Imagine you’re a can of beer. Surviving a cross-country trip in a suitcase, which was undoubtedly thrashed about by uncaring baggage handlers at the airport, is no small feat. You made it, though, only to be immortalized in a tiny corner of the Internet because of the explosive deliciousness of your contents! You are Fruitlands, from San Diego’s Modern Times Brewing. You are legend.
I had never heard of Modern Times before I spotted a few of their selections in one of Southern California’s Total Wine locations. Remember that scene in Clerks in which Randall Graves drops to his knees out of pure joy in Big Choice Video? Equate that with Total Wine’s craft beer selection and you have my reaction every time I step foot into that store.
As for the beer, sours and goses are among my favorite styles, and being that I’m always looking to try beers from breweries I’ve never heard of, this can was eagerly, yet gingerly placed into my handbasket. Finally cracking it open weeks after my return to New Jersey, my tastebuds were about to go to a party for which they were not even close to ready.
Fruitlands is a gose-style sour that’s brewed with passion fruit and guava, and let’s face it – who doesn’t like tropical fruits? What’s fantastic here is that the fruit taste is REAL – it’s easy to tell that there are no gimmicks or artificial flavoring here. The salty, wheaty character of the traditional gose lays down the backbone, while the one-two punch of tropical fruits take the forefront, but no so much that you get sick of them.
Poured from a pint can, Fruitlands appears a hazy, opaque, orange hue. For me, the smell, which wasn’t particularly strong, was of nothing but fruit, and I have absolutely no problem with that. The first sip made me almost giddy, as I hadn’t the slightest inkling that it would be as tasty as it was. Fruitlands weighs in at just 4.8% on the ABV scale making it highly sessionable.
Modern Times Brewing has put forth a ridiculously good sour beer here – just tart enough without making your mouth pucker, with a moderate saltiness that hits the back of the tongue to balance out the sour factor. Fruitlands is a perfect beer for easy drinking in the summer, which regrettably for me is all goddamn year in Southern California. When I return there, whenever that may be, I’ll be stocking up on this one. Cheers!