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5 key lime pie beers that are better than the real thing

5 Key Lime Pie Beers That Taste Even Better Than the Real Thing

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Just when it feels like fall is creeping in, we get one last burst of summertime with the tropical flavors of National Key Lime Pie Day. Yes — every Sept. 23 is, in fact, a “holiday” to celebrate key lime pie. This sweet and tart dessert deserves it, being an American icon, especially in Florida where it’s the official state pie.

The traditional pale yellow filling is made from key limes, which are smaller than the more readily available ones we see in our grocery store. Key limes are more aromatic with a higher acidity and more distinctive taste, and it’s all housed in a crispy graham cracker crust or traditional pastry crust.

While a slice of key lime pie sounds great, the dessert in beer form sounds even better. These innovative breweries took inspiration from the Southern staple with these flavorful brews. Best of all, each brewer has a unique twist, and despite all being based on key lime pie, their styles, ABV and ingredients vary.

Key Lime Pie

Short’s Brewing Co. | Bellaire, MI

This experimental ale from Short’s Brewing took gold at the Great American Beer Festival not just one, but two years. Similar to the dessert, it’s brewed with milk sugar, graham cracker, marshmallow fluff and fresh limes resulting in a sweet and tart brew.

Key Lime Pie

Tallgrass Brewing Co. | Manhattan, KS

Key Lime Pie is the first draft-only Explorer Series release at Tallgrass. The American sour blonde ale is not only brewed with lime peel, but also with Sorachi Ace hops, which have a lemon-lime characteristic, making it an ideal choice for this dessert-influenced beer.

Key Lime Pie Gose

Westbrook Brewing Co. | Mount Pleasant, SC

Westbrook took their classic gose, brewed with coriander and salt, and infused it with the flavors of key lime pie for this 4.0 percent ABV beer. This includes lime puree, cinnamon and vanilla.

Key Lime Pie Berliner Weiss

Funky Buddha Brewery | Oakland Park, FL

Only available fresh on draft at Funky Buddha, this tart, tropical-tasting beer is a sour German-style Berliner Weiss brewed with white wheat malt. It’s made with real key lime flesh, cinnamon and vanilla.

Tropical Key Lime Blonde Ale

Vertigo Brewing | Hillsboro, OR

Vertigo Brewing uses 100 percent key lime juice in this light, summer seasonal. The blonde ale, as well as their other beers, can be found in stores and restaurants around Hillsboro in addition to their tap room.

Kristen Kuchar has been writing about the beverage industry for 15 years for a variety of national publications including VinePair, Zymurgy, The Beer Connoisseur,, Beer Advocate, Brew Your Own, Thirst Colorado, All About Beer, DRAFT, and dozens more. She is a Certified Beer Server and has a Level 1 Wine Certification with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust while continuing to pursue further wine and beverage education. is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.