With Valentine’s Day steadily approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about pairings, duos, couples, partners and the like. Things that just belong together. Bonnie and Clyde. Milk and cookies. Corona and lime (for those curious about this pairing, please prepare to chuckle at this exchange on WikiAnswers). Wheat beers and fruit.
If you’ve been in a bar, chances are you’ve witnessed the love affair between wheat beer and fruit. Wheat beer is brewed with a large proportion of wheat and contains a large proportion of malted barley. There are several styles of wheat beer which greatly affects the taste.
A brief vocabulary lesson about wheat beers:
- Weissbier: German for “white beer” and based on the German tradition of mixing at least 50% wheat to barley malt to make a light colored ale.
- Witbier: Based on the Belgian tradition of using flavorings such as coriander and orange peel.
- Lambic: Low in alcohol with a sour taste, often flavored with lemon, raspberry, or apple among others.
- Hefeweizen: Wheat beer in its traditional, unfiltered form.
So where does the fruit come in? Adding a slice of fresh fruit such as an orange or a lemon draws upon the natural flavors within the beer. The addition helps intensify the underlying tastes. While some beer purists feel that “if it isn’t worth drinking without a lemon, lime or orange, it isn’t worth drinking at all” but be your own judge! Tired of Blue Moon with an orange? Why not try an Ommegang Witte with a lemon?
Stuck at a party with a lame beer selection? Or can’t afford anything outside of the happy hour specials? A piece of a fruit can improve the flavor of even the most lowbrow of beers, wheat or not! Try a Pabst Blue Ribbon with two limes, you’ll be surprised at how the limes turn the Pabst into a class act, even in a can!