What is fruit beer? If we look back in history, we will find a reference point from Neolithic Chinese villagers, who created a beer-like beverage which was made of honey, rice, and hawthorn fruit. Another reference comes from early Egypt where they used dates and pomegranates to make a beer-like drink.
But in the modern day, it is Belgium that rebelled and started brewing ‘fruit beer’. It is not a very old concept, and started only in 1930 with the brewing of the first cherry Lambics and Krieks.
Non-alcoholic beverages are permitted by Islam and are popular in countries that enforce alcohol prohibition, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran. Theterm “non-alcoholic” (e.g., alcohol-free beer) is described as a beverage that contains 0.0% ABV (though the definition of non-alcoholic differs from country to country—it can vary from 0.5% to 2.8%). Unlike normal beer, drinking fruit beer doesn’t intoxicate you, or damage your kidney or liver. And these beverages are easy to find in the market. The most common one is cherry fruit beer.
A lot of people view beer without alcohol as an unnatural imitation, a product that must be full of added artificial flavors. But the reality is that non-alcoholic beer actually starts out as normal beer. Malt gets mashed and boiled with hops and then goes through a fermentation process which creates alcohol and carbon dioxide. It is at this time that it gets bottled if it is to be sold as alcoholic beer. But for fruit beer, this then must undergo another step—removing the alcohol content.
The most usual and simple method to remove alcohol from beer is to heat the brew. Since alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, it evaporates, and can be kept on the boil until only the desired amount of alcohol remains. However this process can sometimes alter the taste.
Another alcohol removal process is similar to the way we desalinate ocean water—a reverse osmosis. This method is also less destructive to the flavour, though much more laborious and time consuming. After this process, the beverage must be re-carbonated and which is often done by injecting carbon dioxide in to the beverage.