cherry, rasberry, and fruit Lambics
Fruit beers are beers to which fruit has been added and there are several beers that can be used to do this. Fruit beers are often use Belgian lambics as their base, this isn't a hard and fast rule, but many lambic beers are in fact fruit flavoured. In addition to lambic beer you can also use Witbier. Having said this, you can experiment with almost any beer style.
The most famous fruit beer is the Kriek. It is a refreshing, fruity and slightly sweet lambic beer. Traditionally, Kriek is made in breweries around Brussels, they take a Belgian lambic and add Galician sour cherries. The taste is bursting with sweet and sour cherry flavours. The famous Kriek Boon is made by blending both old aged and young lambic. It's a fresh, slightly sweet beer with a oaky, rich cherry flavour and a light fizz.
Lindemans Kriek (found in our Beer Tasting + Glass Case and Belgian New Edition Case) is fresh and fruity, with aromas of cherries and a sweet note of marzipan!
With an Oude Kriek further fermentation happens once in the bottle, this results in a higher alcohol percentage than a Kriek. Oude Kriek is very fruity and has a fresh, sour taste. The beer can mature for another two years in the bottle. The longer you leave the bottle, the more the taste of the Oude Kriek evolves. Oud Beersel Oude Kriek contains even more cherries than the younger kriek.
Lambic is different to other beers in that it ferments from spontaneous or wild yeasts. Wort from malted barley and unmalted wheat (of at least 30%) is exposed to the outside air, creating a distinctive, sour taste. It is then put into wooden barrels, where it ferments and infuses with flavours in the wood from previous batches. Old Lambic, which matures in these barrels for three years, can then be mixed with young Lambic. The longer the aging process, the more complex the Lambic becomes.
Fruit Lambics can be made with more than just cherries, in fact Lambics are made from a variety of fruits such as raspberries, like the Lindeman's Framboos but also peaches, apples, black currants and grapes. There are also lambics that amalgamate both fresh fruits and juice (or with only fruit juice) which can be added just before ripening. Some modern fruit lambics are even sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners.
A good example of a beer with raspberry is Bacchus Framboise. The base for this beer is Bachhus Oud Bruin. This Flemish Oud Bruin is a sour, acidic beer with hints of balsamic vinegar. The raspberries are soaked in it to create a pleasant balance between sweet and sour. Tingling on the tongue with a soft hint of caramel, the aftertaste is sweet raspberry with a mild acidity.
Today there are also many commercial fruit beers to which fruit juices have been added without starting a new fermentation. They have a fruity character but are generally quite sweet as well. Rosé beer, for example, has a base of wheat beer to which red fruit has been added in the form of a juice or concentrate. Fruity concentrates fruits such as; lime, apple, elderflower, basil and pineapple can also be added. An example of this is Liefmans Yell'oh, where they have been added to the pale base beer to create an exotic mix.
Sours are very on trend and are currently the most popular basis for a fruit beer. Walhalla's Aphrodite Berliner Weisse is a kettle-sour brewed containing a huge amount of fresh raspberries. Or what do you think of BrewDog?! Their Quench Quake is also a kettle-sour, this is like a lemonade for adults. Its not hugely sweet, rather refreshingly sour. Fruit is also added to IPAs to emphasize the citrus character, for example grapefruit or blood orange. I recently drank a blend of an IPA and a Sour with rhubarb. A fresh, fruity and slightly acidic beer with a hoppy character "wow". But Milk Stouts are also provided with fruitiness from fresh raspberries and blackberries.
The range of exciting fruit beers is constantly increasing. Brewers experiment with beer styles, brewing techniques, fruit types and also make the craziest blends. Once again; Fruit beers, I think they are fantastic!