Brewing with Fruit
The thirst-quenching refreshment of lime. The pleasant pucker of passion fruit. The bittersweet, juicy depth of grapefruit. As humans, we love fruit. We’re wired to. For early humans, fruit was literally a source of life. Our hunter-gather ancestors foraged for fruit to obtain much of their sustenance. So it’s no surprise that we love fruity flavors in beer. From the tropical and stone fruit flavors of modern hops to the pome fruit and banana notes of yeast-derived esters, fruit flavors are all over our favorite craft beer styles.
At times, fruit itself often makes its way into many of these same beers, especially once the warmer weather hits and yearning for juicy refreshers hits its height. So it’s no surprise that we’ve got a veritable grove of fruit-infused brews (including the brand new SunSail Hard Teas) to cool that patio or beachside heat. Let’s discover how the fruit used in each takes these beverages to the next delicious level.
It’s difficult to think about fruit in beer without jumping right to one of the most iconic (and beachy) combinations: a pale, highly carbonated lager with a wedge of lime squeezed in. Brewed with real lime purée and peel, Mexican Lager with Lime is perfect for the beach, yes, but also for any other laid-back situation you might find yourself in. The gentle acidity and bright aromatics of lime enhance the already satiating character of a well-crafted light lager. Plus, we package our Mexican Lager in cans (sporting fresh new label art), which we think are the ideal vessels for sipping alongside sandy waterfronts or shaded backyard gardens, with or without an additional lime wedge. And if you’re looking for more of a Hawaii-style beach beer experience, try kicking it with Kickaround POG Tart’s pleasantly refreshing passion fruit, orange, and guava flavors. We think you’ll love Kickaround’s bright fruity flavor, inspired by Hawaii’s beloved tropical juice drink.
Can’t decide which fruit flavor to fall in love with? Between Crushworthy Lo-Cal Citrus Wheat and Watermelon Crushworthy, it’s okay to have more than one crush. With a lightly filtered body and a sweet kiss of orange, the original Crushworthy has been your steady main squeeze. But here’s a juicy secret: Watermelon Crushworthy has entered the chat to compete for your affection! Our seasonal porch sipper pairs big watermelon flavor with a crushable body for a sunny slice of refreshment. Both varieties are just 105 calories, but don’t let that fool you. Both Crushworthy varieties are brewed with real fruit purée for bursts of quenching flavor in every sip. You’ll just have to try both to see which one has your heart.
Fruit beers are often light and delicate, made for sun-drenched lounging on idyllic afternoons. Ruby’s Revenge Imperial Grapefruit IPA, on the other hand, is a completely different beast. A member of our Imperial IPA Series, Ruby’s big in every sense of the word, packing a punch at 8% ABV and cultivating a fierce bite at 75 IBUs. Even bigger is the real grapefruit purée and citrus peel packed into every drop of those 16 oz. cans – 50 gallons of grapefruit per brew, to be precise! The grapefruit-like flavor of Cascade and Centennial hops is a perfect complement to the subtle hint of pithy rind and juicy ruby red grapefruit in this startlingly drinkable Imperial IPA. Best served with your favorite horror b-movie, screened with an outdoor projector.
Ready to peel open a pack of our fruit-forward brews? Use our Beer Finder to hunt down all our year round and seasonal brews at a store near you.
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Questions? Email GLBCinfo@greatlakesbrewing.com for more information.
Words by Michael Williams
Photos by Haven Hodges