Despite what Miller Lite’s Men of the Square Table might say, a little fruit can do a lot for beer.
Like liquors, beers have always been blended with other ingredients and other beers to produce a superior concoction that harnesses the powers of each separate beverage and creates a superior taste. So go ahead, fruit your beer, those so-called “men” are just advertising props.
For more than 500 years Belgian brewers have produced a beer made from barley and wheat with dried, therefore less bitter, hops. Belgian brewers store these “lambics” in open barrels allowing live, uncontrolled yeasts and bacteria to collect and begin the magic of fermentation. After fermenting, a lambic is aged for up to three years and then blended with younger lambics, fruit or fruit syrups to cut the bitter flavor?fruit flavored lambics are consequently very sweet tasting more like a syrupy fruit drink than beer.
Harking back to its ancestral roots one of the best beers for blending with other beers is the Belgian-styled wheat beer, Blue Moon. Soft and easy-going, Blue Moon makes a great starting point for experimentation?whether it be wtih a dash of orange or blending with another beer.
Raspberry Blue Moon
Recipe: Top a glass of Blue Moon with Lindemans Framboise Lambic. ($6.99 @ Beer Depot)
One bottle should be enough to flavor an entire six-pack but you can add as much or as little as you want depending on your desired fruitiness.
Smooth, with a bouquet of raspberries, abundant flavors of sweet raspberry lead into a semi-dry finish that continues to linger.
Recipe: Pour half a glass of Blue Moon then fill the rest of the way with your favorite Stout beer, I chose Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout.
Earthy grains waft from the glass. Soft and sweet chocolate upfront, this blend finishes dry with tastes of roasted malt, wheat, oatmeal and citrus hops. Reminiscent of a cream stout but with heavier emphasis on grain flavors, this was an interesting combination.
Chocolate Covered Cherry
Recipe: Add Lindemans Kriek Lambic ($6.99 @ Beer Depot), to your favorite chocolate stout, in this case I went with Rogue’s Chocolate Stout.
This aromatic blend of chocolate, cherry syrup features long-lasting juicy cherry flavor followed by a slow drying sensation popping with chocolate and grains. Clearly a delicious combination perfect for sharing with warm friends on cold nights.