“Nah, I only like cider” was something I heard a lot from customers while working at a craft beer bar — but I almost always managed to change their mind with a very reliable trick up my sleeve.
Fruit beers! Not literally up my sleeve of course because they make a hell of a stain, but we always had one or two fruity ones on the taps for folk with a sweet tooth.
Peachy, blackcurrenty, raspberry-y, there was always a beer I could recommend for drinkers of Kopparberg, Strongbow, Aspall and the like.
And the best thing is you don’t need to go to Belgium to try these, as loads of Scottish breweries are making use of fruit in their beers nowadays, in all sorts of funky styles.
Here’s three fruity beers from local Scottish breweries that I think would definitely go down well with cider fans.
Dark Fruit, Brew Toon
- £2.96 a bottle when bought in a multipack from the brewery
- From Brew Toon brewery, based in Peterhead
- Style: Blackberry and Blackcurrant Sour
If you or your pals love a pint of dark fruits flavour cider down the pub or at a barbecue, this is the beer for you.
It’s crafted by the good folk at Brew Toon in Peterhead, who won the Best Fruited Sour at the Scottish Beer Awards 2020 — they definitely know their fruity bevvies.
Compared to a cider, you’ll find this to be a touch thicker and softer in texture thanks to it being brewed with oats, and it’s got a lovely head to it too.
This was my favourite of the three I tried in this article, and would be perfect for a sunny day in a beer garden. Good thing I’m writing this in October…
Peach Melba Sour, Pilot
- £2.90 a can on the brewery website
- Pilot brewery, based in Leith
- Style: Peach sour
If you’ve been out in Edinburgh in the past few years, you’ll probably have seen this on tap in a good few bars and restaurants.
And even if you’ve not, you’ll most likely have seen it in the fancy beer section of booze shops across the country, and with good reason, it’s just fantastic.
Unlike the Dark Fruit beer from Brew Toon above, this one pours clean and transparent, and tastes just like peach-flavoured fruit sweeties.
As well as peach, it’s also got raspberry and vanilla in the mix.
If I were to compare it to any kind of cider, it would be most similar to the most out-there flavours from the likes of Kopparberg, but with a much more lip-puckering sourness.
Blackcurrant Apple Crumble, 71 Brewing
- £3.60 per 440ml can from the website
- From 71 Brewing Company, Dundee
- Style: Pastry Sour
It’s a little bit stronger than the Brew Toon beer mentioned earlier at 6.5%, but the extra booziness works in this beer’s favour to make it taste like a dessert in a glass.
And of course that’s what it’s meant to be, as it’s jam-packed with local blackcurrants, apple juice, and vanilla.
It’s seriously thick, and pours with a lovely fluffy head.
I loved this beer, (and apparently so do the judges, it won the Best Fruited Sour at the Scottish Beer Awards 2022), but it’s definitely not one I could have more than one of in a night, because it’s just so intensely flavourful.