This summer is looking to be all about the melon: watermelon ,to be precise, and it's going right into your beer.
That's right; everyone's favorite member of the family Cucurbitaceae (you know, those vine-like flowering plants that the Japanese like to make into cubes) is poised to take 2016 by storm. Last year seemed to be all about the fruited IPAs, from blood orange to grapefruit to pineapple to every citrus variety imaginable. Now things have gotten a bit mellower and a lot more red with a seemingly voracious appetite in the craft beer community for watermelon-flavored beers.
They're taking over local taps.
21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon, an American wheat beer brewed with fresh watermelon, has been a staple at the California Brewery for years but has only recently become a sought-after brew in our neck of the woods. New Belgium Brewing Company has jumped in with a watermelon-and-lime beer called Heavy Melons, a light but juicy pale ale from one of the biggest breweries in the craft business.
Local brewers have taken the melon to new heights as well. When they opened last year, Twisted Trunk Brewing wowed drinkers with their Watermelon Saison, a beer that's in no way gimmicky with its additions. Native Brewing Company is also in the game with their Wit-R-Melon, a special release at the Craft Beer Cartel featuring watermelon in a Belgian Wit.
Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach has released a small 15-gallon batch of their collaboration
Can we expect more watermelon flavors to appear from breweries this summer? Probably. There's already a Watermelon Ale from Thomas Hooker Brewery in Connecticut. And the Watermelon Dorado double IPA from Ballast Point. Don't forget the Watermelon Gose from Terrapin Beer Company.
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Even Budweiser decided to get involved last year by poking fun at the growing number of watermelon beers.
To hell with them; watermelon wheat beers are delicious. I for one am looking forward to what our local craft brewers will do with their big-ass melons.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.