Although lime is a fruit, I couldn’t bring myself to blog about Miller Chill under the “session” logo. Fortunately, I just picked up a bottle of Kriek De Ranke. It’s staring at me through my refrigerator door.
For lovers of Belgian beer, it’s so easy to gravitate to Lambics when talking about fruit beers. While the wild-fermented, cherry-infused ancient brews of flanders are the pinnacle of the marriage of fruit and beer, many American craft brewers have a deft touch at creating their own combinations.
To me, a good fruit ale should have a prominent fruit nose, but then more the essence of the fruit when you taste the beer, rather than the flavor. I had a blueberry ale a couple of months ago that would’ve been more at home on the table at IHOP than in my pint glass. Too often, fruit ales are cloying, syrupy, and unbalanced, the fruit extract masking any virtues of the beer. Even the noble Lambics can fall into this trap, as a glass of Lindemann’s Framboise will demonstrate.
My personal favorite American fruit beer is Rohrbach BlueBeary Ale. The blueberry essence tantalizes, and complements the malty flavor of pale golden ale. It’s quenching, refreshing, and you can drink more than one pint without needing an insulin shot.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s some kriek I need to take care of…