True fruit beers are an exceptional thing and don’t deserve the sullied reputation forced upon them recently by the mass-produced alcopops such as Fruli or Jeremiah Weed which simply pander to a supposed female market using a woefully out of date stereotype.
Great fruit beer is an art form that appeals to all, the homeland for which is Belgium where they have been brewing exceptional fruit beer for centuries. Taking Lambic ales that naturally ferment using yeasts from local fields the brewers at Liefmans and Timmermans flavour the beer with generous handfuls of real fruit to create a lush sweet beer ideal but not exclusively as a digestif. British breweries like Saltaire are also playing with the style to create fantastic variations of regular pale ales in the form of Raspberry Blonde.
Fruit beer is fabulous, you just need to give the good stuff a chance!
Lambic beers are exposed to the open air and fermented spontaneously with naturally-occurring yeasts, in perhaps the most mysterious of all brewing processes. Traditional to the Pajottenland region of Belgium, Lambics are characterised by their sour aftertaste and often used as a base for Fruit Beers.
Each fruit beer has a different name depending on the fruit used, so we get framboise (raspberry), pêche (peach), cassis (blackcurrent) and aardbei (strawberry) to name just a few. Not all fruit beers are lambics however; Liefmans brewery actually use an Oud Bruin (old brown) ale to produce their fruit beers.