The fermentation of grapes results in wine; the fermentation of grain results in beer. Because beer is a more flexible category, when both are used, the result is usually considered a specialty beer rather than a specialty wine.
These beverages often have a very different quality from typical fruit beers, with the wine contributing significant character and often detectable wine notes to the finished beer.
History of grapes in beer
Given the worldwide popularity of both wine and beer, it is not surprising that many ancient brews often included a little of each. However, in modern times, the tendency has been to keep them separate. Even in Belgium, where fruit is a common beer ingredient, grapes are not often used.
However, a few craft brewers in Belgium and the United States have recently released beer-wine hybrids. The most widely distributed is probably Druivenbier, Flemish for "grape beer", brewed with red wine grapes by Paeleman brewery in Belgium starting around 2005; it was first brewed as an experiment when the brewer was unable to obtain the usual supply of cherries for the kriek he planned to brew. Allagash, Dogfish Head, and other American craft breweries have also experimented with grape beer, and a grape pale ale will be included in the 2007 Sam Adams Longshot sixpack.
Types of grape beer
The amount and varietal of grape used will largely determine the character of the beer. In addition, some brewers give their beers a "wine" character by aging in wine barrels rather than by adding wine directly to the beer.
Brewing grape beer
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