We never really planned to use fresh fruit in our core production beers, in fact we never actually intended to use fruit at all. As fate would have it, a good friend of the brewery had a single blood orange tree on his property. After we added the fresh blood oranges to a batch of our Belgian style wit we knew we were on to something. The freshness and brightness achieved by using whole real fruit was something uncommon in a style often filled with artificial flavors and colors.
The challenges of using fresh fruit are real. For starters, we're a stubborn group, if there's something we can do ourselves we do it. That includes emptying out the brewery and taking the whole crew into the groves for a day to pick fruit. Sure we could hire out the fruit picking process, and we do from time to time, but if we have time to do it ourselves we certainly do.
All this effort is worth it. We pride ourselves on not filling our beer with artificial ingredients and potentially toxic chemicals. But even more than that we want to deliver the freshest most real beers possible. This is only possible by controlling the entire process of juice extraction and additions, and it's the way we'll continue to do things around here, not because it's the easiest or cheapest, but because it's the best way.