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Trending: 10 tropical fruit beers

Sip these 10 fruit beers and you’ll be transported straight to the tropics—no sunscreen required.
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Photo Ed Rudolph // Food styling by John Anthony GalangWhile they’re more often associated with frosty beverages sipped out of a coconut shell, exotic fruits can also provide an alluring twist to light, summery wheat ales and roast-heavy stouts alike. Sip these 10 fruit beers and you’ll be transported straight to the tropics—no sunscreen required.

Upland | Kiwi Lambic
The addition of whole kiwis gives this neon yellow lambic-style ale from Bloomington, Indiana, a bright, pulpy fruit flavor. Sour lovers will clamor for the beer’s tongue-puckering acidity; grab one during Upland’s bottle lottery in July.

Kona | Wailua Wheat
While passion fruit is native to Brazil, its aromatic juice is equally welcome in this brew from Hawaii, where syrup flavored with lilikoi (as the fruit is known there) is a popular addition to shaved ice. Drink it on a hot day; the clean wheat ale is like a lawn mower beer garnished with a tiny umbrella.

SanTan | Mr. Pineapple
Anywhere else in the world, this beer would be called Mr. Ananas, but this is America, so pineapple it is. Fair-trade fruit juice flavors every aspect of this brew from Chandler, Arizona, from its banana-heavy nose to its tangy wheat taste; that pineapple injection earned it a silver medal at GABF in 2011.

Eel River | Acai
If you seek out this beer because you heard that acai (say it: ah-SIGH-ee) is a miracle superfood, bad news: The berries aren’t much better for your health than any other. They are, however, quite tasty, and lend a tart blackberry snap to this organic wheat ale.

Ballast Point | Mango Even Keel
With a grapefruit-spiked version of its popular Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point began the current tidal wave of citrus IPAs. This mango-ized version of its 3.8% session IPA combines notes of leafy, grassy hops, sugared mango chunks and pastrylike malts for a more even-keeled sip.

Highland Park | Raised Eyebrows
Guavas from the trees surrounding Highland Park’s Los Angeles parking lot combine with passion fruit to sweeten this red wine barrel-aged brew. It’s low-octane—just 4% ABV—but complex; souring bacteria add a pleasant twang and zippy acidity gives it a finish like fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Flying Dog | Tropical Stout
Not all beers with tropical fruits must be sunny and tart. Take this midnight-black stout from Maryland’s Flying Dog, in which additions of pineapple and coconut attach piña colada tones to a dessertlike base of vanilla, rum, brown sugar and chocolate cake.

Legacy | That Guava Beer
Though guavas with retina-searing pink pulp are the most common, yellow and white varieties also exist; it’s the white fruit that provides a powerful, sugary nose to this blonde ale from Oceanside, California. Citrusy hops bolster the sweetness before a balanced and bone-dry finish.

Black Market | Enemy Within
Dragon fruit is aptly named: It resembles a pink fireball spat from some mythical beast. Combine it with zesty Citra, Lemondrop, Mosaic and Columbus hops—as Black Market did in this fuchsia-hued, spring seasonal IPA—and the bizarre fruit speckles the grapefruity hops with hibiscus and earthy notes.

Green Flash | Passion Fruit Kicker
Passion fruit done two ways—juice and tea—weaves its way into this new year-round wheat ale from San Diego’s Green Flash, providing double layers of leafy green aromatics and Juicy Fruit sweetness. Berliner-level tartness puckers the palate before husky dryness sweeps it clean.

3 Comments

  • Scott Redd says:

    Maui Brewing’s Mana Wheat didn’t get a mention? Not cool.

  • B says:

    Great list! I’d also add rough drafts session grapefruit weekday IPA to the list

  • Ricky Potts says:

    I am a BIG fan of fruit beers… That Kiwi from Upland is legendary. With so many different fruits to choose from, brewers can have a field day with them, too. Also blending fruits… Imagine a mango/kiwi or a cranberry/blackberry beer. Lighter beers, more than likely, but still. Great list, and thanks for sharing. Cheers!

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