A few years ago, the marriage of beer and fruit was usually limited to a lime shoved into the bottle of a Mexican beer like Corona, the occasional lemon wedge on the rim of a glass of a hefeweizen or a slice of orange served with a witbier.
Now, it seems fruit is in the middle of an all-out invasion on beer. Of course, shandies and radlers (fruit juice mixes with beer) are nothing new, and fruit ales from countries like Belgium have been around for ages. But it seems the new rage is to shove all kinds of non-beer things into beer.
The most popular and well-known of these beer-esque marketing ploys is Bud Light Lime, the recently launched Coors Summer Brew and Miller’s Redd’s Apple Ale series. Bud Light has also spun off into a whole other animal with Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, Cran-Brrr-Rita and a seemingly endless number of other flavor abominations. Adolphus Busch is surely rolling in his grave.
Needless to say, big beer companies have taken notice that not everyone wants their beer to taste like beer.
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Craft brewers have joined the action recently also. The country’s largest craft brewery, Boston Beer Co., continues to produce Sam Adams beers, but has also padded its portfolio with Angry Orchard Cider, Twisted Tea and most recently, Traveler Beer’s line of shandies and fruit ales.
Despite all the saturation of fruit in beer, less overbearing takes on marrying the two still exist. Anyone can take a plain base beer and assault it with apple or cranberry flavoring, but it takes true skill and attention to brew with fruit and still maintain the backbone of what made it a beer in the first place.
Dallas’ Community Brewing has done just that with one of its newest packaged offerings, Razzy. Starting off with its popular year-round Witbier, Community adds raspberry puree during secondary fermentation. The result is a delightful pink liquid that is just as much witbier as it is raspberry beer. The dryness and spice from the witbier is a snappy compliment to the tart, sweet qualities from the raspberries. Each respects the other and the balance results in a refreshing beverage that’s perfect for scorching weather.
Razzy, along with Sundial Session IPA, also marks Community’s first foray into canning.
It’s starting to sound like a broken record: “Longtime bottle-only brewery starts putting beers in cans.” Pretty soon, no brewer will be left holding fast on the glass-only front.
Community is one of Texas’ most respected breweries, and Razzy is a solid next step for the brewery in diversifying its offerings.
Best Little Brewfest is back: In its third year, the Best Little Brewfest in Texas returns to Old Town Lewisville this Saturday. Along with the normal beer festival offerings, a classic car and motorcycle show and Texas’ only professional statewide brewer’s competition will take place. VIP opens at 1 p.m. and general admission runs 3-7 p.m. Tickets are $40-$75. http://bestlittlebrewfestintexas.com/
Bonanza in a Barrel: Also Saturday, Central Market Fort Worth will host its Barrel-Aged Bonanza, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. With more than a dozen rare (and expensive) beers to taste, this should be quite the lunch. With high-octane beers such as Deschutes Abyss and Founders Curmudgeon and food pairings with the beers, this might necessitate a nap afterward. But wouldn’t it be a glorious nap? Entry is $75. www.centralmarket.com