Fruit beers are in abundance this summer. Noted for their refreshing qualities they cover the field from session-able (i.e. lower than 4 percent ABV) to highly alcoholic; sweet to bitter; sun-up yellow to dusky rose.
Broad Ripple Brewpub's Tart Lizzie features pink grapefruit tones. It's on the milder end of spectrum, a good distance away from Sun King's mouth-puckering Grapefruit Jungle. Brugge's Harvey, brewed with fresh blackberries, is in a tart Wild Ale style.
Oaken Barrel's Razz Wheat, Thr3e Wise Men's Two Lucy's Blackberry Wheat, Black Acre's Apricot Wheat each finish on the sweeter side.
Bloomington Brewing's Seven Sips Belgian Strong Ale with coriander and sweet and bitter orange peel is a big beer at 8.3 percent ABV.
Flat 12's Kiwi Kiwi Hefeweizen sports flavor notes of ripe bananas, citrus and hints of berry along with tart Kiwi.
Upland's Fruit Lambics, from cherry to strawberry, have become internationally known for their distinctive tart profiles. Other fruit brews will surface with the harvest, so get set for the immersion.
Black Acre's mystery brew
While prowling our downtown neighborhoods on First Friday, Beer Buzz was surprised to find Black Acre's brews being passed about at the recently opened gift shop Rogue Décor Co. (1056 Virginia Ave.) Patrons poured small samples from growlers for each other and discussed the taste profiles of Saucy Intruder Rye IPA, Phantom Cat Coffee Stout, Red Hopper Imperial Red Ale - and particularly Mystery Pale, brewed by Black Acre with an unmarked bag of hops.
We think the bag might've been full of Columbus, Nugget, Simcoe or Warrior hops, given the brews strong, bittering element. A follow-up call to Black Acre Brewing (5632 E. Washington St.) didn't provide an answer, just a happy brewer with a promise of more mystery brews to fuel conversation.
Oaken Barrel on the 4th
Beer Buzz annually spends July 4th in Greenwood celebrating Oaken Barrel's birthday. Along with an endless buffet, a specialty brew tops the list of regulars. This year's Saison Farmhouse Ale found head brewer Alan Simon bring back a retired brew from his former stint at Thr3e Wise Men. It's characterized by a welcome burst of aromas from earthy yeast to spicy fruit with matching tastes for a dry finish.
Also on tap are King Rudi Hefeweizen, a strong wheat with very slight banana notes; and a big A.M. Wheat Pale Ale distinguished by the tropical fruit character imparted by Citra hops.
The recently opened two-barrel nanobrewery Planetary Brewing (500 S. Polk St., Ste. 22, Greenwood) sells its brews in its tiny tasting room and at Greenwood's Shallows Restaurant.
BRBP staffer Will Holmes has dubbed Greenwood as SODow ["South of Downtown"] as a nod to BRBP's newest head brewer John Treetor, who formerly brewed at Oaken Barrel.
Jim Matt, Sun King's former Quality Control supervisor, is now head brewer at the newly opened Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati's Over the Rhine District, following a stint with Moerlein Brewery in Cincinnati.
Broad Ripple Brewpub, 6 p.m., tapping homebrewer Shawn Kaus' 2012 State Fair/Brewers of Indiana Guild "Best of Show" Holla Jala Jalapeno Cream beer.
College Park Rock Bottom Summer Brewer's Dinner; 6:30 p.m. reservations 317-471-8840.
Scotty's Brewhouse patio downtown, Girls Pint Out 6 p.m.; ladies only.