Is That a Pineapple in Your Beer?

by Jim Lundstrom

When I saw this big, beautiful bomber sitting on a shelf, there was no question about what I would be enjoying that evening – ChocoFrut Pina from 5 Rabbits Cervecerea of Bedford Park, Ill. Thought it might pair well with some Pineapple Durban that came my way.
Chocofruit is a beer series featuring a “melding of luscious, chocolatey dark-roasted malts and the bright flavors of real fruit,” in this case, the wackiest of fruits – the tropical, well-armored pineapple. It’s like the armadillo of fruits. It’s one of those weird things like oysters or chicken-and-white sauce pizzas where you wonder what possessed the first person to try it. It almost seems like something done on a dare.

But once inside the daunting package, surprise! A sweet golden treat awaits those who persevere.
So, of course I looked forward to the melding of pineapple puree with a big chocolatey 7.1 percent stout.
It pours picture perfect – dark as blackstrap molasses with a bold, tawny head riding high. I have to believe it’s the sweet pineapple pumping that head up into a pompadour of tight bubbly activity. Well,the big head effect didn’t last that long. It tamed down quickly into a solid twany rim encircling the glass, with a few isolated foamy islands clinging to the sides.

I keep sticking my big snout into the recommended tulip glass, and while there is a fruitiness to the aroma, I don’t think I could identify it as pineapple in a blind smelling. In fact, I get more of a raisiny smell. Yes, definitely, raisin pie. A dollop of whipped cream would not be out of place.
The taste is big chocolate stout, with the tart pinching tang of pineapple on the back end. But, again, if this were a blind tasting, I would probably guess a half-dozen other fruits before pineapple. There is an undeniable fruitiness that prickles the palate through the otherwise heavy, viscous stout.

But, you know what? I dip into the previously mentioned hybrid and suddenly ChocoFrut Pina is pineapple dominant in both flavor and aroma. Amazing! A highly recommended pairing!

B’gosh, I think I’ll play some Peter Tosh. Legalize it!