Fruit beers have more history than you might imagine.
While there’s no doubt fruit beers are growing in popularity, they’ve got a respectable history that craft brewers will appreciate. Archaeologists discovered pottery jars at a site in northern China that contained traces of a proto-beer brewed from rice, honey, and fruit around 9,000 years ago. Similar findings in Egypt and elsewhere indicate that early brewers were experimenting in fruit beers from their first experiments with fermentation, adding date fruit, pomegranates, and any other sweetener in season. However, it wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that Belgian brewers made lambics a staple of European beers and kicked off a fruit beer craze.
European fruit beers took the craft to a new level with lambics.
The popularity of lambics, fermented with cherries to make kriek or raspberries to make framboise, soon inspired brewers in other parts of the world to begin experimenting with fruit beers of their own, leading to an explosion of inventive fruit brews like radlers and shandies as well as fruit-infused base brews like farmhouse ales and witbiers. Fruit beer options have only continued to grow, offering something for everyone with each new addition to the beer shelf: a crossover beverage for people who don’t love the taste of beer and novelty for beer connoisseurs. But fruit beers aren’t just good for the palate. They’re also good for health, which may also contribute to growing interest in recent years.
Beers brewed with natural, unsweetened fruit pureé offer health benefits.
All beers contain phenols, which are found naturally in hops, malts, even yeasts and bacteria. Phenols contribute a mildly medicinal, smoky aroma and flavor to beer, and they can also impact a brew’s mouthfeel. Phenols also happen to be natural antioxidants that make the moderate consumption of ales and pilsners a heart-healthy summer indulgence, and fruit purée improves the phenolic profile of beers according to a 2019 study in the journal Food Chemistry.
In the study, scientists analyzed antioxidant activity in ten different fruit beers. They found it was considerably higher in fruit beers compared to conventional beers without fruit purée. When brewers add fruit purées during the fermentation process, beers got a serious boost of plant-derived health benefits from naturally occurring polyphenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. That makes some beers much healthier than others, which can be a big selling point during times when everyone’s mind is on ways to feel better without sacrificing happiness.
Cherry pureé offers the highest antioxidant value.
While any premium, natural fruit purée will improve the health profile of beers, not all fruit additions are created equal. The same 2019 study found that some fruits bring far more antioxidant activity and phenolic profile perks to the table than others. Cherries exhibited the highest antioxidant value followed by:
Our specialty fruit purées are crafted by a European chef committed to flavor, quality, and nutritional integrity.
Pureé Arête is the only domestically produced line of specialty fruit purées created with a true European influence by Austrian chef Wolfgang Brandl. Our aseptic packaging process ensures each batch retains both flavor and beneficial nutrients and antioxidants while reducing the costs of shipping and storage. There’s no better time than today to begin experimenting with fruit beers, and you’ll find no better partner in your next brewing project than Purée Arête.