As we officially arrive into the summer months it’s time to cross our fingers for some sunshine and update our beer choices to match what will hopefully be some fine weather. Nothing says summer in terms of flavour more than some delicious, ripe, perfectly in season fruit. So pack your stouts away with your winter coats and try out some of these tasty fruity beers to keep you on top of your five a day this summer.
With gooseberry season in full flight at the moment, what better beer could you ask for than a gorgeous gooseberry gose? This style of beer is German in origin and is like a strange sort of sour wheat beer (similar to a Berliner Weisse) but with the addition of a salty characteristic (hence the name).
This is the perfect choice for beer drinkers looking to ease into the world of sour beers as it’s quite a mild sourness and overall an incredibly refreshing and drinkable gose. There is only a bare hint of saltiness but buckets full of gooseberry.
€3.10 or 4 for €11 – Available at Martins Off Licence, Baggot Street Wines
This Belgian style strawberry fruit beer has been around for quite some time. In fact I have memories memories of visiting the Porterhouse over a decade ago in search of this delicious treat of a beer. But be warned, mention the name ‘Fruli’ to any Belgian beer purists and you may observe them grimace at the mere thought of it as for the some, the thought of mixing a perfectly crafted Belgian style beer with fruit juice is simply sacrilege.
However, Huyghe brewery must be doing something right as Fruli was awarded the accolade of ‘World’s best fruit beer’ back in 2009 at the World Beer Awards. This fruit beer has a thick and smooth mouthfeel owing to the real strawberry juice used in the brewing process. A gorgeously sweet beer like no other.
€2.79 – Available at Martin’s Off Licence
Citrus fruit is a common flavour associated with ales. There are even hop varieties known as Citra and Mandarina because of that distinctive citrusy flavour profiles that they add to the beer. Of any of the citrus fruit family, grapefruit is probably the most common citrus flavour found in ales.
High Cotton however is not a typical ale and although brewed in collaboration with Atlanta based Max Lagers, it is not even a lager. You will find a great balance on display here with the soft subtle grapefruit notes sitting on top of the spiced, clove driven Belgian base. This beer sits somewhere between a heavy Belgian ale and light citrusy American ale and overall makes for an extremely tasty and drinkable beer.
High Cotton €3.59 – Available at Martin’s Off Licence, Baggot Street Wines
If there is any other style of beer that smacks of Summer more than refreshing fruity beer, it’s West coast style ales and the granddaddy of all west coast breweries, Sierra Nevada, have released their Side Car Orange Pale Ale just in time to quench your summer thirst.
With a very crisp feel to it, this beer drinks more like a larger with bright vibrant orange tasting notes coming from the addition of orange peel to the brewing process along with Mandarina hops. Be sure to grab one of these guys while you can, as it may be quite a limited run.
€3.49 or 4 for €12 – Available at Martin’s Off Licence, Baggot Street Wines
Having recently celebrated their second birthday, Yellowbelly are still in their relative infancy as a brewery, however in this short amount of time they have quickly become one of the most recognisable craft beers in the Irish market. Owing in no small part to their exceptional label art which now extends to their newly launched canned range.
This is not an entry level sour beer by any stretch but rather a lip puckering demonstration of what this style of beer is all about. The initial tartness can seem overwhelming but it’s curious just how well you pallet adjusts and by midway through the screaming sourness has mellowed, revealing the delicate flavour of passion fruit. This is a seriously well-made beer, though not for the faint-hearted.
€3.10 or 4 for €11 – Available at Martin’s Off Licence, Baggot Street Wines
Having previously devoted every ounce of his spare time to music, Tony is more commonly found these days in a kitchen than on a stage. With experience in writing on festivals and shows around the country he has recently turned his pen to more culinary exposés. With a particular penchant for craft beer he can often be spotted travelling from one bar to another in search of the latest brew to hit the market.