In 2012 when we started the Wild Beer Co there wasn’t much fruit beer, or beer made with fruit in the UK. Historically there was lots, but over time the UK beer scene had become a little limited. The explosion in Craft Breweries has seen experimentation go through the roof, and now you could almost name any fruit and any beer style and you’ll find someone making it.
What does fruit beer mean to us?
It means both nothing and everything. We use fruit in many many different ways; sometimes as a nuance, sometimes to dominate, we add it to barrels, we add it before fermentation, or after fermentation. We sometimes use the whole fruit, but other times it might be puree or juice, but also the skins, the zest or even the stones, but always real fruit. Apples, plums, grapes, cherries and strawberries come from local farms, but guava and pineapple come from a little further afield.
Here is co-founder Brett to talk more about some of his favourite fruit beers and how we made them:
Fruit and spice are a favourite combination, available all year round in Fruitbooter, where we brew with pink peppercorns in the kettle, then put the beer on to raspberries both before and after it spends many months in oak foudre. Tepache is a faster beer based on a Mexican soft drink, with pineapples, cinnamon and clove.
We make preserved lemons at the brewery and add them after fermentation to Sleeping Lemons, a summer refresher, the beer version of lemonade. It’s a gose style beer, low in alcohol but big on flavour where the salt gives body and balance against the lemon sour beer.
We have used grapes from local vineyards in a number of ways over the years. Last year we received Triomphe d’Alsace grapes from Melbury Vale vineyard. We foot-stomped the grapes using the juice and the skins in a couple of different projects. This year’s version of Squashed Grape will be released in September. It was inoculated on and fermented by the yeasts and bacteria on the grape skins, then aged for a year in one of our oak foudres.
Last summer we managed to lay our hands on well over a ton of cherries that the team de-stemmed and crushed at the brewery before adding it to some more mature barrel-aged sour beer to create Amuse Cherry, an elegant sour cherry beer.
These are just a few examples of how we have created some of our fruit beers.
Want to read more about fruit beers? Head here & check out our NEW Fruition mixed case!
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