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Brewing with Fruit: A User’s Guide

They’re easy to grow, easy to buy, easy to eat, and we know all their names and flavors by heart... if only brewing with fruits were so simple. Here, then, are bushels of practical advice for designing, choosing, processing, and making your own fruit beer.

Josh Weikert Mar 21, 2022 - 13 min read

Brewing with Fruit: A User’s Guide Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

Four years ago, I planted some fruit trees in my backyard: two apple, two pear, and one peach. As an avid homebrewer, my motivation went beyond obscuring the neighbors’ kids’ palatial play set. I wanted fruit for my beers, ciders, perries, and maybe even some peach mead.

So, in early September this year, we finally had our first real harvest from the trees. Until now, they’d only given us the occasional fruit salsa or salad ingredient. Suddenly, they had blessed us with 200 pears. I eagerly pulped and pressed them, running off the juice into my six-gallon carboy … and they produced barely a gallon of juice.

The moral of this story—which I should have internalized from years of brewing with and fermenting fruit—is that it’s an outstanding ingredient that can also be deceptive, fickle, and complicated.

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