This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.
As a general rule, I don’t care for fruit beers. I completely understand the need and desire to find ever-more-creative ways for craft brewers to distinguish themselves with the ongoing revolution in the production of modest output beers, but pulling in flavoring ingredients from adventurous parts of the garden too often strikes me as adopting the worst qualities of the anything goes homebrew aesthetic. Besides, I have an instinctual aversion to sweet, syrupy drinks (I’ve yet to find a hard cider I like, for example). Then last year we encountered some devoted, discerning beer drinkers at last year’s Asheville Beer Week (the first iteration of the tipsy extended celebration) who assured us that the new strawberry beer from Louisiana’s Abita Brewing was a fine concoction, even understanding the reservations expressed. They were absolutely right, and it’s become a household summertime staple. It’s not that the fruit flavor is downplayed, either. It’s right there, front and center, melding with a crisp lager in a way that allows the seemingly incongruous flavors to actually and actively complement one another. It hasn’t converted me. I have no sudden urge to try out whatever new fruit beer I spy. But on a hot day, I have to admit that I’m as likely to crave the Strawberry Harvest Lager as anything else.
—21st Amendment Bitter American
—Abita Restoration Pale Ale
—Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter
—Samuel Adams Boston Lager
—New Glarus Brewing Company Wisconsin Belgian Red
—ABA Hoppy Saison