Summertime is just about upon us, the temperature is rising, and the need for a refreshing thirst-quenching ale is high. Thankfully, there’s some particularly refreshing ales suited to the summer heat and ready to tickle your tastebuds with the tangy, zesty, juicy notes of citrus fruits.
Citrus fruit flavours have long been popular in drinks of all sorts and brewers are increasingly drawing on these tastes for inspiration in their beers with citrus fruits being showcased in everything from juicy New England IPAs to sessionable sours.
There’s a huge range of beers and styles to choose from that include citrus fruits and below are just some of these beers that you can get your hands on this summer.
Dainton’s Blood Orange New England Rye (BONER for short) IPA was one of my favourite hazy IPAs this year. The blood orange accentuated that big juicy aroma of the hops and were balanced Dainton’s go-to ingredient ry, which helps to round out the flavour.
Green Beacon’s The Whaler was another blood orange IPA that made a mark with a lighter body and reduced hop bitterness in this year’s edition, which allowed the tang of the blood orange to stand out more.
La Sirene’s Citray Sour is the second tinnie from the Victorian-based masters of yeast and they made another classic in my opinion. A beautiful beer with a nice acidic tang up-front and a touch of bitter orange on the finish from the addition of navel oranges.
Bridge Road Citrus Bling IPA was first released in the BoozeBud advent calendar and includes the additions of navel and blood oranges and is one to look out for.
Anderson Valley Brewing’s Blood Orange Gose regularly ships here and is still my favourite of their impressive range of goses. It reminds me of the Italian soft drink Pellegrinos Aranciata Rossa, with its tangy refreshing goodness.
Endeavour’s Citrus Pale Ale may be the most citrus fruit tasting beer I’ve had with their subtle pale ale providing a clean base and launchpad for the zesty pithy juicy combo of tangerine and blood orange fruits. It’s refreshing and flavoursome and showcases a more adventurous side of Endeavour that perhaps hadn’t been seen outside of their taproom before.
Stone Brewing’s Tangerine Express IPA meanwhile is a hoppy IPA first and foremost but the tangerine fruit again really stands out over the beer adding a unique pithy character to the bitterness from the hops.
Yuzu has had a big year in brewing it seems. 3 Ravens expanded their Juicy range to include a variety of fruits, including Yuzu Juicy. I found the Yuzu Juicy interesting, its sharp tart taste making for a distinctive contrast with the juicy hop aromas already present and one of the more unique ones in their range.
The acidic and tart aspects of the yuzu fruit also make it a great play for sour beers too, accentuating their acidity. This was the case with Wayward’s latest special release Passionista features passionfruit and yuzu, a new variation of their berliner weisse range led by their Raspberry Berliner Weisse. The beer has a tropical fruit aroma upfront with a tart acidic finish.
Bridge Road’s Mayday Hill series that uses the funky Brett yeast also made use of the Japanese superfruit this year in one of their many exciting releases, the Yuzu IPA. The beer is an intriguing blend of a well-hopped IPA, using a new experimental local hop, and a sour beer, with a unique brett yeast and sour citrus flavours of yuzu fruit obtained from local growers Mountain Yuzu.
Another fascinating Japanese fruit is the shikuwasa fruit that is behind Temple’s Okinawa Sour which is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. I’m not sure I can usefully describe it, you’ll just have to try it.
They’ve also recently expanded the range further with the release of the Okinawa XPA, call me intrigued.
Nomad have made use of native Australian citrus fruits in their beers such as the rainforest lime, desert lime and finger lime in beers including their core range and its limited releases.
Their latest release is the Gold Rush Supersonic DIPA variation, which includes the use of desert lime to give it some extra zing. The Rainforest Lime Edition of Supersonic was also one of my top IPAs this year, while the Saltpan Desert Gose is my favourite of their gose range too, so refreshing and moreish. Also check out their Jet Lag Fingerlime IPA, which has been recently rebooted in cans.
Brisbane’s Newstead Brewing recently celebrated its 5th birthday along with city beer institutions Brewski and The Mill by brewing up three V beers including a ruby grapefruit grisette. The V – Brewski collab beer includes grapefruit, which adds a zesty tangy goodness to the farmhouse-style ale.
Bad Shepherd meanwhile released a Grapefruit IPA as part of their IPA series, using real grapefruits not extract, and the result is a subtle addition, which adds some pithy bitterness to the IPA.
This is a pointed difference to other grapefruit IPAs that use extract like the genre classic from the US Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, which becomes more like fruit juice.
While BrewDog’s Elvis Juice uses the additions of grapefruit peel to really exaggerate those bitter citrus flavours, already in the hops. It’s quenching but I personally prefer the fruits where they contrast more with the hops and so add to the complexity of the beer.
Burnley Brewing are pouring a Mandarin Gose that uses the sweet citrus flavours of the mandarin and balances it with the salt as per the gose style. It’s tasty and the contrast works well although was just a little too sweet for me.
South Australia’s Mismatch meanwhile have brewed up a Mandarin Berliner Weisse. They are one of Australia’s most reliable brewers and I look forward to seeing what they came up with for this one.