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I love a good fruit beer, so was excited when I recently found three varieties new to me in single cans.
The fruity trilogy of beers began with what I guessed would be the lightest of the three, Apple-A-Day Apple Ale from Wasatch Brewery of Salt Lake City, Utah. A distinct yeasty smell was the first thing I noticed upon cracking open the can. It poured a beautiful gold with a vigorous white head.
I was hoping for a nice, big apple flavor, but instead got a light-tasting ale with just the faintest of apple tartness on the very back end. Nothing at all wrong with this beer, but the standard for apple beer was set back in the 1990s by New Glarus and its superbly appley Apple Ale. Apple-A-Day isn’t even close. However, I would take Apple-A-Day any day over the Miller Coors-produced, caramel-colored Redd’s Apple Ale. Caramel coloring is always suspect.
I moved on with great anticipation to Wasatch’s Apricot Hefeweizen. An apricot nose kicks everything off with big promise, but much like Apple-A-Day, apricot is just hinted at in this mild-mannered hefeweizen. If, like me, you enjoy a good apricot-flavored beer with a much larger apricot presence, I would suggest Pyramid Apricot Ale.
I do like the look of the Wasatch cans. Great fruit-forward design. Perhaps that’s why I felt so let down by these two beers.
The final offering in this triumvirate of canned fruit beers is Lil’ Brainless Raspberries Raspberry Ale from Epic Brewing of Denver, Colo.
If this were a contest for biggest fruit presence, this one would win by a mile with a huge raspberry nose, deep raspberry flavor and long raspberry finish. Unlike the first two timid fruit beers, the amount of raspberry puree in this beer gives it more of a lambic vibe than a feeble ale.
The can designers must have figured the raspberry-colored can would give it away, because instead of a raspberry they feature a stylized hop cone, or maybe it’s a pine cone. Well, it is called Brainless.
Now if you want something truly exceptional, look for Epic’s Brainless on Cherries, a cherry-flavored ale aged in French oak, which offers a woody, earthy balance to the tart cherries. Ooh la la!