10 Best Fruity Beers For Late Summer Sipping
Blending fruit flavors into beer is nothing shy of sacrilege to drinkers who still define beer by the Reinheitsgebot German beer purity law limiting ingredients to water, barley and hops. Well this isn't 1487 anymore, and the Belgians told the Germans where they could stick their purity laws well before that. Though some wheat beer brewers claim to still keep it simple, many brewers have gone the Belgian route and added sugars and other fruity ingredients to their beers to give drinkers some more refreshing options for the warm months.
We hate to break this to the traditionalists, but the fruit-craving, malt-seeking masses are winning. Sales of hard cider in the U.S. jumped 25% last year, to $49.5 million, and inspired MolsonCoors(TAP) to buy out Minnesota hard cider maker Crispin. Meanwhile, Mike's Hard Lemonade maker Mark Anthony saw sales jump 16.2% last year after climbing 23% in 2010. It may not be beer, but when these beverages share cooler and tap space with their beer competitors, it can mean trouble for brewers unwilling to adapt.
The Portland mainstay brewery issues another version of its pinup-labeled Stumptown Tart each year, but this year's batch is a bit more complex than its predecessors. This pink-hued concoction combines strawberries, raspberries and marionberries from Oregon's Willamette River Valley with pilsner and wheat malt for a light and slightly sour Belgian-style. Don't let the fizzy fruitiness fool you, though: At 7.8% alcohol by volume, this is a sipping beer worth keeping away from your summer session pint glass.