Fierce Fruits That Are Perfect for a Holiday Beer
If you’re a lover of all things brewing, you know the excitement of trying out a new flavor and creating different batches with different proportions of ingredients. As the winter season approaches, now is a great time to experiment with unique and festive beers. The holidays mean going to parties with co-workers, friends, and family. What better way to celebrate than with the bold flavors of a holiday-themed beer?
Typical holiday beers include spices, such as nutmeg, sugars, or ginger. Those are all delicious flavors, but consider mixing things up with fresh fruit purees instead. There are lots of delicious fruits that can invoke warm holiday cheer when infused into your brew. We’ll list out the 7 best fruits that are perfect for your next holiday batch!
Have you ever received an orange as a gift during the holiday season? If you’re unfamiliar with this tradition, that’s okay — it’s pretty old by now, and kids probably aren’t getting fruit as gifts anymore. Nevertheless, there is a strong correlation between oranges and the holiday season. They used to represent gold and were exotic treats to receive back in the day. Incorporating fresh orange puree into your next batch of ale or wheat beer is a great way to create a festive, holiday beer.
Lemons are not just a summer fruit! Most citrus fruits are enjoyed during the winter months because they stay fresh for a long time, and complement many different spices. This lemon puree would be a great addition to any holiday beer you may be mixing up. You can pair it with nutmeg or ginger to make a delicious brew that will work with any classic winter beer style, though it may pair best with lighter ales or lagers.
Cherries are a Christmas staple for a couple of reasons. They have a deep, rich, red color that is associated with the holiday season, and they provide a sweet but tangy flavor to any recipe they’re added to. Consider using a fresh cherry puree when making a holiday beer at home, and you’ll end up with a complex but refreshing batch. Cherries pair well with light lagers, though their darker notes can also lend themselves beautifully to a darker stout or dubbel. If you want to combine it with an unusual flavor, you can even try incorporating some honey for a more mead-like taste.
Similar to the orange tradition, pineapples used to be a popular and luxurious holiday gift many years ago. That’s because they were super difficult to get during the winter months, depending on where you lived. These days, you can walk into any supermarket and find them easily — but that’s beside the point. Honor the Christmas tradition that surrounded this fruit by using fresh pineapple puree to create a deliciously light holiday beer, like a pale ale, or a more complex IPA.
If you have any awareness of western culture, chances are you’ve heard of The Nutcracker and the dancing sugar plums. This fruit has a deep association with the Christmas season and therefore would make a great holiday beer. Use this fresh plum puree as part of a dark stout to create a festive, chocolatey beer that everyone will enjoy.
Many Americans wouldn’t associate tropical fruits with Christmas time, but they certainly should. Papaya, for example, pairs perfectly with brown sugar and cinnamon or even the caramel notes of a dubbel. With that in mind, you could create a complex and interesting holiday beer using fresh papaya puree in your next batch.
Mangos are one of the most popular fruits around the world, and baskets of them continue to be given as a gift to this day. If you want to create a bold holiday beer using fresh mango puree, try a spiced ale with cumin and holiday spices. Not only will this blend be delicious, but it will keep you warm during the cold winter months.
Celebrate the Season with Festive Holiday Beers
Any of the fresh fruit purees would make delicious and festive holiday beers, so mix and match ingredients to create unique batches. Go crazy with the flavors and there is a good chance you’ll end up with a winter-style beer that everyone will love.