These craft beers are real peaches.
One of craft beer’s early striking differences to big beer operations was the dedication to purity. Well-made, lovingly crafted suds were to be made from water, hops, and barley — nothing else. And definitely not corn.
The don’t-you-dare-put-anything-in-my-beer-but-beer mentality has been thrown aside for the sake of seasonal innovation. One of the most popular additives (or adjuncts) used in the craft-beer industry is fruit. The crush of sweet nectar has increased of late and led to some bright spots. On the occasion of American Craft Beer Week, here are three favorites.
Four Corners Queen Bee
Four Corners’ flagship line of easy-drinking beers doesn’t make low potency. Its year-round saison, Super Beer, clocks in at an ABV of 8 percent. The seasonal tinkering of Super Beer — itself a ratcheted-up version of Four Corners’ Local Buzz — found in the Queen Bee release adds pleasant Laura’s Delicious Rio Red grapefruit grown in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. The beer retains its syrupy honey flavor, but the fruit adds a buoyant freshness that tricks you into thinking you can knock back several of them. Careful, the queen is not to be played with. fcbrewing.com
Funkwerks Raspberry Provincial
The saison specialists of Fort Collins, Colorado, pack a wallop of intense punchy fruit-forward flavor that can contort the unsuspecting drinker or the less-than-casual drinker of sour ales. The raspberry is evident from the first pour and through the aftertaste. Funkwerks Raspberry Provincial is a deceptively bold beer for something nearly millennial-pink in hue. Running with this on-trend business, the brewers poke a little fun at themselves with the printed pairing suggestions: Pairs well with #blessed. funkwerks.com
Stone I’m Peach Double Imperial Pale Ale
Subtlety isn’t Stone’s trademark—perfection is. That is, I expect Stone Brewing Company releases to be perfectly crafted examples of the respective beer styles but ones that continue to surprise by pushing the needle beyond expectations. I’m Peach is an unabashed double IPA in the best of the West Coast tradition of hop bombs with restrained stone fruit notes. The peach is noticeable in the beer’s aroma and, if you’re paying attention, in the lingering aftertaste. But take it easy, partner, a can of the stuff carries an 8.8 percent ABV. stonebrewing.com