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Top 30 Fruit Beers

Top 30 Fruit Beers

Fruit Beers are defined by the Beer Judge Certification Program as any “beer made with fruit or any combination of fruit.”

For this list, we’ve delved into the Top 30 fruit beers our judges have reviewed in our Official Review. However, we have not limited it to just beers that are designated as “fruit beers” according to the BJCP 2015 style guidelines.

Instead, this list features any beer that features fruit as one of its primary ingredients. That means beers not necessarily regarded as fruit beers, per se, are included on this list, such as Fruit Lambics, Wild Specialty Beers as well as IPAs brewed with fruit or barrel-aged beers aged on fruit are also included.

As with any of our best-of lists, we can only include beers that our BJCP-certified judges have actually reviewed, so there will certainly be omissions of your favorite fruit beers.

If that’s the case, please don’t be shy about letting us know in the comments! Though our selection of fruit beers is limited we’re always looking for new additions to our beer review.

So read on and explore our list of the Top 30 Fruit Beers, from barrel-aged sours with pawpaw fruit to mango fruit lambics to lemon lagers and everything in between.


#30

94
Snozzberry

Green Man Brewery
Fruit Lambic

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"Earthy funk intermingles with some toasty wheat malt, and hints of oak and vanilla sneak out of the aftertaste. Tannins and acidity aid in presenting a very dry finish, and a medium-light body with effervescent carbonation adds to the puckering effect as the tannins coat the mouth. Overall, super tart, super fresh, and not-quite ripe-raspberries and cherries blend beautifully within this funky, oaky wheat beer. An ultra-refreshing delight."

- Judge Rick Franckhauser


#29

94
Currant Events

Monday Night Brewing
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The black currant really sings when paired with leather and lacto. There’s also a strong hibiscus-like, floral, earthy flavor that blends with the other flavors. Despite all of this, the beer is well-balanced without too acidic of a finish. Currant Events is a delicious, sessionable sour that clocks in at only 4.5 % ABV. Well balanced with tart fruit and funk, it should appeal to beer connoisseurs and newbies alike."

- Judge Michael Bury


#28

94
Bailey's Taproom 10th

pFriem Family Brewers
Wild Specialty Beer

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"Overall, this is quite a solid Brettanomyces-fermented beer with just a hint of woodiness that simply adds a little more complexity. Perhaps the fermentation is entirely done in wood with a healthy Brett supply. What really makes this beer worth seeking out is how different it is from the more common wild fermented beers these days that tend to be exceptionally sour or tart with little else. Instead, this expresses all the great flavor that Brett can produce without taking away from the subtlety of the malt. I highly recommend trying this if you are looking for something that stands out without relying on gimmicky hops or malts."

- Judge John C. Tull


#27

94
White Angel

Wicked Weed Brewing
Wild Specialty Beer

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"What happens when a dry white wine is fused with a wild ale? Apparently, this beer happens. Muscat grape notes waft from the glass, along with tinges of citrus, kiwi, light acidity and mild Brettanomyces barnyard nuances. Although not immensely complex, this vinous brew with a light/medium body comes across as delicious, quenching and entirely fascinating."

- Judge Owen Ogletree


#26

94
Dryades

NOLA Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The flavor showcases a high level of clean, lactic sourness and is balanced well by sweet, bready malt resulting in a pleasant sweet-and-sour experience. The beer finishes lightly bitter with a lingering sweet-and-sour character and a generous helpings of plums, prunes, and cherries.This wild beer is expertly crafted. The well executed Oud Bruin base style is complemented well by the additions of plums and cherries. The sweet-and-sour character is very enjoyable and allows the wild character to showcase without an aggressive acidity."

- Judge Michael Heniff


#25

94
Pinot Fresa

Angel City Brewery
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The Brettanomyces is a bit lighter in the flavor and quite complementary.  A light red wine character develops in the aftertaste. The complex fruit, sourness and wild yeast combine to create a complex and quite enjoyable barrel aged beer. Pinot Fresa is a well-brewed barrel-aged fruit beer. Perhaps a slight taming of the lactic sourness would create a more balanced beer, but only slightly. Quite refreshing and one that should not be passed up."

