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Faking the Fruit

You don’t need fruit to brew a fruit-flavored beer—malt, sugar, hops, and yeast can all be used to mimic the character of various fruits. Yet, once mastered, there is another use for this power of deception: boosting the flavors of real fruit.

Josh Weikert Mar 13, 2023 - 15 min read

Faking the Fruit Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves

In a world where brewers explore new and exotic flavors at every turn—whether out of personal creativity or professional necessity—there are any number of discussions to be had about ingredient sourcing, usage, and combinations.

This is as true of fruit as it is of any other specialty ingredient.

Fruit was one of the first things that craft beer used to differentiate itself from mass-market beer. (Remember the ubiquity of fruited wheat beers in the late ’90s and early ’00s?) Yet it remains something of a mysterious ingredient for many brewers. Lost in much of the debate, however—about extracts versus real fruit, puréed versus macerated versus whole, adding fruit in the boil versus the fermentor, and so on—is this question: Do you actually need that fruit in the first place?

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