Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat Ale — Kensington Brewing Co

There are a lot of beers out there with fruit in them.  To start with, the myriad lite lime type things that seem to have endless marketing budgets.  There are also more than a few pleasing beers made in Canada with things like raspberries, apricots or blueberries in them.  And, of course, there are the classic Lambics from Belgium, many of which have fruits added like raspberries, cherries, peaches or black currants.  I have had more than a few of these varied beers, and have liked some, disliked others, and been madly in love with a few.  But until Brock from Kensington Brewing Co told me about Fruit Stand last summer, I had not yet come across a beer made with watermelon.  Which is a shame; watermelon is a sweet juicy flavour, that should go well in a beer.  So does it?

Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat Ale — Kensington Brewing Co.

Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat Ale — Kensington Brewing Co.

From a sample 473ml can, Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat Ale pours a slightly auburn yellow.  Which caught me off guard, as I was kind of expecting it to be pink/red.  A big fluffy head drops pretty quickly to a ring with a bit of fuzz in the centre supported by the carbonation.  The aroma is immediately malty and fruity.  There is clearly some sweet malted barley, and a bit of a wheat tang, balanced with a floral and fruity pop.  I probably wouldn’t have immediately said it was watermelon, if it hadn’t been in the name, but it is quite bright and inviting.  In fact, it sort of reminds me of a raspberry bush in season. Juicy sweet berries with some herbal leafy greens.  Or a bit like the smell of a slice of watermelon, when you’ve eaten it down to the rind.  Still sweet and fruity, but with a bit of an earthy leafy thing going on.  All that immediately becomes moot when you sip it, and watermelon comes zooming in.  Light juicy and sweet, very “real” (as in, I have no doubt this was made with watermelon juice, not flavouring).  There is also a tannic leafy hop to the taste, which helps balance off the sweetness of the watermelon.  There is still some grainy sweetness and wheaty tang from the grain-bill, but it is more supporting, the main show is the juicy watermelon.  The beer is light and effervescent on the palate, with a bright carbonation and a well balanced finish, fairly dry, with traces of the sweet juice lingering on.  A great summertime beer, and a nice addition to the approachable fruit beer selection in the province.

Cheers, Kensington!

Buy Watermelon Wheat Ale

I believe this will be available at the LCBO shortly, and it is definitely on draught around Toronto (like, it was on tap today when I was at The Only).

Drink It With

A summer BBQ.  Nicely glazed and grilled pork chops with a fresh salad, maybe with roasted beets to touch on the sweetness of the fruit and the earthy bitterness of the hops.  For cheese, maybe a lightly tart soft sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese.  Not super funky, just a little tang and pop.

About The Brewery

The Kensington Brewing Company is a small, independently owned and operated craft beer company located in the heart of Kensington Market, Toronto. We started brewing at Black Oak in 2011 and have since moved on to Wellington County Brewery, in Guelph Ontario. By the summer of 2013 we plan to move into a new space in the Market where we can brew and distribute our own beer. In the mean time, you can find us at our office at Augusta Ave and Dundas.

All that immediately becomes moot when you sip it, and watermelon comes zooming in.


  1. Posted May 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Though a fruit beer isn’t normally my first, second, or even third choice I can’t pass up the chance to try a new beer made by a Canadian brewing company. I didn’t realise Kensington brewed at Wellington!

  2. Bijan
    Posted May 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday I had a Watermelon Wheat Ale at Betty’s and I was surprised. It felt like summer.

  3. chris
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Pretty excited for Brock and the crew at Kensington. AA is a great beer and seems to be doing well at the LCBO, and I assume Fruit Stand will as well.

    Bijan, it’s funny how a beer can initiate a feeling like that. For me, watermelon is such a “summer” taste, more so than raspberry or cherry, which are common fruit beer flavours. So this one totally makes me yearn for an hour in the sun swinging in my hammock. Maybe with the smell of hardwood smoke drifting over from my smoker……

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