Fruit flavors are hitting it big. Some of the most popular hops in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and even Germany tend to be on the fruity side in flavor and aroma. Overload your patrons’ taste buds with fruity sourness and sweetness by brewing the fruitiest brews possible.
Single hop brews can be overwhelmingly fruity if you choose the right hops, and the USA has some of the fruitiest hops in the world. Centennial and Cascade are great options, but they tend to be more citrusy than fruity. Azzaca and Mosaic lean toward the fruity side, but you can still detect hints of pine as you brew. For pure fruit flavors, Citra is your best option. It has no traces of pine, earth, or spice, and its character is purely fruity and citrusy. Citra can be a bit citrusy (as you should have guessed from the name), and the fruity flavors can get lost in its citrusy goodness.
Australia’s Galaxy is often touted as one of the fruitiest hops. Like Citra, its character is purely fruity and citrusy. However, it doesn’t have the overwhelming citrus flavors of Citra. While still citrusy, Galaxy produces clear tones of passion fruit, peach, pineapple, and tropical fruits. A few other hops to consider are Enigma (Australia), Mandarina Bavaria (Germany), and Motueka (New Zealand).
If one hop is not enough to satisfy your fruity cravings, then two should do the job. One of the more popular combinations that bring out the fruitiness in brews is Galaxy and Citra. Galaxy balances Citra’s flavors, softening the citrus flavors while highlighting the fruit. Your drink will still have the familiar citrus goodness, but the underlying fruit flavors become a little more distinct. Another way to make the fruity character of your blends is to highlight it with a contrasting flavor like mint.
Polaris hops create very distinct menthol-like flavors (quite similar to Glacier Mints) that go well with intense fruity flavors. New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvin is famous for its wine-like flavors, but mixing it with a strong fruity hop will dampen its floral tones while highlighting its more fruity character. If you want more fruit than citrus, a combination of Galaxy and Mandarina Bavaria should do the trick.
Bending the Rules
Sometimes you’re aiming for a particular fruit flavor, and no combination of hops gives the right result. In this case, you might need to use more than just hops. Fruit additives can drastically alter the flavors of your brews, whether its mango puree, dehydrated grapes, or some other fruit extract or derivative.
Just make sure your additives are explicitly made for brewing because contaminants can derail your whole process. If you’re unsure of where to begin, start with brewing purees. They come in aseptic packaging, and flash pasteurization makes sure they are free from contaminants.
Get fruitier brews by choosing the right hops, combining the right ones, or adding a little extra to hack the brewing process. It might need a bit of fine-tuning and experimentation, but soon you’ll be making the fruitiest of brews.