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Malt and Fruit

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine


Malt and Fruit

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
Alcohol beverages made from fruit and malt include fruit beers, and more loosely refer to fruit-flavored malt liquor beverages such as Mike's Hard Lemonade or varieties of Smirnoff Ice. The oldest and most regarded use of fruit and malted grain in making Alcohol beverages is in the making of certain varieties of lambic, a Belgian wheat beer produced by spontaneous fermentation which occurs when the beer is exposed to the naturally occurring yeasts in the area.

Fruit is usually added to beer in three different ways: the addition of a fruit extract, the addition of crushed fruit to a beer that has almost finished fermenting, or the addition of fruit to the wort after the boiling process so that the fruit and beer ferment simultaneously. In the case of lambics, fruit is usually added after the beer has undergone an initial fermentation, and the sugars in the fruit ferment during a secondary fermentation phase.

The most common fruit adjuncts to lambics include raspberry (framboise), cherry (kriek), peach (peche), blackcurrant (cassis), and apple (pomme). Strawberries, bananas, plums, apricots and blueberries are among the other fruits used to flavor lambic beers. Lindeman's is the best-known purveyor of fruit lambics in the U.S., with Lindeman's Framboise being the most widely available variety.

The Yanjing Beer brewery, one of the largest breweries is China and one of the most prominent makers of fruit beer, offers pineapple and lemon beers. Fruit beers have reached a new level of popularity in the U.S., and are produced by both craft and large breweries in an amazing variety of flavors. American fruit beers are often made using a wheat beer base, although usually using a smaller percentage of wheat than the Belgian beers. Also, American breweries tend toward the use of fruit extracts and concentrates rather than fresh fruit because of the lower cost and greater simplicity. Breweries in the U.S. producing fruit beers include Leinenkugel, which makes Summer Shandy and Berry Weiss, Shiner which makes Ruby Red, a beer flavored with ginger and grapefruit juice, and of course Budweiser, which introduced Bud Light Lime in 2008.

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