Tasting Beers Live: Lessons Learned Part Two

#3) Never underestimate the popularity of fruit beer

Not everyone likes a double IPA. Not everyone likes a traditional bitter. But I reckon you’d be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t like some sort of fruit beer. I lost count of the times people said to me “I don’t usually like beer/fruit, but that was lovely”. Often it was the ladies who hadn’t been keen on beer (as it was ‘bitter’ or ‘pongy’) and the gents who weren’t sure about fruit (as it was ‘girly, like Bacardi Breezers’).

Putting a decent fruit beer in their hands changed all that. “Does the banana beer taste of banana?”, asked someone. Hell crikey, yes. Mongozo Banana smells and tastes of sweet, Fair Trade bananas. And Mongozo Coconut smells and tastes of coconut milk, as do you when yet another bottle spurts everywhere. Indeed, Mongozo Snozberry would indubitably smell and taste of snozberry.

People were surprised that the beers didn’t taste tacky. That you could recognise the aroma and flavours as those of the fruit in question. Soon, the ladies were supping their beers and joining the back of the sampling queue for more. Four barrel-chested, shovel-handed guys weren’t interested in lagers, they just wanted more coconut beer.

With those flavours licking round their lips, it was time for a gentle segue into kriek and framboise. The pop of the cork, the steady carbonation, the assertive flavours. Here, people found beers to accompany dessert courses, to offer sparkle at a party, to savour out on the decking. Meanwhile, the strawberries-and-cream dream that is Fruli was evaporating from the bar next door.

But *you* still don’t like fruit beer, you say? I bet you just haven’t found the right one…


  1. I was give some Wells & Youngs Banana Bread Beer at Christmas. It was the worst beer I've tasted for a very long time. So, bananas + beer = FAIL for me.

  2. To be honest, that's probably the worst 'fruit' beer I've tried. Don't let that put you off the others!