Five on Five: Fruit(ed) Beer

If “fruit beer” was once a niche style, it has since evolved into something much more significant, absorbing other traditions along the way to become a vibrant celebration of some of the most popular flavors on Earth. Here are five picks from the pros.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Feb 10, 2023 - 3 min read

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Scratch Strawberry Sumac

Michael Tonsmeire, cofounder and brewer, Sapwood Cellars in Columbia, Maryland
“The combination of juicy strawberry with the additional layer of hibiscus and fruit-punch notes of sumac is really fun. This one avoids the common pitfall of ‘plasticky’ phenolic aroma from fermented strawberries.”

pFriem La Mûre

Adam Cieslak, founding brewer and CEO, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery in Chicago
“My favorite style of fruit beer leans toward Belgian-inspired expressions, where not only are the fruits showcased, but they’re also supported by depth added from mixed fermentations and often wood-aging. ... La Mûre from Pfriem is a white-wine–barrel-aged ale with raspberries and marionberries. It’s fantastic—the aromas of jammy dark fruit explode from the glass, coupled with some earthy funk. On the palate are a pleasant tartness, notes of blackberry cobbler, and a dry finish that really invites the next sip.”

New Glarus Serendipity

Sandra Murphy, head brewer, Fort Brewery & Pizza in Fort Worth, Texas
“My favorite fruit ale is New Glarus Serendipity. I have a friend bring me a case every year, and I slowly ration them out. It’s such an easy, beautiful blend of apple, cherry, and cranberry. I grew up in Wisconsin, so for me the color, aroma, and flavor are just a glass of nostalgia that I can’t get enough of.”

The Lost Abbey Red Poppy

Daniel Terrones, head brewer, Other Half Brewing in Washington, D.C.
“I love Red Poppy because it checks so many boxes for me. It packs bold fruit character while maintaining balance between it and the base beer’s funky nuance. It’s acidic, yet extremely drinkable and refreshing. It’s one of those beers that you have to share, because of how perfect it is, but immediately regret not drinking the entire bottle.”

Cyclic Beer Farm Pomelo del Huerto

Nicole and Jan Kemker, co-owners and brewers, Kemker Kultuur in Everswinkel, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
“A bit uncommon fruit in a sour beer are grapefruit. We really like this light summer drink, which is based on a spiced gose. The grapefruit come from their family farm to close the loop to Catalonia. [It’s a] simple beer that should be thirst-quenching—one of the harder ones to master.”