Come summer, strawberries get all the attention, but beer lovers must leave room in their hearts for the other berry beers: the famously pink (or surprisingly blond) brews loaded with blueberries, raspberries and cherries. We could advise you to pour these over ice cream for fruity beer floats, but instead, we say drink ‘em straight and bask in the power of nature’s littlest masterpieces.
Bunker Hill Bluebeery Ale: It’s a fruit beer for people who claim to hate fruit beers: The 4.4%-ABV ale is brewed with Maine blueberries, but they lend just a barely-there hint of blueberry skin; instead, the fruit works with the grain to form a nice tartness that nips your cheeks.
Alaskan Raspberry Wheat: It’s one of the prettiest looking beers you’ll ever pour, and also one of the most flavorful. The 6.5%-ABV wheat beer is nicely dry and thoughtfully un-citrusy; raspberries sweeten up the profile (but don’t read too candylike) and give the beer its gorgeous, deep pink-orange hue.
Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager: Brand-new this year—and available only in the brewery’s revamped Beers of Summer variety pack—this perky blueberry beer has a nice lager crispness and a berry flavor that’s a little floral and a lot fruity; close your eyes, and you’ll swear you’re sipping SnoCone melt-off.
Odell Friek: This is the face of modern kriek: Several vintages of cherry lambics age in oak with wild yeast and more cherries, followed by a bath with raspberries. The result is crazy-complex; it’s loaded with berry flavors, of course, but the blend of tartness, rustic yeast and oak notes make it divine.
Samuel Smith Organic Raspberry Ale: Organic raspberry juice swirls with a wheat beer and a cellared ale to become this berry bomb. The beer’s jammy and mega-sweet, but the wheat supports all that fruit, and the beer ends clean and dry. Need a pairing for your spinach-and-goat-cheese salad? Look no further.
Coastal Extreme Newport Storm Rhode Island Blueberry Beer: Juice from hand-pressed Rhode Island blueberries give this 4.6%-ABV kolsch mounds of berry flavor without any sticky sweetness. Magnum and English Pilgrim hops (plus a little wheat) keep the profile pleasantly dry.
Boon Kriek: More sour than sweet, this beloved Belgian fruit lambic plays up the tart notes of the fresh cherries added to the brew. Barnyardy Belgian yeast and oak notes (the beer’s aged two years before bottling) keep the fruit in check.
Cold Storage Florida Avenue Blueberry: This 4.5%-ABV wheat beer is soft and dangerously sessionable. Each sip has just a breath of blueberry—no cloying sweetness here.