Fruit Beers 101: Invigorate Your Palate with Fun Flavours

Because it’s the third most consumed drink in the world, right after water and tea, beer comes in wide varieties. It’s almost impossible to taste them all. Among the ales, pilsners and stouts, there’s a category called fruit beer. It’s a group where the fruit is the primary or secondary ingredient.

You can make so many variations and combinations and achieve different flavours and scents each time. The craft fruity beer Australia scene certainly has plenty to offer when it comes to cherry scotch ales, blackberry saisons, mango and passionfruit ales, as well as lemon and plum sour ales.

Its Characteristics


This is the first thing we notice in any beer. This goes especially for the colour that is easily noted in the right beer glass. In the wide array of delightful fruity beer palettes we get tons of shades. When it comes to lighter-coloured beers like lagers, the beer can acquire a hint of the colour of the fruit it contains, but in a couple of shades lighter. Depending on the type of fruit and the style of the beer, some of them can look murky. So, if you’re trying to choose one according to the colour, it will be difficult.



These beers have a very specific aroma, which is one of the most important characteristics. Some fruits have more flavour than others, so they have a stronger smell. Hence, they’ll come forward more in beers. For instance, cherries and raspberries will be more overpowering than peaches or blueberries. They have a sharper, more acidic flavour and aroma. The aroma shouldn’t be artificial, overpowering, or unpleasant for our senses.

The fruity scent should be at the top, followed by hints of other aromatics such as maltiness, a hop flavour or yeast by-product. Some brewers prefer the rest of the scents to be completely covered, whereas some like to emphasize them. All of this depends on the type of base the brewer creates. Ultimately, the fruit should add a layer of richness to the beer without taking away from its essential qualities.


The phrase “mouthfeel” describes how a beer feels in general when you drink it, including how light, dry, and carbonated it is. You should be able to identify the base and its primary ingredients based on the texture alone. For example, a wheat ale will feel different from a sour ale. It’s important to keep in mind that these beers include fermentable, which makes them lighter and thinner.



The fruit should offer a unique touch to the flavour, similar to how it does with the aroma. Again, as this can range from subtle to powerful, the base beer style should be a clue for what’s to come. When you add fruits, the flavour is light and the sugar inside is dried out. Because of this, these beers aren’t that sweet. When you buy a strawberry fruity beer don’t expect it to taste like strawberry juice. Yes, it’ll have a hint of it, but the balance between the fruit and the hops will be evident.

What’s the Brewing Process


There aren’t any specific or strict rules when it comes to brewing with fruits. The process is not that different from the regular one and you still have the freedom to experiment. You can still create new flavours, aromas, and scents and play with the alcohol content.

The Base

The base you create is very important because it’ll have an impact on the fruit you choose and how much you put into it. When you want to start experimenting with fruits, always start with the recipe you already know and have prepared multiple times. Something you’re familiar with. It shouldn’t have a lot of hop flavour or aroma. If you do this, you’ll probably get an unpleasant flavour and smell from the beer.

Experienced brewers recommend you start with stouts, porters, or wheat beers. Choosing which fruit to pair with which beer is not difficult. Fruits with delicate flavours, such as apricots, blueberries and peaches, pair best with lighter beers. We can all agree that an apricot stout will be difficult to brew due to the high amount of malt and delicate fruit flavour, while a pumpkin lager won’t look appetising. On the other hand, an apricot blond or a pumpkin brown ale is something worth exploring.


Just like we need balance with everything in life, it’s also important in beer production. However, in this case, it’s not about the balance between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malt. Now we’re talking about the balance between the sweetness, the acidity, and the bitterness. Acid is responsible for bringing out the fruity qualities in the beer.

There are three varieties you can play with: malic, citric and lactic. Before actually pouring the acid inside, do a few experiments and tests. Play with the amount of acid in several different beers. See which one works best for you, which one tastes the best and go for it. You can also leave the acid to the acidic fruits alone.

The Fruits

If you want to use whole fruits, choose a reliable supplier and buy overripe products because they work the best. Always freeze the fruit before using it. This will make the cells open up and intensify the flavour and aroma. You can even make it work with dried fruits, canned fruits and syrups. Just make sure they’re 100% real and fruity.

Work with seasonal fruits. This will let you experiment with something new each time. Don’t forget to always clean, pit and cut the fruit. The best time to add it to the beer is during the fermenting or boiling phase. Doing it like this will allow you to taste the beer before and after the fruit and decide on the dosage of your ingredients.

Always be careful when you combine the fruits with fermenters. There’s a chance that the fruits will block the airlock and cause an explosion. That’s why you should use a plastic bucket. The amount of fruit you add to the base depends on your personal preferences. But if you want to do calculations, around 500-1000g of the fruit goes in 3.7l of beer. There are online calculators that can help you as well.

Best Food Pairings

Fruit beers work well with many foods. They’re good with mascarpone or brie cheese, meals seasoned with herbs and spices, any light white meat, pork and duck dishes garnished with sweet elements or pickled dishes. You can also pair these beers with salads with fruity dressings and nuts and feta cheese, and any type of fruit dessert. Some people even use them to cook food such as steamed mussels. So basically, a beer with notable fruit aroma and taste will go with anything from an appetiser and the main dish to the dessert.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.