I’ll admit it…I am a sucker for fruit beers. Occasionally I get odd looks when I admit this fact, looks that say something to the tune of “when did your testicles retract into your stomach” or “don’t spill any on your frilly skirt”. A swift kick to the shin or a menacing glare are generally enough to quell those comments. Plus, if in reading this you also assume I am a sissy, the fact is I am likely much larger than you and could beat in you an arm wrestle (unless Chuck Norris is reading this, in which case please don’t hurt me).
Back to the point of this whole thing; fruit beers are delicious! There is nothing better on a hot summers afternoon than a cold and delicious drop of ale with a refreshing kick of real fruit flavour. While I will admit there are some shoddy examples out there that taste fake or overly sweet, if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and take the challenge here is a short list of some of my favourite fruit-licious summer suds.
Wild Rose Brewing Wraspberry Ale – Brewed right in our own back yard here in Calgary, this light and refreshing offering from Wild Rose Brewing has been one of my favourite Summer sippers for years. The addition of whole raspberries to the fermentation process adds a pleasing salmon hue to the colour and a refreshing raspberry kick that will put a smile on your face. This can be found both in bottle and on tap fairly readily around town. www.wildrosebrewery.com
Dieu du Ciel Rosee d’Hibiscus – If you want to take a walk on the wild side give this crazy wheat beer a try. From one of Quebec’s hottest micro-breweries, the addition of hibiscus flowers during brewing creates a flavour and aroma profile that are truly unique. The nose on this beer is unreal, with pure floral bliss wafting from the glass. On the palate the hibiscus adds a definite bite to the natural softness of the wheat beer. This is intense stuff and while you may not be able to down a six-pack, it will add some spice to a sunny summer afternoon! http://micro.dieuduciel.com
St-Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale – This stealthy beer pulls an amazing disappearing act with the ability to make a 6 pack vanish in what seems like a matter of minutes! This Montreal delight hits hard with a brilliant kick of natural Apricot flavour (none of the syrupy, artificial fruit beer quality to be found here!). A sure-fire hit for your next gathering!
Boon Kriek Lambic – A traditional Belgiun Lambic beer made with the addition of real Cherries. This comes in single bottles with a real cork stopper and it is simply and utterly delicious. A white, frothy head dances upon a sea of sparkling crimson. The aroma’s are so intense you can’t help but close your eyes and imagine you are strolling through an orchard full of perfectly ripe Cherries on a warm summers afternoon. The flavours rise to a deafening crescendo as they glide across the tongue, lingering like the taste of your first kiss long after they’ve gone. I am not much for religion, but God bless the monks that made this…I just might have to convert!