beer reviews real ale

Fruit beer that works

Getting fruit flavour into beer is harder than you might imagine.

Some fruit beers are too sweet, others are too sour. The fruit flavour can be overpowering, or barely perceptible. Worst of all, it can sometimes be just too pink.

Saltaire’s Blackberry Cascade and Raspberry Blonde get it exactly right. They both taste enough of fruit that you can tell it’s there without being told (we tested this theory on unsuspecting friends). They’re a little sweet, hardly at all sour, and un-dyed.

We’re not 100 per cent sure but we suspect the trick might be to get over the purism which says fresh fruit is best: these beers are ‘infused’ with ‘flavours’, which to us suggests extracts or syrups. Who cares, though? It works.

Blackberries are Boak’s favourite fruit, which is why Blackberry Cascade has edged it as our beer of the week.

7 replies on “Fruit beer that works”

The Blonde was good, but I thought the Cascade just ok-possibly because Blackberries AREN’T my favourite fruit-but Cascade always seems a little wasted in a dark beer.

We’re overrun with fruit beers at the moment-Raspberry, Strawberry, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Blueberry, Bannana. And Toffee(?) Not to mention the delightful Banoffee.

Can you have beer that is too pink? I don’t think so.
I’m a big fan of Kriek beer but quite like Green Jack Orange Wheat. Orange in beer always seems to work well. Not strictly a fruit but Elderflower is a nice touch in lighter brews.

Love Raspberry Blonde. So delicious, so subtle (but not *too* subtle). Amazingly good ale.

I think Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is the exact opposite argument. Nasty over the top artificial cherry syrup character, all American like cherry coke, not so incidentaly all but undrinkible. 🙂

Oooh….I have a problem with these beers – and it’s just the use of flavouring, that’s all. It’s just a bit of internal conflict, really. I tell myself that there must be another way…but you can’t deny that Saltaire do make some tasty beers with this method – thier Hazlenut Porter’s one of my faves. I need to have a word with myself; maybe i’m missing the point!!

Hmmm, like Leigh, I’d much prefer fruit beers were made with fruit, and have tasted some made entirely with a tiny amount of chemical flavouring (like the stuff that makes raspberry ripple ice cream) & they really weren’t for me – nasty & artificial-tasting. I’m guessing Saltaire have gone to some efforts to create more tasty & natural flavours in these beers, perhaps with fruit purees as well as flavourings.

I’d guess this method makes for a more consistent product than the vagaries & hassles of using fresh fruit – a while back I read a piece on a US-based craft-brewing website someone asking for advice on what to do with a load of fresh fruit, the replies mainly said “Make a nice pie with the fruit & buy some good fruit purees to make a fruit beer!” :~)

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