Style Details

Fruit and Spi­ce Beer
Fruit Beer
BJCP Style Code
29 B
Appearance should be appro­pria­te for the declared base beer and declared fruit and spi­ces. For ligh­ter-colo­red beers with fruits or spi­ces that exhi­bit distinc­ti­ve colors, the color should be noti­ceable. Note that the color of fruit in beer is often ligh­ter than the fle­sh of the fruit its­elf and may take on slight­ly dif­fe­rent shades. May have some haze or be clear, alt­hough haze is a gene­ral­ly unde­si­ra­ble. The head may take on some of the color of the fruit or spice.
The distinc­ti­ve aro­ma­tics asso­cia­ted with the declared fruit and spi­ces should be noti­ceable in the aro­ma; howe­ver, note that some fruit (e.g., raspber­ries, cher­ries) and some spi­ces (e.g., cin­na­mon, gin­ger) have stron­ger aro­mas and are more distinc­ti­ve than others (e.g., blueber­ries, straw­ber­ries) – allow for a ran­ge of fruit and spi­ce cha­rac­ter and inten­si­ty from subt­le to aggres­si­ve. The addi­tio­nal aro­ma­tics should blend well with wha­te­ver aro­ma­tics are appro­pria­te for the declared base beer style. The hop aro­ma may be absent or balan­ced, depen­ding on the declared base style.
As with aro­ma, the distinc­ti­ve fla­vor cha­rac­ter asso­cia­ted with the declared fruits and spi­ces should be noti­ceable, and may ran­ge in inten­si­ty from subt­le to aggres­si­ve. The balan­ce of fruit and spi­ces with the under­ly­ing beer is vital, and the fruit cha­rac­ter should not be so arti­fi­ci­al and/or inap­pro­pria­te­ly over­powe­ring as to sug­gest a spi­ced fruit juice drink. Hop bit­ter­ness, fla­vor, malt fla­vors, alco­hol con­tent, and fer­men­ta­ti­on by-pro­ducts, such as esters, should be appro­pria­te to the base beer and be har­mo­nious and balan­ced with the distinc­ti­ve fruit and spi­ce fla­vors pre­sent. Remem­ber that fruit gene­ral­ly add fla­vor not sweet­ness. The sugar found in fruit is usual­ly ful­ly fer­men­ted and con­tri­bu­tes to ligh­ter fla­vors and a drier finish than might be expec­ted for the declared base style. Howe­ver, resi­du­al sweet­ness is not neces­s­a­ri­ly a nega­ti­ve cha­rac­te­ristic unless it has a raw, unfer­men­ted qua­li­ty. Some SHV(s) are inher­ent­ly bit­ter and may result in a beer more bit­ter than the declared base style.
Mouth­feel may vary depen­ding on the base beer sel­ec­ted and as appro­pria­te to that base beer. Body and car­bo­na­ti­on levels should be appro­pria­te to the declared base beer style. Fruit gene­ral­ly adds fer­men­ta­bles that tend to thin out the beer; the resul­ting beer may seem ligh­ter than expec­ted for the declared base style. Some SHV(s) may add addi­tio­nal body, alt­hough fer­men­ta­ble addi­ti­ons may thin out the beer. Some SHV(s) may add a bit of astrin­gen­cy, alt­hough a “raw” spi­ce cha­rac­ter is undesirable.
Over­all Impression
A har­mo­nious mar­ria­ge of fruit, spi­ce, and beer, but still reco­gnizable as a beer. The fruit and spi­ce cha­rac­ter should each be evi­dent but in balan­ce with the beer, not so for­ward as to sug­gest an arti­fi­ci­al product.
Over­all balan­ce is the key to pre­sen­ting a well-made fruit and spi­ce beer. The fruit and spi­ce should each com­ple­ment the ori­gi­nal style and not over­whelm it. The key attri­bu­tes of the under­ly­ing style will be dif­fe­rent with the addi­ti­on of fruit and spi­ce; do not expect the base beer to tas­te the same as the unadul­tera­ted ver­si­on. Judge the beer based on the plea­sant­ness and balan­ce of the resul­ting com­bi­na­ti­on. The bre­wer should reco­gni­ze that some com­bi­na­ti­ons of base beer styl­es and fruits/spices work well tog­e­ther while others do not make for har­mo­nious com­bi­na­ti­ons. When­ever fruits, spi­ces, herbs or vege­ta­bles are declared, each should be noti­ceable and distinc­ti­ve in its own way (alt­hough not neces­s­a­ri­ly indi­vi­du­al­ly iden­ti­fia­ble; balan­ced with the other ingre­di­ents is still cri­ti­cal) – in other words, the beer should read as a spi­ced fruit beer but wit­hout having to tell that spe­ci­fic fruits and spi­ces are pre­sent (even if declared).
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
0.000 - 0.000 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
0.000 - 0.000 SG
0 - 0 SRM
0.0 - 0.0 %vol
0 - 0 IBU