who cares if Ordnance Brewing’s Bloops started as an accident. It’s reminiscent of blueberry pie. Ordnance did a pretty remarkable job with this much-maligned style; creating a cloudy, juicy blueberry wheat that delivers everything you could ever want from a fruit wheat. The secret is in the berries, grown by Ordnance owner Craig Coleman on his farm. Ordnance does use some berry powder to increase the intensity of the flavor — made partly with berries Coleman sells to a fruit processor.