Truth in advertising – deep down, I really only truly love a fruit beer if it’s also sour or wild or Brett-influenced, something more than just a fruit beer. That’s just the way Crom made me.
Which isn’t to say I can’t appreciate a well-made straight-ahead fruit beer, but, sour or not, I do feel that the fruit should reflect the beer’s provenance – the fruit adds another layer of reality to beer as an agrarian product and an extension of its time, people, and place.
Every great meadmaker I’ve ever met, from Ken Schramm to Curt Stock, has espoused the use of high quality, local fruit when making melomel, and that philosophy translates very well when brewing sour and wild ales.
Biere de Garde: criminally underappreciated. Clean but rustic, Bock and saison had a baby and they called it French farmhouse ale. This is my 5 gallon stab at the pale end of the style with honeyed malt and flashes of biscuit, hop spice, and flowers that takes on musty undertones when cellared in corked bottles.