Subscriber Exclusive

Fruit Beer, or Coffee Beer, or... Why Not Both?

Coffee and fruit flavors complement each other beautifully, yet we rarely see them unite in beer. One brewery leaning into that marriage is Urban South in New Orleans. Here, head brewer Alex Flores explains the method behind their Drip au Lait series.

Alex Flores Apr 15, 2022 - 5 min read

Fruit Beer, or Coffee Beer, or... Why Not Both? Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Urban South

Matching the Fruit to the Coffee

Usually when I’m designing these beers, I already have a coffee in mind, which helps me to lay out the fruit profile. It helps to experience the coffee in different ways to get the full range of the varietal. Obviously, an espresso and a cold brew of the same coffee will have very different characteristics—but this will help you get a better idea of what fruits are possible with each coffee varietal.

It’s always helpful to talk directly to the coffee roaster about the coffee and get their take on the tasting notes.

The coffees that tend to be more berry- and sweet fruit–forward pair naturally with softer fruits, such as blueberry, boysenberry, or even sweeter citrus such as Valencia orange. I find that really vibrant, citrus-forward coffees pair well with more intense fruits—usually raspberry or passion fruit.

The Not-Too-Acidic Base Beer

Make & Drink Better Beer

Subscribe today to access all of the premium brewing content available (including this article). With thousands of reviews, our subscribers call it "the perfect beer magazine" and "worth every penny." Your subscription is protected by a 100% money back guarantee.