Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Forrest Brewing Company’s Cherry Whit Beer


1) I’m not really a fan of the rules about beer styles. Oh, I get why they’re needed – how the hell is a beer judge going to work out which is the best if there’s no guidelines that explain what the beer is supposed to be? Without the guidelines all beer judging would be little more than “I like this” or “needs more hops”. And we already have Untappd for that.

2) But I’m not a beer judge so I don’t really care about how closely a beer sticks to a style. I have a rough idea what to expect from a certain style and so, when I’m at a beer store, it helps me make my decisions. And that’s really all I need.

3) Though I had this beer from Forrest Brewing Company in Victoria that made me at least look to the BJCP Guidelines to see what a “fruit beer” was. Offically. You see, the beer was a limited release number (though when you only have a 600-litre brewery all the releases are technically “limited”);  a witbier made with Australian cherries. And it got me thinking – what’s the go with fruit beers? Should the fruit dominate? The style? Or should it be a combination of the two?

4) So I checked. Officially, a fruit beer should be “a harmonious marriage of fruit and beer, but still recognizable as a beer. The fruit character should be evident but in balance with the beer, not so forward as to suggest an artificial product.” So a melding of fruit and style.

5) But not that that mattered much to me anyway. I just go on whether or not I like a beer. And I thought this one goes alright – but maybe dialling back on the cherries might have helped. In the glass it’s got a colour that reminded me of cough syrup. The main flavour here is cherry; it’s really dominant. I think I found some witbier characters but I had to go looking for this because the cherry stands right up front. A bit more of a balance between cherries and witbier would have been good.

Free or paid for?: Free. They emailed me to ask if I wanted a beer. I said yes. But really, who wouldn’t?

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