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Brew Crew’s top picks for best summer craft beers

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 (FoxNews.com)

Craft beer brewed with fruit has been around since the early days of the craft beer explosion. But this summer brewers are taking fruity flavors to sophisticated heights with unique spice additions, extra hops and other surprises. 

Summertime is usually associated with lighter, fruitier ales and we found plenty of fruity brews we just had to try. 

Not a bitter beer fan? These sweeter, crisp, fruit-forward beers may just change your mind.

Two Roads Road Jam Raspberry Wheat

This wheat beer has the aroma of opening a fresh jar of jam. It’s a little tart with your first sip, but then melts into a lovely pink cotton candy flavor. The beer is brewed with real berries and we think Two Roads captured the balanced taste you can expect from raspberries-- they're both sour and sweet.

Anchor Mango Wheat

As the bubbles hit your nose, this beer smells like ripe apricots.  The first sip is bright and sweet. It’s easy to drink and has a smooth mouth-feel. You will definitely taste the mango in this beer.  It finishes sweet and crisp. We think this beer would go great with some slightly sweet barbecue.

SweetWater Goin' Coastal Pineapple IPA

Nothing smells better than a fresh pineapple in summer, except maybe the piney scent of an IPA. SweetWater gives you both with this bold yet sweet brew. The flavor is incredibly balanced. It’s sweet, tart, bitter, and bold; it hits all the bells and whistles-- and you can't miss the distinct taste of pineapple.  It’s surprisingly light for an IPA.

Green Flash Tangerine Soul Style IPA

This may sound bad, but this beer smells a little bit like organic cleaner. It’s not a bad thing… just stay with us.  Soul Style is one of the hoppiest beers we tried with notes of bright citrus zest. It’s sweet, but has a bold bitter finish.  If you like orange then this beer is for you.

21st Amendment Brewery Hell or High Watermelon

Nothing says summer quite like fresh watermelon and this beer nails it. It was a little hard to believe 21st Amendment brewed this beer with real watermelon because it tastes more like Sour Patch Watermelon candy.  We aren’t complaining, though, because it tastes good. It’s light and crisp with just the right amount of sweetness. Be careful or you could easily drink a whole six-pack in one sitting.

Cascade Blueberry Sour Ale (2014)

This, by far, was the most unique beer of the bunch. Upon opening, it smelled like we just uncorked a nice bottle of wine. We felt like we needed to give it a minute to breathe and really open up. The first sip was sour and a little bit smokey. It has a surprisingly woody flavor as well. Think of this beer as a deeper, more sophisticated blueberry kombucha.

Elysian Brewing Company Superfuzz

Looking for an easy sipping crowd pleaser? Superfuzz is your best bet. It’s light, sweet, slightly bready, and full of citrus making it easy to drink from cocktail hour to dinner's end. 

Meyer Lemon Lager

Enjoy this beer with a plate of fresh oysters. It’s the perfect pairing for raw shellfish. The lager smells like brown sugar and pear and the first sip is crisp and refreshing. Meyer lemons are sweeter than most and this beer capitalizes on that uniquely tart and tangy sweetness. 

Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat

Shock Top is known for its approachable (read: non-beer drinkers become instant converts after trying a Shock Top) wheat ales and this brew is no exception. It smells like apple candy and tastes like a cider beer cocktail.  Honeycrisp Apple is a perfect brew for late summer sipping-- and this particular fruit flavor makes it a great choice going into fall, too. 

Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker

Is that bubblegum I smell? Yup. This beer has a decisively sweet aroma but don't let the top notes fool you. The flavor is light and tart with a sweet finish but beyond the bubblegum there are hints of tropical passion fruit. One sip of this lush beer and you'll be transported to a tropical paradise.

 

Erik Berte, Thomas Cocho, William McNamara, Rebecca Simon, Nicolette Kearney, and Joseph Frye contributed to this article.