beer reviews

More fruit beers in the garden


We love drinking fruit beers in the garden on hot days, and last week, we went for a couple of weird ones.

First, a mango beer from Shongweni brewery in South Africa, courtesy of our local off license.  It boasts about its secondary fermentation in the bottle, but tastes pretty dull — possibly the effect of being shipped halfway round the world and sitting in a warm shop for several months? We could taste a hint of fruit, but would struggle to pinpoint it as mango.  Pity, as it sounded really interesting.

We’ve had a bottle of Melbourn Brothers’ Apricot beer in our cellar for way too long.  Somehow we could never find the right occasion for this British-brewed, spontaneously-fermented fruit beer, especially when we learned it had been discontinued by the brewery. It just didn’t feel right to drink it without paying proper attention. So, we paid attention, and thought it was lovely. It smells wonderfully malty, and the intense apricot flavour when you sip it really knocks you back.   It had a slightly acrid aftertaste, which is probably due to it sitting in our cellar for so long.  What a pity it’s no longer made.

Jeff Pickthall likes it too. It certainly beats second-rate Belgian fruit beers like Floris.

7 replies on “More fruit beers in the garden”

I had a couple of those Shongweni beers and didn’t enjoy them at all; tasted artificial to me. The same brewery’s IPA isn’t bad though.

Our general rule of thumb is that if we don’t like a beer, we’ll try to ignore it, unless there’s a public service angle (i.e. don’t go out of your way to try…).

Really sorry to hear the Melbourn Brothers are no longer going to brew their fruit beers. Have only been able to try them once, but thought they were great. A real shame, especially as they brought some much-needed diversity to British brewing.

They’re making the beers at Sam Smith’s now, but Apricot has gone from the range. They’re easier to get, now, although I’m not sure if the taste has changed.

Nice to read about some far away tasty beers. I’ll try to look for them in my store. Although somehow I don’t think they have it. The only Aussie beer is Foster’s.

If you ever find another apricot beer that tastes as nice as the Melbourn bothers discontinued one let me know!!! i think that is the one i tried back in 2007 from a farm shop, tried to track it down & found out it had been discontinued, not found anything that matches it … Could we start a petition to get them to make it again?!!

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