In the beginning, there was IPA. And it was good. It even had a cool story to go along with it. It was brewed extra hoppy to survive the long sea voyage to reach British troops in India. And beer geeks looked on their extra hoppy (and slightly stronger) pale ale, and their fun story that went with it, and they were pleased. You could enjoy a nice hoppy beer now and then, and there were other styles of beer on the shelf when you were in the mood for something else. Then came . . . you know, everything that followed. [Read more…]
[This article is part of a series on brewing with special ingredients. The introduction covered background material and the second installment covered sugars. This installment will span two articles and cover fruits.]
If you have a garden or orchard on your property, or just live near a good farmer’s market, chances are you’ve thought about combining your love of brewing with some of nature’s bounty. In the right kind of beer, fruit can make a nice complement. Sour beers are an especially nice host for fruit flavors; but basically any kind of beer that isn’t too hoppy could be made into a fruit beer. Adding fruit to your beer, in a way that preserves the fresh fruit flavors and aromas, is straightforward. As always, understanding a little about an ingredient will help you
When most people think of fruits, they think of sweet fleshy foods, usually containing seeds, that come from trees, bushes or other plants. These include apples, stone fruits (cherries, peaches), berries (strawberries, raspberries), melons, dates and many others. The botanical definition of fruits is different, and broader, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll use the “kitchen” definition.