Fruit beers have never really been my thing. I think I was turned off by these types of beers thanks in large part to a couple of nasty hangovers due to one too many Smirnoff drinks when I was young. Since then, any sort of alcohol involving fruit has given me horrendous memories of thrusting my head into a toilet bowl for hours on end. I remember enduring hangovers so severe that I was literally immobile for upwards of two days. These awful events may have been triggered by a disease waiting to put me in its clutches, but whatever the case, I have learned to steer clear of anything less than all natural when it comes to alcohol. When someone asks if I want a sip of watermelon vodka or some kind of grapefruit flavored malt beverage, my immediate reaction is to scream no as loud as I can and run away.
Lately I’ve come to find out that there are a handful of beers out there that are brewed with natural fruit. Although my manly side wants to pretend like I shun these sorts of beers, the fact is that with the right brewer behind them, these brews can be richly rewarding. No brewer worth his or her salt would ever dream of including fruit in a brew recipe while allowing said fruit to reign supreme. Rather, these artists leave the fruit to be found by the astute beer lover who knows what he or she is looking for. And this is the case with the Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic. As the name would imply, this beer is brewed with all natural cranberries. It is a great seasonal brew that will appeal to many beer lovers.
I tried this beer on a hunch when I finally decided it was time to get over my fear of fruit-infused alcoholic beverages. The term “lambic” just sounded good to me. What I expected was to find this beer rather unsatisfying. What I got was a mouthful of good flavor and a new take on fruit in beer. This brew is slightly sour, and though the presence of cranberries is obvious, it’s not overwhelming. The yeast strain gives this beer a unique flavor that meshes well with the fruit influence. I find the carbonation to be a little higher than average, and it works well here. I probably won’t drink this too often in the future, but I do think it’s a solid beer.