A Fruit Infused Beer Even I Can Endorse Drinking

by Justin D'Olier on June 23, 2011 | Comments Off on A Fruit Infused Beer Even I Can Endorse Drinking |

I’m not really a fruit beer guy. I’ll lap at the occasional lambic and quaff a quarterly fruit infused hefeweisen, but, in general, the closest fruit comes to my beer is a lime wedge in the neck of my Corona at a Mexican restaurant (which I remove before drinking). I love fruit and my affection for beer is well chronicled, but I can’t shake the notion that fruit and beer are a tragically mismatched pairing, like asparagus and wine or porn and waffles.

That said, once in a blue moon, a brewmaster will delve into the unholy alchemy of fruit and malt and create a subtle, restrained, nuanced and undeniably delicious fruit infused beer that makes me rethink my austere brewed-fruit-averse stance.

Samuel Smith’s Oragnic Strawberry Handcrafted Fruit Ale is once of those beers.

Samuel Smith's Organic Strawberry Ale

A tasty, refreshing, alcoholic baby.

The nose smells like fresh strawberry preserves with light toastiness, vanilla and caramel. The body is a beautiful harmony of ripe strawberries, malt, and caramel. It tastes like a red ale and a Strawberry Julius had a baby. A tasty, refreshing, alcoholic baby. The finish lingers delightfully on the palate. I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that this is what the Beatles had in mind when they wrote “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but it is brewed in England.

When you take the beer out of the fridge, the strawberry flavor dominates. As the chill wears off, the toasty malt flavors emerge, reducing the fruit to a supporting role. Depending on your preference, you can enjoy the beer with the level of fruit that best suits you. I recommend chilling initially and savoring it slowly, enjoying the beer’s journey from sweet to toasty.

I’m not ready to change my stance on fruit infused beer, but this undeniably delicious beer hybrid certainly warmed the heart of this cold fruit-beer Scrooge. God bless the folks at Samuel Smith Brewing. God bless them all, everyone.

Samuel Smith’s Oragnic Strawberry Handcrafted Fruit Ale is available at Whole Foods for $7.99 per 1 liter bottle.

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