BEERISTA

The Irish Times Magazine - - DRINK -

While the Bel­gians have long used fruit in mak­ing beers, it is a rel­a­tively re­cent devel­op­ment ev­ery­where else. Ac­cord­ing to writer Jeff Al­worth in The Beer Bible, “in the po­lite world of pro­fes­sional Amer­i­can brew­ing” it was con­sid­ered a vul­gar­ity to men­tion adding fruit, veg­eta­bles or other in­gre­di­ents – or ad­juncts as they’re known – to beer.

That’s all changed now with craft brew­ers adding any­thing and every­thing from tomato ketchup, for­aged herbs and unicorn tears to beers. As for fruit, it can play many dif­fer­ent roles in beer – from adding or ac­cen­tu­at­ing aroma, flavour, sweet­ness and bit­ter­ness to chang­ing the colour.

Brew­eries of­ten make a point of us­ing lo­cal, sea­sonal pro­duce to tie in with their own sea­sonal of­fer­ings, such as Kin­negar’s use of lo­cal Done­gal goose­ber­ries in its Geuze­berry ket­tle sour, or Yel­lowBelly’s ad­di­tion of Wex­ford black­cur­rants in its re­cent Kot­busser ket­tle sour col­lab­o­ra­tion with Brew­dog, which had a dis­tinctly light- pink hue. Of­ten trop­i­cal fruits are used to ac­cen­tu­ate flavours of hops that have sim­i­lar trop­i­cal fruit aro­mas, such as in Wild Beer’s Pogo pale ale. Th­ese are added in the form of ex­tract or juice, pulp and/ or skin and put into the tank at the end of fer­men­ta­tion to max­imise their flavour con­tri­bu­tion to a beer. Based in Som­er­set, Wild Beer has re­cently landed on th­ese shores and it is par­tic­u­larly good at blend­ing in­ter­est­ing nat­u­ral flavours. Pogo is a 4.1 per cent, easy drink­ing pale ale for a sunny day, with heaps of pas­sion fruit, or­ange and guava flavour and with a good round­ing bit­ter­ness. Lin­de­mans Fram­boise is a lam­bic, which is an an­cient Belgian sour beer made through a process of wild fer­men­ta­tion. Made with rasp­berry juice it pours a dark pink colour with a touch of light pink in the frothy head. You’ll get a del­i­cate rasp­berry aroma with a nice in­ter­play of sweet and sour in the flavour to fin­ish at a very re­fresh­ing 2.5 per cent. @ ITbeerista beerista@ irish­times. com

SORCHA HAMIL­TON

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