The 15 Best Fruit Beers to Try: 2024 Taste Test

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Beer is primarily made of four ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast.

Right?

It’s always been that way, and anything to the contrary is wrong.

Right?

I salute you, the beer purist, but the use of other ingredients for making beer dates back far before the Germany Purity Law of 1516. And while everything from herbs and spices to an entire chicken has been used in making beer, fruit has got to be one of the most popular ingredients to wind up in a brew.

Fruit beers have been a considerable part of the craft beer movement, and different fruits have come and gone as the en vogue flavor to accent the base beer styles.

When I first started drinking beer, I remember Pyramid Apricot Ale fondly. Later, Raspberry Wheats were all the rage. Today, grapefruit has become a go-to flavor – especially for IPAs. Plus, the popularity of sour ales has made for a terrific canvas to introduce almost any fruit that can enhance a beer’s bright acidity.

Pretty much any fruit you can imagine has made it into a beer, but what are your favorites? We share some of our below. Please give it a look, and get out and find them!

1. Hell or High Watermelon | 21st Amendment

Type: Wheat Beer | ABV: 4.9% | Calories: 134

Most people love the flavor of watermelon. Getting my kiddo to brush his teeth was always a struggle until I discovered a particular brand of watermelon toothpaste. Now, he happily hops up on the bathroom stool. Watermelon’s flavor works perfectly as a foil to the fruity flavors of beer yeast, but hops and malt often run over the subtle flavor. So, 21A’s legendary Watermelon Wheat beer is a genuine fruit beer gem as the beer is perfectly balanced to allow the juicy watermelon to shine.

The brewery reports that this beer pairs well with fresh-shucked oysters, veggie or fruit salads, seafood, and sunny summer days, and don’t forget to garnish your beer glass with a watermelon wedge!

2. Blood Orange Kolsch | Crystal Springs Brewing

Type: Kolsch | ABV: 4.9% | Calories: 134

You may not have ever heard of Crystal Springs Brewing, nestled in the foothills of Colorado near Boulder. A local school teacher started the unassuming brewery with a passion for German Kolsch. Unlike many stateside versions, the Kolsch is incredible, but it’s tough because everyone can’t get enough of the Blood Orange version. The one-time summer seasonal now is this brewery’s top seller.

3. Strawberry Ale | Cascade Brewing

Type: Sour Ale/ American Wild Ale | ABV: 7.5% | Calories: 225

Like melon flavors, the supple flavor of strawberry can be challenging to capture in a beer, especially a sour ale. Still, Oregon’s Cascade Brewing has perfectly blended its strawberry offering to play nicely with the other flavors. After all, a fruit beer shouldn’t just taste like fruit salads – it needs to pass the taste test of beer drinkers.

4. Blushing Monk | Founders Brewing

Type: Imperial Fruit Ale | ABV: 9.2% | Calories: 280

The sweet aroma of raspberry is a common experience when enjoying craft beer. Brewers love to add fruity flavors to all types of beer styles, but raspberry is a fave for beer drinkers. Founders brew a variety of fruit beers, and more than one includes raspberry in the brewing process. Blushing Monk, however, brings with it the complexity of alcohol to intertwine on the taste buds. At more than none percent alcohol, this is no ordinary beer.

5. Michelob Ultra® Infusions Lime & Prickly Pear Cactus Light Beer

Type: Light Lager with Fruit | ABV: 4.6% | Calories: 95

I’ve gushed about Michelob Ultra before. As a lifelong craft beer fan, I was really surprised by how tasty this light lager could be. So, I was skeptical (though not surprised) when the AB overlords chose to mess with it. Even more surprising is that they decided to add an unorthodox fruit flavor. Prickly pear is the fruit of a cactus. It tastes a bit like unripe strawberries but can yield delicious results when included in beverages.

6. Grapefruit Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Co

Type: IPA | ABV: 7% | Calories: 210

Sculpin IPA had long been a favorite of beer drinkers. The beer had earned multiple medals at beer competitions, but when the brewery added a Grapefruit version to its line-up, Ballast Point blew up. The widespread success was parlayed into the record sale of the brewery of One Billion Dollars! Today, everyone and their brother have a grapefruit IPA, but Grapefruit Sculpin is what sets the standard.

7. Banana Bread Beer | Eagle Brewery

Type: Fruit Beer | ABV: 5.2% | Calories: 160

Who said American brewers can have all the wacky beer fun? Eagle Brewery in the UK has long combined bananas into a rich and fruity dessert beer. Anyone who enjoys the warm flavors associated with freshly baked banana bread will appreciate this beer that ditches the bitter taste for a decent amount of malt sweetness that envelopes the use of perfectly ripe, free-trade bananas.

8. Blood Orange Wheat | Jack’s Abbey

Type: Wheat Ale | ABV: 4% | Calories: 120

Like raspberries and grapefruit, blood orange has undoubtedly had a moment in the minds of brewers. Blood orange has a more intense sweet orange flavor than other oranges that lend more pronounced citrus notes. Brewers like Jack Abbey prefer the sweeter blood orange to complement citrusy hops and earthy wheat notes.

