The Fruit Beer category is for beer made with any fruit or combination of fruit under the definitions of this category. The culinary, not botanical, definition of fruit is used here – fleshy, seed-associated structures of plants that are sweet or sour, and edible in the raw state. Examples include pome fruit (apple, pear, quince), stone fruit (cherry, plum, peach, apricot, mango, etc.), berries (any fruit with the word ‘berry’ in it), currants, citrus fruit, dried fruit (dates, prunes, raisins, etc.), tropical fruit (banana, pineapple, mango, guava, passionfruit, papaya, etc.), figs, pomegranate, prickly pear, and so on. It does not mean spices, herbs, or vegetables as defined in Category 30 – especially botanical fruit treated as culinary vegetables. Basically, if you have to justify a fruit using the word “technically” as part of the description, then that’s not what we mean.
See the Introduction to Specialty-Type Beer section for additional comments, particularly on evaluating the balance of added ingredients with the base beer.
The description of the beer is critical for evaluation; judges should think more about the declared concept than trying to detect each individual ingredient. Balance, drinkability, and execution of the theme are the most important deciding factors.
The fruit should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. Base style attributes will be different after the addition of fruit; do not expect the beer to taste identical to the unadulterated base style.
Fruit Beers based on a Classic Style should be entered in this style, except Lambic – there is a special style for Fruit Lambic (23F). Fruited sour or mixed fermentation beers without a Classic Style base should be entered in the 28C Wild Specialty Beer. Fruited versions of sour Classic Style beers (e.g., Flanders Red, Oud Bruin, Gose, Berliner Weisse) should be entered in 29A Fruit Beer. Fruit-based versions of Classic Styles where spices are an inherent part of the Classic Style’s definition (e.g., Witbier, Gose) do not count as a Spice Beer for entering purposes.