Adding Fruit to Beer

Posted by BeerMaven | Beer | Posted on April 10th

Have you ever been served a wheat beer with a slice of orange atop the glass, or an ice cold Corona with a piece of lime stuffed into the neck of the bottle? Serving beer with fruit in it has ignited a controversy; with beer enthusiasts lining up on both sides of the fence. One side argues that a slice of fruit enhances the flavor of your beer while the other argues that the flavor is masked by the intruding fruit. What does it say about a beer though if you need to add a piece of fruit to the beer in order to enjoy it?

My curiosity got the better of me the other day, and I did a Google search for putting fruit in beer online. The search received 4.7 million results; many of which were message boards that consisted of some sort of debate on the topic. The most popular “fruit slice” beers tend to be Belgian witbiers, which already have an element of citrus to their flavors; so, ready to put this argument to rest once and for all, I decided to try one of my favorite wheat beers with a slice of orange and without it— just to see what I thought.

I chose a microbrew that I enjoy on its own without the help of any fruit simply to see if the fruit would enhance or ruin my experience and what I found was that I enjoyed the beer both times, but I really enjoyed the beer better without the orange intrusion. To me, it seems that instead of adding something to the existing flavor of the beer, all I get are the flavors of the beer inside of an outer shell of fruit flavor that overpowers the entire experience. I began to lean to the side of those who feel that adding fruit to beer is a violation of the great Beer Commandments, but I decided to see if adding fruit to a lower quality beer could change my drinking experience. After all, the fruit seems to overpower the beer, so perhaps fruit could actually help a beer— if help is really needed.

The beer I chose was Corona, served with and without lime and salt. I found that I really did like the beer much better with the additions, but even with the fruit, I would much prefer my typical wheat beer microbrew to a Corona any day of the week. I guess what I found out in my experiment was that fruit can both ruin a good beer and save a bad one. If you really need the fruit to be able to stomach the beer though, you may want to look at joining a beer of the month club so that you can find a better beer.

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