Fruit and beer can make a simple, elegant and surprisingly delicious combination. It’s best to use ales for these pairings as their fruity esters play well off of the natural fruit flavors.
Grapes & Pete’s Wicked Wanderlust Cream Ale
The subtleties of the grapes’ flavor can easily be overwhelmed by a stronger beer. Pete’s Wicked Wanderlust has a noticeable adjunct flavor from the use of corn in the brewing process; that flavor, coupled with a simple sweetness, will complement, but not overpower, the grapes’ natural tannins.
Oranges & Unibroue Blanche De Chambly
This witbier is the perfect pair for oranges because it already has citrus notes. Brewers use orange peel in the brewing process of witbiers, so the sharpness and tartness from a good orange will bring out those citrus flavors. The coriander in the brew, which adds a spicy note, will also offset the sweetness from the orange juice. There is also enough malt backbone from the use of wheat in this beer to match the oranges’ acidity.
Bananas & Theakston Old Peculier
Theakston Old Peculier is a good match for bananas because the fruit’s starch is broken down by the beer’s strong malt flavor and sweetness. Bananas have a mild, simple taste that is easy to overwhelm, so it is best to pair them with a beer that isn’t particularly hoppy. The spiciness in this ale beautifully complements the softness of the fruit.
Apples & Lost Coast Downtown Brown
Apples are tart and have a small amount of bitterness, so an easy-drinking brown ale will work best with them. The malty sweetness of a brown ale plays well off of the juices of the apple. Plus, nothing goes better with a beer that has a higher concentration of residual sugars than the crunchy, grainy texture of an apple. But, ultimately, the beer’s caramel notes are what make this combo a delicious treat.
Strawberries & Mad River Steelhead Extra Stout
Strawberries are best complemented by a beer that will stay on the tongue into the next bite. Mad River does just that. The roasted and chocolate notes are perfect accompaniments to strawberries, and if you smother them in chocolate, you have a new twist on a classic dessert.