- Judge Randy Scorby


#24

94
Modern Tart

Upland Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The body is light, and highly carbonated, remaining true to style. I was expecting a bigger body and mouthfeel from the added lactose. No alcoholic warmth here presuming this beer has a low ABV, and the puckery aspect is kept low while still enhancing the dryness in the finish. The lightness in flavor and body make this beer a pleasure to drink. The moderately fruitiness gives it dimension. I believe this would be a great intro beer for the non-sour ale fans, or those looking for a gateway to sour styles. The funk is kept to a minimum while the fruity aspect adds drinkability."

- Judge Dan Martich


#23

94
Two Pitchers Radler

Two Pitchers Brewing Co.
Fruit Beer

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"In the flavor, I'm first hit by a pithy and pleasantly tart, mouthwatering slice of grapefruit and big, juicy, almost fully ripe strawberry elements. With lots of pleasing mouthfeel characteristics, this radler is refreshing and crisp with a nice, dry finish. The high carbonation slices through the full, creamy body, striking a pleasant balance between slightly sweet and highly sessionable."

- Judge Tracy Hensley


#22

94
Old Fezziwig Ale

The Boston Beer Co.
Fruit and Spice Beer

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"The flavor is a four-part harmony of dark caramel, chocolate, spice and roasted malts. A pleasant hint of molasses and smoke peek through just before the long roast and caramel finish. This beer is perfectly balanced with subtle complexity, and is not a big, boozy, overly spiced winter warmer, but rather it beckons you to relax by the fireplace and contemplate the season. Excuse me while I go pour another."

- Judge Rick Franckhauser


#21

94
Watermelon Dorado

Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Fruit Double IPA

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"Moderately high hop bitterness leads into a very dry and crisp finish that leaves melon-like and floral flavors lingering for a long time. The beer creates a melange of flavors that really work well together. This beer is nicely balanced – the malt is there, and the hops just blossom out beautifully. This beer would complement a fruit and cheese platter that features some milky, creamy and mild cheeses – along with a cluster of on-the-vine raisins."

- Judge Nelson Crowle


#20

95
Luau Krunkles

Terrapin Beer Co.
Fruit IPA

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"The fruits really cancel out the malt character of this beer and make it undetectable. The aftertaste is reminiscent of a Dole Tropical Fruit cocktail and is quite fun. Medium body with moderate carbonation and a very slight alcohol warmth compose the beer's mouthfeel. Overall, this is an interesting take on an IPA making it tropical and juicy through the use of fruit as opposed to purely hops. I found this beer quite enjoyable though the malt and fermentation characters get lost behind the use of fruit. I would definitely recommend this beer and purchase it if I saw it in a bar or store."

- Judge Sal Mortillaro II


#19

95
Cherry

Upland Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"A hazy pink effervescent circus fills the glass with a pink tinted white crown floating on top. It starts sweet tart and goes bone dry on the finish. A background flavor suggesting flaky cherry pie crust softens the tartness while the oak tannins and flavors – especially vanilla - add richness and dimension. Few people have handled Northern Michigan cherries as well as this brewer."

- Judge Pat Mulloy


#18

95
Grapefruit Shandy

SanTan Brewing Co.
Fruit Beer

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"The flavor features a balanced bready malt aroma and a blast of fresh grapefruit. There is a pleasant residual sweetness that appropriately dries out in the finish with the help of a smooth, tart acidity from the fruit. Even if you are not a fan of fruit beer styles, don’t pass this one up on a warm spring or summer day as this is a very refreshing beer that is certain to please a wide variety of palates."

- Judge Randy Scorby


#17

95
Pawpaw

Upland Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The flavor mirrors the aroma quite well, with pineapple, raw kiwi and a melange of juicy fruit type flavors bathing the palate. The middle and finish is moderately sour and never becomes overwhelming, complementing the fruity flavors quite well. The finish is quite dry, with the moderate sourness cleansing the palate quite well to prepare you for the next sip. The body is medium. Pawpaw is among the best of Upland’s fine offerings in the Sour Beer program. The overall balance between flavor and sourness is quite exceptional."

- Judge Joseph Formanek


#16

95
Apricot Orchard Brett Golden Ale

The Virginia Beer Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The brewer adds just enough fruit to complement and not overwhelm the yeast. Ripe to overripe Brett-produced fruit flavors (berry, citrus and pineapple) and added fruit flavors (stone fruit) play off and enhance one another giving the beer a delightful complexity. A light and very airy yet creamy texture massages the mouth and gives the flavors an added dimension. The result is an elegant, well balanced beer you can drink for both its texture and flavor."

