Dogfish Head Aprihop and Leinekugel Summer Shandy at Rudy's. (Alison Geisler photo / May 7, 2013)

The fruit beer: a beverage that can either be pandered to women and non-beer drinkers (sexist, but true) as a sweet alternative to the belchy, watery summer beers, or an artfully brewed real beer incorporating fruit as part of the process, creating a beer with depth and curious flavors that beer drinkers might either love or hate. Different from malt beverages, fruit-flavored beers are typically brewed with the fruit in question, not fakely flavored after the fact.

Around New Haven, we have a handful of bars that cater to the discriminating beer drinker rather than try to sell as many Bud Lights to dudes with popped collars as possible. Now that spring is here and summer is around the corner, more and more fruit beers are popping up on taps and in bottles across town.

Ithaca Apricot Wheat (available at Prime 16 and Mikro) is the beer drinker's version of Magic Hat #9. The apricot comes through nice and clear; it's not sickening or too heavy, and would go nicely with a burger or some lazing around the patio. Fans of the hoppier stuff should try a Dogfish Head Aprihop (available at Rudy's), which balances the bitterness of the hops with the apricots.

For something even more summery, the Leinenkugel Summer Shandy (at Rudy's and the Dew Drop Inn) is a nice alternative to sugary malt beverages that will eventually prickle your tongue with flavor overload. It's like a lighter beer mixed with lemonade, so you get that refreshment without needing to wash it down with some water.

Other fruit beers available nearby include: Boon Kriek Cherry Lambic (The Cask Republic), Blue Point Blueberry Lager (The Outer Space), RJ Rocker's Son of a Peach Wheat Ale (Dew Drop Inn), Crispin Cider (New Haven Meatball House), Ommegang Hennepin (116 Crown) and Angry Orchard Cider (Dew Drop Inn). Happy drinking!


116 Crown, 116 Crown St., New Haven, (203) 777-3116,

The Cask Republic, 179 Crown St., New Haven, (475) 238-8335,

Dew Drop Inn, 25 North Ave., Derby, (203) 735-7757,

Mikro, 3000 Whitney Ave., Hamden, (203) 553-7676,

New Haven Meatball House, 1180 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 772-3360,

The Outer Space, 295 Treadwell St., Bldg. G, Hamden, (203) 288-6400,

Prime 16, 172 Temple St., New Haven, (203) 782-1616,

Rudy's, 1227 Chapel St., New Haven, (203) 865-1242,


Follow Alison Geisler on Twitter