“What started as a popular summer option in our beer hall quickly became a lager phenomenon that showcases the versatility of lager. Blood orange oils spark bright, fruity flavors complemented by wheat to make this a refreshing beer.”

9. Pineapple Mana Wheat | Maui Brewing

Type: Wheat Ale | ABV: 5.5% | Calories: 164

Like the sweetness of Blood Orange, Pineapple offers an additional richness that tends to contrast well with bright acidity. This makes the spikey fruit a perfect addition to the slight acidity of wheat beers. This union is displayed with Maui’s Mana Wheat, transporting any beer drinker to a tropical island oasis. With just a sip!

10. Wisconsin Belgian Red | New Glarus Brewing Company

Type: Wheat Beer brewed with Sour Cherry | ABV: 4% | Calories: 120

With over a pound of tart fruit per barrel, Wisconsin Belgian Red is bursting with the cheery flavor you’d expect from this brilliantly red ale. Served in a champagne flute, this legendary beer is flavorful and has light acidity from the fresh fruit used – not bacteria. This is simply a delicious beer to revel in the fruity flavor.

11. Passion Fruit Gose | Two Roads

Type: Fruit Gose | ABV: 4.8% | Calories: 130

Tropical fruit combined with tart, salty flavors makes for the ultimate summer fruit sipper. Two Roads has masterfully combined passionfruit into a unique type of beer to offer one of the best fruit beers out there. After a hot day on the beach or in the office, nothing quenches your thirst like a gose.

“We’re proud to introduce Lushee – a slightly tart, fruit-forward ale brewed with passion fruit. Sourness takes a backseat in this brew, letting 100% real fruit shine through. Take the Road Less Traveled for a bright, fruity, refreshing ale that perfectly balances tart and sweet.”

12. Fresh Squeezed IPA | Deschutes Brewery

Type: Fruit IPA | ABV: 6% | Calories: 180

It’s hard to believe that Fresh Squeezed is one of just the latest legendary beers from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery. The brewery is known for such epic beers as Mirror Pond, Black Butte Porter, and now a grapefruit IPA that has helped to launch them into another decade of brewing. The beer is a dangerously drinkable IPA with plenty of fruity flavors, including grapefruit and orange citrus fruit flavors from a hearty helping of hops.

Today, many IPAs need no help from fruit additions to taste fruity. New World hops are prized for notes of tropical fruit, melon, stone fruits, and citrus. Modern IPAs are practically fruit beers sans the fruit. Fresh Squeezed is almost a throwback beer, a West Coast IPA with actual fruit.

13. BBA Teddy Bear Kisses | Upland Brewing Co

Type: Stout | ABV: 10% | Calories: 300

When most beer drinkers think of many fruit beers, the beer that comes to mind is a beer with a light body and just a hint of fruity taste. A barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and flavors of chocolate and vanilla beans is not as common, but this unique beer from Upland is a fruit beer no different than the other beers listed. After all, cacao is a fruit, and vanilla is the only edible fruit in the orchid family. These two ingredients aren’t typical, but they have a fantastic effect on a beer’s flavor.

14. Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen

Type: 50/50 Wheat Ale Grapefruit Drink | ABV: 2.5% | Calories: 80

Who says grapefruit can only be added to an IPA? Plenty of beer styles can handle this uniquely sweet, citrusy, and bitter fruit. A traditional hefeweizen already flexes fruit flavors from the yeast and chosen brewing process. A hefe just isn’t hefe if you can’t smell a ripe banana character, but the folks at Schöfferhofer have added another fruit to the situation with grapefruit which plays wonderfully of the banana and spice base. The result is a wheat beer with a refreshing taste and plenty of fruit flavor.

15. Stiegl Radler

Type: Beer Blend | ABV: varies | Calories: varies

Blending beer with fruit juice has a long history. In many beer brewing countries, pub owners would create beer cocktails with fruit juices and sodas. The result is a refreshing experience after a hot summer day. Stiegl balances its Radler with various citrus fruits, offering that refreshing taste that beer drinkers love.

The best fruit beers don’t adhere to finite definitions or standards. They can be bold, with aggressive, sour cherries on display like that of New Glarus’ Belgian Red, or subtle and balanced with a sweet citrus character like that of Crystal Springs’s Blood Orange Kolsch. What makes these IPAs, wheat beers, and lagers the best fruit beers is that they have found a unique and remarkable way to showcase the essence of a particular fruit with a well-made beer type, the combination of which creates a beer drinking experience that is greater than the sum of the separate parts. Fruit beers will continue to entice the beer curious, but it is the one that shows reverence to both the beer and fruit that can vie for the title of World’s Best Fruit Beers. 

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Carla Lauter was the founder of The Beer Babe and has been a beer blogger and expert for several decades. She's been interviewed in beer publications and podcasts about her favorite brews and the craft brewing scene. While she's ceased her involvement with The Beer Babe, her legacy remains in the various reviews and articles she has written.