Come on, admit it. You used to think “fruity” beers were for girls, right? As a former bartender, I heard that argument against the style more times than I could count. And yes, there were some awful ones out there.
But in the city that never stops brewing, our exceptionally talented brewmasters are turning out fruit-driven beers that are mouthwatering, thirst-quenching, and perfectly suited for our year-round paradise.
So put down your manly mantle for a minute and put your lips to these delicious fruit kisses:
Take me to the tropics
Ladies of Societe Guavarian Hefe, Monkey Paw Brewing Co.: The guava is a power fruit with a variety of health benefits. Keep it nutritious and delicious with this Bavarian-style Hefeweizen made with lovely pink guavas. 6.30 percent ABV.
Pineapple Sculpin (7 percent), Watermelon Dorado (10 percent), Mango Even Keel (3.8 percent), Ballast Point Brewing: The San Diego veteran unleashes a cornucopia of fruity delights in preparation for spring and summer. Their classic Sculpin also comes in a grapefruit variety, while watermelon refreshes the double IPA, and their all-day session gets a tropical mango twist.
Beatitude Mango Tart Saison, Council Brewing: Using real mangoes (no extracts here), this low-alcohol treat (4.5 prcent ABV) uses a mixed yeast fermentation of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
Romeo & Julius, Pure Project: Fan of Creamsicles and orange cream sodas? Try this brewed tribute to our vintage loves, made with local, organic Valencia oranges and organic vanilla beans sourced from Madagascar. 5.8 percent ABV.
Evangeline, Pure Project: This German style Gose is salty, sour and vibrant. Brewed with organic California grapefruit and pink Himalayan sea salt from local San Diego salt farms. I wonder: Is the beer a tribute to the song by The Band, Jerry Garcia Band, or Bad Religion? 5 percent ABV.
Ruby, Toolbox: Grapefruit is all the rage in both craft beer and cocktails in San Diego, and Toolbox gives it a special twist. Brewed with local, organic Ruby Red grapefruit, young Fiji ginger and dry-hopped with Mosaic, the Ruby is also barrel-aged. 6.5 percent ABV.
Berries & cherries
Top of the Hill, Monkey Paw Brewing: For those looking for their fruit on the dark side of things, try this imperial smoked porter with blueberries. 7 percent ABV.
Beatitude Cherry Tart Saison, Council Brewing: In a similar vein to their Beatitude Mango Tart Saison, this wild beer uses Balaton cherries (a tart/sour variety named for a lake in native Hungary) and the same fermentation mix of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus. Those who love Belgian krieks should try this. 4.5 percent ABV.
Bog Sauce, Toolbox: No need to go north to Oregon or Washington for your fresh cranberry fix. One of my favorite styles for spring and summer is this Berliner Weisse brewed with juicy raspberries and tart cranberries, 4.5 percent ABV.
Takin’ it to trees
Ficus, Mike Hess Brewing: Love Fig Newtons, dubbels, and quads (the beer, not the muscle)? This yummy Belgian dark ale is everything you are looking for, with 10 pounds of organic Brown Turtle figs per barrel. 8.3 percent ABV.
Apropos, Toolbox: A perfect substitute for your Sunday mimosa or peach bellini, this bright and refreshing Berliner Weisse brewed with apricots is only 4.5 percent ABV and makes you think of Apricot and her pet bunny Hopsalot (you ladies know what I’m talking about).
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.