Akademia Brewing Company introduced its Fructuosum series of fruited sour beers just after Athens Beer Week this year. This Saturday, the brewpub will release not only a new beer to the series, but take-home crowlers of select Fructuosum beers for the first time.
Niobe’s Tears fruited with raspberries and key lime makes its debut at noon. This beautiful pink pour has a bright, fruity nose and a tart finish – but the lemony characteristics of the base gose still shine through. It will be available on draft and in a limited number of crowlers.
Everything He Touches tart brett saison with raspberries and cranberries returns on Saturday as well in crowlers only. There will also be a new draft-only Fructuosum series beer — Snow Day Haze amber kettle sour with plum.
Aaron Martin, beer consumption coordinator for Akademia Brewing Company, advised Night Owls to bring a cooler and plenty of ice to keep their crowlers cold on the way home. Adding the fresh fruit purees means the beer can undergo secondary fermentation if it gets too warm, which could potentially lead to a quite actual “juice bomb.”
The brewpub sources its purees from a company that’s been around for more than 80 years, and has plans in place for myriad upcoming Fructuosum flavors. Some will be released at the brewpub only, and some may be done in larger batches available wherever you want to find #ABCintheWild. Thus far, Akademia released Fructuosum series Niobe’s Tears with passionfruit, pineapple, blackberry-blueberry blend, mango and passionfruit blend, sweet and tart cherry blend and pink guava, and Everything He Touches in a three-berry blend and a cranberry-raspberry blend.
Fruited beers have been around “since pretty much the dawn of beer,” Martin said, but thanks to German purity laws and market forces, many fruited styles were not as popular. The Belgian lambic is one well-known fruited style, but it’s been more recent that the craft beer community began experimenting with fruit. Akademia calls its series “Fructuosum” after the Latin word for “fruited.”
“The rise of craft beer in the States was built more on the traditional British and German styles, with the Belgian traditions mostly being represented by abbey styles rather than lambic styles,” Martin said. “The current push of heavily fruited sours is in a lot of ways the spiritual successor more to lambics than say, a shandy or a witbier.”
Fruit can be added at any point in the brewing process, and comes in a number of forms: fresh fruit, extracts and syrups, for starters.
“Akademia follows a relatively unique method of post-fermentation fruit additions, which allows for the most retention of the essence of the fruit,” Martin said. “Right now we have committed to releasing Niobe’s Tears gose and Everything He Touches tart brett saison, on fruit, but we are definitely playing around with other options. We don’t believe in limiting ourselves by saying something like, ‘pink guava is for the summer’ … so while the pace we release fruited sours might slow down as the temperatures dip, I doubt we will see them disappear entirely any time soon.”