About This Style
Fruited beer is nothing new — brewers utilized nature’s candy hundreds of years ago! Still, it’s understandable that most craft fans didn't have fruit-forward beers on their radar until the 2010s, when heavily fruited, kettle-soured brews (like Goses and Berliner Weisses) made a massive resurgence.
However, it’s the Fruited Sour (or Smoothie Sour) that’s most recently exploded across the U.S. To make them, brewers use extreme amounts of unfermented whole fruit or fruit puree. By leaving the fruit unfermented, they are essentially crafting a beer that looks and tastes like a fruit smoothie or slushy, but with alcohol.
By 2020, a growing number of U.S. breweries had a Fruited Sour in their portfolio. Some spots even specialize in the style — Drekker, Urban Artifact, The Brewing Projekt — and are wildly popular as a result.
Because — as plenty of brewers will tell you — craft fans love these smoothie-like sippers. They’re refreshing, fun, and for some, even a little nostalgic.
What does the future of Fruited Sour hold? It’s hard to say. But, with endless combinations of unique fruits and other delectable adjuncts at craft brewers’ disposal (gummy candy, marshmallows, etc.) odds are the style is here to stay!
Aroma: A Fruited Sour’s aroma is dependent on the fruit used! That said, bright nuances of the featured fruit float from its pour, often accompanied by swirls of soft vanilla.
Appearance: Any color in the rainbow is fair game! The brewers stuffed the batch with strawberries? Expect a bright, ruby red. Blackberries? Expect a dark, deep purple. You get the idea.
Flavor: The flavor is like the nose — it varies depending on the fruit used. That fruit, whatever it may be, will likely encompass a majority of the flavor, followed by a subtle creaminess, and on some occasions, a bit of lip-puckering tang. But Fruited Sours tend to have lower acidity than old-school Sour styles, like the Lambic and the Gueuze.
Mouthfeel: Thick and soft with plenty of density! Fruited Sour lovers often describe the thickest, fruitiest versions as ‘smoothie-like’.
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