Fruit Beers are Not Just for Chicks

Monday, October 31, 2005

"Feh!" cry my friends who are only remotely (as in Pluto is remote from the sun) in touch with their feminine sides. "Fruit beers are for chicks and guys afraid of real beer!"

These are the same guys who classify Miller Genuine Draft as "great beer." It is beer, but I don't know about great.

I must admit, I am normally not a fan of fruit beers, especially given that many of them use a fruit concentrate, and quite a bit of it, instead of real fruit. It makes them sort of artificial. It tastes like drinking beer with a fruit roll-up in your mouth at the same time. I normally love Sam Adams and anything they put out, but I do believe their cherry wheat falls into this category.

So I'm at my favorite beer store (where they have, at last count, 645 beers in stock), and I see Dogfish Head Brewery's Aprihop beer. Anyway, this beer boasted that it was an IPA, brewed using real apricots. Everything else I've had from Dogfish Head has been really solid, so what the heck. As it turns out, this was no ordinary fruit beer.

It poured copper, slightly cloudy, with a slim head that dissipated and left some decent lacing. Smelled of bready yeast and you guessed it..apricots! It also had all of the scents you'd normally expect from an IPA; floral hops, sweetness, slight bready scent. Kind of like the Samuel Smith's India Ale I rated some time ago.

Again, I was worried that the fruity taste would be overpowering, but this was not at all the case. In fact, this tasted very much like a well-balanced IPA, great strong floral hops balanced by sweet malt, but with just a tiny hint of apricot. It's like drinking a beer after eating an apricot. The flavor isn't wahsed away by the beer. I wonder if some of the hoppiness was balanced not so much by malt, but a little by the apricots themselves? I thought it had a bit of an alcohol finish.

Good mouthfeel, nothing lingering, definitely not thin. Just solid.

Aprihop is very drinkable. I'll get this again, and take back everything bad I ever said about anyone who drank any kind of fruit beer. In this case, I was proven worng, and soooooo happy I was.


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