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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Fruit Fatale…


I like beer. Actually, I love beer. And I’m a girl.

I’m very aware that females tend to be far more partial to a glass of wine or a vodka and coke than a bottle of beer. Why? Well, we girls are renowned for having a sweet tooth and, let’s be honest, the majority of beers on special at the local supermarket come in packs of 12 and taste remarkably similar to dirty water.

But what a lot of people don’t realise is that beer can taste like pretty much anything. And as the last of the summer days grace our skies, why not feed that sugar craving with a refreshing fruit beer?

For those of you who enjoy sweet spirits and fizzy drinks, Timmermans Framboise (4%) is the perfect drop. Brewed in Belgium, the framboise is a traditional raspberry lambic—which basically means instead of tasting like malt or hops, the flavour comes from stacks of raspberries. My Best Friend, who’s quite the fruit beer expert, says it smells “like raspberry syrup, with sugar”. The taste lives up to the aroma with a candy sweetness and fizzy berry flavour, but it also has a sour raspberry kick at the end of each mouthful—making it dangerously more-ish. The best thing is, you can feed your addiction by visiting most good supermarkets, or the fridges of the Malthouse and Regional Wines and Spirits.

But some prefer their thirst quenchers to be less sweet, and Invercargill Boysenbeery (6.5%) is probably the best thing to come out of the deep south all summer. Brewed with boysenberries instead of traditional lambic fruits, this German-style wheat beer tastes fruity rather than sweet. It has a BIG boysenberry hit which is slightly sour, a clove-like spice which adds bitterness, and it’s all balanced by a smooth wheat texture. Sour and fruity, My Best Friend says the Boysenbeery “packs a bit of a punch”. As a limited release beer, it’s not quite as accessible, but New World Thorndon and the Malthouse usually have a healthy stock.

However, if you’re not quite prepared to make the jump to beer just yet, the Sprig & Fern 3 Berry Cider (4.5%) is worthy of a try. There’s no doubt it’s been the summer of cider, with numerous apple concoctions flying off the shelves all through the country. Brewed in Nelson, Sprig & Fern blend their regular cider with boysenberries, strawberries and blackcurrants. With so many fresh, dark fruits in each pint, it tastes just like a glass of fresh juice and goes down just as easily. I don’t know anyone, male or female, who doesn’t like the 3 Berry Cider. It was available at the Malthouse at the time of writing and cult beer bar Hashigo Zake has been known to have a keg from time to time, but get in quick—it never lasts long.

So before writing off beer completely, satisfy that sweet tooth by giving these fruity treats a go. From sour to sweet there’s something for everyone, and besides, fruit is good for you—right?

If you have any questions or comments about this week’s beers, you can email me at


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