Preview: Hard Frescos Fruit Beers

Preview: Hard Frescos Fruit Beers
Assortment of Hard Frescos fermented juice drinks. Photo © Mark McDermott

Here's an interesting variation on fermented beverages, which would be appropriate for the last rays of summer. As long as it's warm out, these should be appropriate.

I've been sent some "hard" versions of agua frescas, the fruit based beverages popular in Mexican dining circles. Hard Frescos Brewing Co. makes these beverages in Mexico City, San Francisco, and Stevenson, WA. Unlike "alcopops," neutral malt beverage with flavorings added, these are fermented from fruit juices, with a bit of sugar added. The three samples I was sent clock in at 5.7% abv. And since, like meads and ciders, these products are obliged to print their ingredients and nutrition information, we can see that they are 135 calories per 12 oz. can, with 7 grams of carbs, almost half that of a regular beer.

Guava Citrico. Made with guava, pineapple, orange and lime juice. Going with this first since I'm at least familiar with some of the expected tastes. Guava is not part of of my taste repertoire, but I get a strong fruit nose with clear pineapple behind it. In the glass, it's cloudy, whitish yellow with a soda type head. The taste is kind between a pina colada and a mai tai, just drier. And once I mentioned those drinks, I got coconut on my mind, even though that's not in this. All I need with this is a little paper umbrella.

Juicy Jamaica (Hibiscus). Yes, fermented from Hibiscus flowers, with a little extra sugar. Reddish pink color. Not much of a fizzy head compared to the Guava. Smell is not that "flowery," more like a fruit tea or punch. It's also got a bit of fruit leather to it. I'd call it a mild spice note, too.

Tangy Tamarindo. Fermented from tamarind juice, again with a little bit of sugar. This one is the most "beer" colored. Again, pours a nice little fizz. The smell is fruity again, and somehow I'm reminded of 7-Up Gold, a variant from way back in the 80's that was a bit of ginger ale, with cinnamon and apple flavor added. The taste still reminds me of this lost cause, with a bit of a sparkling cyser (a mead & cider blend) to it. Sweetness is again restrained.

They also have a "Ginger and Kola Seed" in the lineup, and they have seasonal offerings like a hoppy tamerind ale, and a Cucumber & Lime brew. Hard Frescos has a recipe page offering ways to use their brews as a mixer.

Filed under: Beer Review

Tags: Fresca, Hard Frescos

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