Plunking a slice of lime, lemon, or orange on the side of a glass of craft beer is a distinctly American tradition — one Peaks and Pints wishes would kindly die. Not only do oils found in the peels of these fruits hinder head formation and rob you of precious aroma; they’re unnecessary. Craft brewers are already skilled at incorporating fruit flavors right into a beer, using the fruit to harmonize with similar notes found in hops or to spice up smooth wheat. Peaks and Pints’ Craft Crosscut 7.16.17: A Flight of Fruit Flavors features five refreshing treats for your next pool party so you’ll never need to waste time cutting lime wedges again.
In 2008, Craig Campbell and his wife, Sharon, began experimenting with making cider from dessert apples grown in their 400-acre commercial fruit orchards. Despite naysayers who warned that cider apples required a maritime climate, Craig also planted a two-acre test orchard with 25 varieties of cider apples. Today, their two-acre experiment expanded into Cider View, a 30-acre “high-density” cider orchard. In their commercial cidery, Tieton Cider Works, they blend American heritage, English and French cider varietals with dessert apples to capture the best of what each variety brings to the bottle: sweetness, acidity, tannin and aroma. The results are ciders with body and a depth of finish, including their semi-dry Apricot Cider. When they infuse their crisp apple cider with the tartness of apricot, the apple notes play a supporting role and let the tartness of the apricots shine.
4.8% ABV, 17 IBU
Modern Times’ Fruitlands series sports the same sour, salty base beer. From there, the brewery adds fruit to give the gose a distinctive flavor. March through May, Apricot is available. October through January you’ll find sour cherry, and June through September the Passion Fruit/Guava version, which is pouring from our Western red cedar tap log. The passionfruit and guava gives it a tropical flavor that pairs nicely with the base beer, making the brew taste something more akin to a nice fruity punch than a beer, although certainly not as sweet. Passionfruit is definitely the star with this one, but you get a little bit of guava as well, especially on the nose.
6.5% ABV, 36 IBU
Black Raven Flock Party Anniversary Pale Ale? Sure. Use some wheat, rye and oats? Love that. Hopped with Summit, Palisade and Super Galena but keep hop bitterness low? Aromatastic with sweet floral and tropical fruit hops and hints of spruce. Add copious amounts of Mandarins, oranges and tangerines on the hot side? Floral and tropical fruits flavors with sweeter malt and a bit more of a bitter pine bite toward the finish. Recirculate through Acacia wood and Dekapon mandarin peels over two days post fermentation? Delicious.
Of the hundred or so recognized beer styles, few have undergone as many evolutions as IPA. From earthy, woody English IPAs to brashly bitter West Coast IPAs and cloudy, juicy New England IPAs, with black and white and red and Belgian and now fruit-infused varieties are popping up. Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery’s Strawberry Shake IPA mimics the fruit ice cream treat with lactose, organic Madagascar vanilla beans and 100 pounds of fresh local Spooner Farms strawberries in the brew. Bonus: it’s delicately dry hopped with Citra. It’s pillowy soft and tastes like a homemade strawberry milkshake on a hot summer day.
7% ABV, 45 IBU
Tsunami Stout has taken a voyage into uncharted barrels. Why would Pelican Brewing Co. mess with this delicious full-bodied, distinct dark chocolate and cappuccino delight? Dip your nose into Berried At Sea and all ties are broken. Sweet blackberries flood out of the glass. Toward the tail end, we pick up a bit of Tsunami’s roastiness. The flavor is lively and complex; the texture, silky but not heavy, with a fine, creamy carbonation. Here too Berried At Sea is surprisingly light on the roastiness, and it carries little perceptible alcohol heat. Oh, but the tart blackberry flavor hits hard with a dark chocolate finish. Yum.