- Judge Pat Mulloy


#15

95
Grapefruit Sculpin

Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Fruit IPA

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"The flavor brings out both grapefruit pulp (like biting into a ruby-red grapefruit segment with the membrane still attached) and pithy grapefruit zest from the skin, which plays very nicely with the grapefruit and tangerine hop characters along with some spicy black pepper notes in the background. A very clean fermentation and low yeast notes make for a fairly bitter and dry finish. Crisp and smooth, this was an extremely enjoyable beer. This beer would pair well with bacon, sausage or Eggs Benedict – it's a great breakfast beer!"

- Judge Nelson Crowle


#14

95
Beatitude Mango

Council Brewing Co.
Fruit Lambic

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"This could easily have been a breakfast mimosa (orange juice and champagne), and actually exemplifies the Fruit Lambic style. I can picture this beer being fermented in open fermenters with cobwebs on the ceiling and windows left wide open, letting the microflora circulate within the room. Simply wonderful!"

- Judge Richard Wong


#13

95
Nectarine Golden Ale

pFriem Family Brewers
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The flavor has mild nectarine fruit flavor and fruit or malt sweetness backed with a refreshingly tart flavor mid-palate and finish from the yeast and wood aging. Just a little bit of oak/wood character can be tasted, and it becomes more noticeable as it warms. All told, this is a wonderful beer that expresses nectarine in subtle, but enjoyable ways, on top of a mildly sour and tart, slightly wild fermentation. For me, this beer provides enough variation – without being overly dominant in any way – to keep me interested in the next quaff, and that is a wonderful quality to find in a beer."

- Judge John C. Tull


#12

95
Oak & White

Upland Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"This beer's flavor has distinct yet light oak character--primarily tannin--and is moderately sour. It has a buttery taste and texture, again like white wine. The finish is dry but retains the buttery fullness. Carbonation is moderately high, but feels lower due to the fuller texture. Hops are nowhere to be found in this beer, but it doesn't need them. Overall, this beer's vinous quality makes it analogous to a white grape version of a Flanders Red Ale. An excellent sour ale."

- Judge Jim Koebel


#11

95
The Discreet Charm of the Framboisie

Brooklyn Brewery
Fruit Lambic

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"It exploded on my taste buds with a refined mixture of light fruit, intense oak and sourness. Typical to the style, there was no hop flavor and very little perceived hop bitterness. The beer featured a long, very dry finish, with the high level of carbonation and oak/earth character providing a pleasant, lasting impression. This is a very difficult style to commercially brew, and this beer represents an outstanding example of a Framboise, and one that's not to be missed."

- Judge Rodney A. Tillinghast


#10

95
Entwined

Upland Brewing Co.

Mixed-Style Beer

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"The overall tartness is moderate, but in good balance with the flavor intensity of the brew. There is a moderate level of carbonation and a dry finish.  The aftertaste while being dry does retain a considerable level of malt and tart character. This is a very rich and complex brew that is quite enjoyable and approachable. My only quibble would be that the wood character is extremely subtle for a barrel aged beer in this category. However, that should not dissuade you from searching out and trying this brew for yourself."

- Judge Joseph Formanek


#9

95
Atrical Rubicite

Jester King Brewery
Fruit Lambic

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"The flavor is intensely sour with some grapefruit and a lot of aspirin character. The raspberry fruit is still detectable and provides a very slight fruit flavor along with the perception of raspberry tartness. The mouthfeel of this beer is defined by the puckering sourness that carries well into the finish – and beyond. Enough carbonation is there, despite appearances, to provide some carbonic astringency as an added dimension. Overall, this is an excellent fruit lambic on par with some of the best fruit lambics from the Senne Valley in Belgium. If that is your thing, you would be remiss to pass up this excellent, American-brewed example."

- Judge John C. Tull


#8

96
Expletus

Avery Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"Flavors start as warm tart apple galette, with a finish of tart green apples and fresh, ripe cherry, vanilla-spiced cobbler. The mouthwatering flavors linger and evolve over time. A mouth-coating body with a tingling acidity brightens up the mouthfeel as it crosses the palate. This is a fantastic sipping beer -- both complex and challenging. Perfect for cutting heavier foods or enjoying on its own."

