Fruit-flavored beers have been much maligned by men the world over for being, well, of questionable masculinity. But these weeks between the brutal summer and much-awaited fall are the perfect time to try beers that are as flavorful as they are refreshing. Below are four carefully researched fruit beers that have real body, color, and flavor and will prime your palette for autumn’s heavier fare. You may not be toting them to Monday Night Football, but they’re worth your time at any cookout or dinner party as this summer winds down.
Dogfish Head Festina Peche (4.5% ABV)
As if being a member of the esteemed Dogfish family weren’t enough, this dry and bubbly peach-flavored brew shines as the perfect . More tangy than sweet, it’s bright and refreshing on its own or as an accessory to lighter dishes like grilled fish. Enjoy it at it’s best, while the days are still steamy.
Sweetwater Blue (4.9% ABV)
This golden southern ale is the perfect marriage of berries and beer. The blueberry does what it needs to do and gets out of the way, giving you a subtle aroma of natural fruit that doesn’t overpower the beer itself. A bit heavier than the Festina Peche, Sweetwater Blue will satisfy well into early fall when the days are warm, but the evenings are crisp.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry (5.2% ABV)
This may be the sweetest of the fruit beers we sampled, but seeing as it comes in a hardy brown British pint bottle and it’s a Samuel Smith, well, no one is going to take you to task on this one. This beer represents the best of the bipolar nature of strawberries, being both decadently sweet and deliciously tart. The flavor gets richer as it warms, and it’s more manageable in smaller portions as a dessert beverage.
Terrapin’s Side Project Pumpkinfest (6.1% APV)
Can’t wait for Oktoberfest? This beer is the perfect segue into that greatest of beer seasons. Not a fan of pumpkin? You’re in luck. Pumpkinfest is more spice than anything, giving you just a hint of the autumnal fruit alongside the sentimental aroma of cloves and allspice. It’s light enough to enjoy now, but will also be a delicious accompaniment to any grill, roast or stew in the coming months.
Photography by Becka Blackburn