Like the changing of the seasons, I love to experience the flavorful transition from the heavier stouts and porters of Winter, to the lighter brews of Spring and Summer. And this year, I’m seeing a fantastic influx of more fruit-infused brews that will make for some great summer drinking. This will be a great beer summer.
I hope to you will take advantage of the increase you’ll see in fruity beers, but like anything it can get overwhelming. Throughout the summer, I’ll be roaming the local bottle shops and breweries looking for beers, both local and national that you can purchase right here in St. Louis. For this fruity adventure, I found these 6 in the cooler at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.
Evil Twin Brewing | Old Fashioned Lemonade | 7% ABV / 70 IBU
I was not ready to like this one as much as I did. Tastes very much like lemonade, which can make it a bit deceiving if you’re not careful. At 7 % ABV, this one can pack a punch. The nose is light, but the first draw if very refreshing and continues to offer good flavor through the drink. Will be a favorite at the lake or pool this summer. I found this can in the cooler at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.
Evil Twin Brewing | A Is for Apricot | 4.5% ABV /0 IBU
Few beers become instant favorites upon my first sip, especially one with the word ‘apricots’ blazing on the label. I’ve never really cared for apricots in anyway, but now I believe that the fruit was simply not being used correctly. It should only be used in beer and those who figure that out fast, will be making some really great brew. In this one, the pour is fine burnt orange-yellow. The fruit is really subtle, both on the nose and on the draw. It hangs with you on the chung but goes down like you would want on the chug and is refreshingly drinkable. I found this can in the cooler at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.
Horny Goat Brewing | Watermelon Wheat | 5.6% ABV / 19 IBU
First of all, love the can art. Have never had a Horny Goat Brewing product before so it’s always nice to try something completely new. Nice fruit on the nose, but not powerful. Pours a nice orangey tan with a frothy head. On the swig, you get just a hint on the fruit juice. But on the draw the watermelon holds nicely under the swallow, but then returns to linger. On first chug, I get a bit more watermelon on this sip. The fruit isn’t really overwhelming at all, which for me makes a bit more sessionable on a hot day. I found this can in the cooler at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.
Horny Goat | Laka Laka Pineapple Hefeweizen | 5.1% ABV / 17 IBU
I love grilled pineapple but was concerned the sweetness of the fruit would make this beer to sweet for my liking. It pours a hazy, non-translucent burnt orange. I was expecting a bit more yellow. On the nose I got a bit of fruit off the pour. I’m getting the pineapple of course, but perhaps some banana or apple? Sharp on the nose, and pleasant. On the first sip, I’m confirmed that this a sweet beer, fairly juicy. Fruit is hinted and not powerful or tart. Fruity flavor lingers on the swallow. Time to chug, and it gets fizzy and juicy on the tongue. The hinted fruit expands a bit and continues to linger on the swallow, I’m getting the pineapple and hints of other fruits, I want to say mango. If you don’t mind sweet beers, this is for you. I found this can in the cooler at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.
Deschutes Brewery Passion Fruit IPA | 6.8% ABV / 65 IBU
I love the Bend, Oregon brewery Deschutes, so I was not surprised this was such a good beer. I’ve heard beers described as well balanced, and know I think I get where this description comes from. Just the right amount of hops here with good fruit on top. Sort of starts off fruity and then folds under and comes back fruit on the swallow. I found beer on tap at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.
Schlafly Beer | Raspberry Hefeweizen (4.1% ABV)
Did you think I wasn’t going to include a local? But I bet you thought of Schlafly’s Grapefruit IPA, which a fantastic beer, but as a beer drinker who does not care for raspberries, I included this because I really do find it to be a fine beer. My friend Stephen Hale told me that this one beer really representative of Schlafly’s uses of real ingredients and innovative processes. Right off the pop of the top, a sweet, fruity aroma cascaded to my nose, pleasant and not overwhelming. On the first sip, the raspberry is right there and really balances (there’s that word again) this beer to one that you will like after mowing the lawn.