Beer of the Week – Heritage Passion Brew

This article was originally written in February 2007 for the food & drink website Taste T.O., and republished here in September 2011 (but back-dated to match the original publication date) after the Taste T.O. blog was shut down and taken offline.

Ever since the first batch of beer was made in Mesopotamia, people have been adding in a wide variety of fermentable ingredients, including fruit, in attempts to make the beverage stronger and/or tastier. While many beer geeks today look down on fruit beers as gimmicks and “girly drinks”, there are enough examples of high-quality fruit based beers around to prove that it’s a viable style that’s worth exploring.

So when Ottawa’s Heritage Brewing released a limited edition passion fruit beer called Passion Brew in honour of Valentine’s Day last year, I tried it with an open mind. Granted, I wasn’t expecting anything along the lines of a dry, tart & effervescent Framboise or Kriek. And that’s good, because if I had, my expectations certainly would not have been met.

That’s not to say that Passion Brew is necessarily a bad beer – it’s just a very, very sweet one. It has a clear, bright pinkish-golden colour, and a sweet aroma of peach and passion fruit. The body is thin and sticky, and it has a very sweet flavour with lots of candyish fruit notes. I didn’t hate it, but I also couldn’t imagine drinking more than the small glass that I had, which makes me wonder why Heritage chose to release it exclusively in 650 ml “bomber” bottles. A standard 341 ml bottle of this sugary brew would be more than enough to share with a special someone, preferably along with a similarly sweet desert.

This year’s batch of Passion Brew is available now for $4.95/650 ml at select LBCO locations. In Toronto, your best chance at finding it would be at the Yonge & Summerhill store.

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