Fruits of Summer

The term “fruits of summer” typically speaks of the harvest of the vegetables and fruits which summer produced.  For our purposes, we are going to talk about beer items that have fruit as part of their makeup.

I will start with one of my favorite beer items: SeaQuench from Dogfish Head.  Dogfish Head, born in June of 1995, has an amazing sour beer named SeaQuench.  It has “Sea” in the name because it has sea salt as an ingredient.  And Quench because it is very satisfying at quenching your thirst.  Crisp flavors of black limes and sea salt make this beer tasty.  Voted best low calorie beer by Men’s Health for the second year in a row.  It has 140 calories, 9 carbs, with 4.9% ABV.  This beer pairs well with anything seafood. Available in Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa stores.

Short’s Brewery out of Bellaire, Michigan has a big summer seller with fruit.  It is the Soft Parade Shandy.  This shandy starts with the great selling Soft Parade beer from Short’s.  Added to this great base of beer is paired with great citrus juice from Northwoods soda in northern Michigan.  Only 4.2% ABV and 12 IBUs, this beer pairs with hot dogs and sweet corn. Available in Michigan stores.

Budweiser had made a brand new Bud Light Orange for 2018.  Available in bottles and cans, this new beer has taken off with a bang.  The label cannot be missed in the beer cooler with its all-orange look.  The look of this beer makes you think orange soda and your nose says the same.  However the taste is a lighter orange with a clean and crisp finish.  The taste is delivered by being brewed with orange peels.  It is a great pairing with lemon pepper chicken or a salad with fruit and goat cheese.  This beer is featured in our ad this week. Available in Family Fare, not in ad this week in North Dakota and South Dakota, but always in store at a great price.

Leinenkugel has the classic fruited beer, Lemon Shandy.  When this beer first came out, we could not get enough.  This beer is still a strong leader in our beer sales.  The base of the Leine Shandy is wheat beer that is mixed with lemonade.  ABV is 4.2%, and the IBUs are 11.  They also make an orange shandy and a watermelon shandy for the summer of 2018.  Pair with BBQ Chicken or grilled fish.  They all taste great! Available in Family Fare.

One of New Holland’s new beer items is the Tangerine Space Machine.  This is a New England style IPA which indicates it is sweeter and is unfiltered.  This beer is very good and has great balance between the malt and hops.  The hops are Galaxy, Topaz, and Michigan Copper.  Nice to see local hops being used in local beer.  The ABV is 6.8% with 40 IBUs.  I would match this beer with Asian dishes that are spicy, Buffalo wings, and BBQ Ribs. Available in Michigan stores.

Another favorite summer beer of mine is the Green Zebra from Founders Brewing.  This beer is Gose style and made with watermelon and sea salt.  The style Gose gets its name from town where the beer originated, Goslar, Germany, and is a sour beer.  At least 50% of the grain bill is malted wheat.  The flavors you find in this beer are lemon sourness with watermelon and salt.  The sourness is accomplished by inoculating the beer with a lactobacillus bacteria after the boil.  With only 10 IBUs you do not have any hop in the nose or on the palate.  It is a very delicious beer. Available in Michigan stores.


Greg Vanoverloop Beer Wine Spirits Category Manager

Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist

  • Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975.  Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
  • Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years.  Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
  • Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer  since 1997.  CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
  • Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
  • Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books.    Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust.  Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese.  Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon.  Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone.  Best book – Wonder.
  • 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.