We’re all about getting our fill of summer’s bounty — fresh strawberries, peaches, watermelon and more. Local brewers are hitting up the garden too by producing over-fruited beers.
Made with an enormous amount of fruit puree — about two to five times as much fruit as what would typically go in a fruit beer — the trendy style results in bright, tangy flavors and a smooth, slightly viscous mouthfeel thanks to the presence of pectin and unfermentable sugars.
Due to tricky logistics (if brewed improperly the unfermented sugars can start a secondary fermentation process at room temperature, releasing carbon dioxide inside a sealed metal can) and the fun, experimental nature of fruit beers, this style of beer is often made and served in small batches.
Take Platform Beer Co.’s over-fruited Fitness Blog IPA. Its bitter blood orange and mango flavors work in concert with Citra, Amarillo and Mighican Chinook hops to make a particularly citrus- and pine-forward take on this new style.
“All fruits don’t have the same kind of flavor strength, and fruits have different acidities,” explains Danny Monnot, the brewery’s head brewer. “The best way to really understand it is to use it. There’s a never-ending design of [experimentation].”
At Noble Beast Brewing Co., head brewer Shaun Yasaki is on his second iteration of his Cheetah Chrome fruit beer series, currently made with mango, guava, tangerine and strawberry puree. With a modest 172 pounds of fruit across 300 gallons of beer — about 1.7 pounds per gallon — Yasaki doesn’t consider Cheetah Chrome an over-fruited beer, though its interplay between tropical fruit notes and a bitter spelt malt base shows off how versatile these beers can be.
“I prefer to not ferment out the sugar. I like to leave the fruit in there,” says Yasaki. “I like that fruit flavor a little bit better.”