March/April 2019 - 20

INNOVATION
BEVERAGES
 Fruit product is added to beer at
Roadhouse Brewery in Jackson Hole,
Wyoming. Photo: Scott Stuntz
Real Beer, Real Fruit
CRAFT BREWERIES, ORCHARDS PARTNER TO CREATE
UNIQUE BEVERAGES FOR DISCERNING PALATES
By Scott Stuntz
Contributing Writer
KING ORCHARDS HAS GROWN
Montmorency and Balaton tart cherries
at the edge of Grand Traverse Bay on the
shore of Lake Michigan for more than
30 years. They sell cherry juice to local
grocery stories and fresh baked goods
from their farm markets. In recent years,
their cherries have started appearing in
more than just tarts and pies.
" We started organically, as in the
brewing industry found us, " said Juliette
King, project manager at King Orchards.
Around five or six years ago she said
brewers began approaching the orchard
wanting cherries in larger quantities
than their regular retail packages.
After a few years of those breweries
coming back again and again to King,
the orchard realized they could market
to breweries specifically.
" We're passionate and we love to talk
about the fruit in the orchards, " King
said. " People who appreciate quality
20 MARCH/APRIL 2 019
and who are purchasing on taste - that's
why we have the customers we do. "
Now, they supply over 400 breweries
across the country including Michigan
breweries like Atwater Brewery in
Detroit. Their Lip-Lock Cherry Stout
uses the sharp flavor of Montmorency
cherries to complement the dark, rich
flavor of the beer.
" A full and dark outing, Atwater's
Cherry Stout features the malt
complexity common to American-Style
stout with the tartness, not sweetness of
Michigan Cherries, " the brewery wrote
in its description. " The blend of fully
fermented fruit and toasted, nutty malt
characters bring forth an elusive cherry
wood aroma to the finish. "
Atwater isn't alone in using fruit
flavors. Many craft breweries around
the country are incorporating fruits
as well as vegetables to an extent,
in their beers. Craft breweries are
defined by the Brewers Association as
breweries that are small, independent
and traditional (see sidebar).
The U.S. has seen an explosion of
this class of brewery in the last 25
years or so, going from just under 800
in 1995 to over 6,000 in 2016. Those
craft operations have been catering
to the increasingly adventurous tastes
of consumers, creating hoppy India
pale ales with fruity finishes and light
summer beers featuring the refreshing
taste of cucumber.
One such brewery is on the edge of
Grand Teton National Park. Roadhouse
Brewing caters to a wide clientele,
including the adventure-seeking locals
of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. and Teton
Valley, Idaho.
They have a lineup of full-bodied
IPAs, mellow blonde ales and plenty
of beers that feature notes provided
by fruit. One beer that has gained
a
good amount of popular it y
after it was featured in their taproom
is their Honey Drip honey basil Kolsch.
" It was one of our fastest selling
beers. People just ate it up, " said brewer
Mike Agricola.

March/April 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March/April 2019

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