- Judge Tracy Hensley


#7

96
Meyer Lemon Lager

Anchor Brewing Co.
Fruit Beer

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"This lager starts with melted Creamsicle aromas supported by clean frothy milk, low Mexican vanilla and sour lemon candy.  After a minute, freshly made crepes and an earthy fern character appears. The beer is a clear straw color with fine consistent carbonation creating a low, white, filmy head. The flavor starts as creamy wheat cereal, crisp mouthwatering homemade lemonade and lemon saltwater taffy that's neither cloying nor sweet. Easy to drink yet interesting enough to go back for a second pint."

- Judge Tracy Hensley


#6

96
Four Seasons Spring '17

Mother Earth Brew Co.
Fruit Beer

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"This is a very pleasant beer with a fairly even balance between all of the components, with the kumquats kicking out an enjoyable citrus character. This beer may be promoted as a spring ale but can certainly be enjoyed year-round. The flavor follows aroma with a bump up in orange character and slight reduction in the black pepper, with a bready, crackery maltiness keeping pace. A moderate hop bitterness emerges mid-palate and lingers through light residual sweetness to help create a pleasant dryness in the finish.  This is a very pleasant beer with a fairly even balance between all of the components, with the kumquats kicking out an enjoyable citrus character. This beer may be promoted as a spring ale but can certainly be enjoyed year-round."

- Judge Randy Scorby


#5

96
Fruitage

Brouwerij Rodenbach
Wild Specialty Beer

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"The flavor profile manifests a quintessential balance of  fruity character and tartness along with oaky notes while the malt remains complementary. The body is thin and leads into a dry finish while alcohol is present at subdued levels which enhances the refreshing quality of this effort. A truly one-of-a-kind, easy-drinking sour that delivers a complexity of flavors and aromas without the use of higher alcohol levels."

- Judge James Link


#4

96
Sonoma Tart

Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Wild Specialty Beer

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"Sonoma Tart is a very well balanced and enjoyable sour fruit beer. All too often this style can end up as a fruit drink, but the fruit is very well integrated into the base beer. The lactic sourness is complementary and does not dominate. Very refreshing, this beer would be a good one to seek out in the warmer months."

- Judge Randy Scorby


#3

97
Brewery Lane Series: Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout

Breckenridge Brewery
Specialty Fruit Beer

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"The rich and complex character of this beer cannot be understated, nor can the impressive balance that has been achieved. The finish has some alcohol warmth that complements the creaminess of the dark malts and residual sweetness. The level of carbonation is good, contributing to the overall balance of this beer. This beer is clearly a work of brewing art! Need I say more?"

- Judge John C. Tull


#2

99
Hanssens Oude Kriek

Hanssens Artisanaal
Fruit Lambic

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"Hanssens has been producing some of the most widely acclaimed lambic, especially kriek and gueuze, in recent memory. This is undoubtedly an epic brew that any self-respecting beer connoisseur should take great pains to acquire and – if possible – lay down for a while. It will be well worth the wait."

- Judged by BC Review


#1

99
Frambozen

pFriem Family Brewers
Fruit Lambic

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"Beyond the fruit, which is by no means overbearing, some interesting wild yeast funk can be found that has a lot more going on than your basic Brettanomyces strain. Acidity comes through in the finish, but those wonderful wild flavors combined with a fruity tartness in the midpoint are what drives the excitement that this beer brings to my palate. All told, this is an amazing beer that has no problem expressing the raspberry fruit along with the wild side of yeast that makes for an incredible explosion of flavors and aromas. Do you like anything sour? How about fruit? Or are you not sure? If you said yes on any of those, find this beer and give it a try. This one is a world class fruit lambic!"

- Judge John C. Tull


 

Comments

HOWIE's picture
How did Old Fezziwig get in with no fruit additions and there was no mention of fruit added to The Scupper?
Editorial Dept.'s picture
Hi HOWIE, Old Fezziwig qualifies due to being brewed with orange peel. While the spices certainly take center stage, Fruit and Spice beers qualify for this list. Good catch on The Scupper, that one was in the wrong category. A suitable replacement has been added. Thanks for reading!

Comments

HOWIE's picture
How did Old Fezziwig get in with no fruit additions and there was no mention of fruit added to The Scupper?
Editorial Dept.'s picture
Hi HOWIE, Old Fezziwig qualifies due to being brewed with orange peel. While the spices certainly take center stage, Fruit and Spice beers qualify for this list. Good catch on The Scupper, that one was in the wrong category. A suitable replacement has been added. Thanks for reading!

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