The Year of Hazy Beer Brings About Brut in 2019
December 5th 2018 | From Union Beer Distributors
2018 has officially validated three hazy styles. What will 2019 bring?
2018 Trends Validate Three New Styles
Though the trend of Hazy IPAs started with the cult following of The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, the industry was always skeptical of how long this trend would last. We saw Hazy IPAs not only continue through 2018, but continue to pick up steam. After years of various small batch brewers capitalizing on haze and upping the juice factor in line-forming limited releases, we saw the first commercially available Hazy IPAs released this year. One of these highly anticipated releases was Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing, which came out in February of 2018. Consumers went crazy for Hazy, which has only further proven the appeal of haze to the masses by becoming the legendary Sierra Nevada’s fastest growing SKU yet.
Only one month later, a moment that countless brewers have been waiting for finally happened. In March, the 2018 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines were released. It included new beer styles identified in the guidelines and Brewers Association competitions as “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.” For many years, brewers had no choice but to enter their hazy ales into regular IPA and Pale Ale categories, competing in a style whose guidelines did not accurately match their beer. Competition aside, this step is already a big win for juice brewers.
2019 New Styles to Try in the New Year
As can be expected, the success of one extreme can almost always be linked to a movement towards the opposite extreme. Just as Juicy IPAs are claiming their validation and recognition in the Brewers Association guidelines, a new style is borning: the Brut IPA.
The enzyme amyloglucosidase is no stranger to the brewing scene. A common remedy to excess sweetness in Imperial Stouts, amyloglucosidase is known to break down complex sugars, making it possible for yeast to ferment it. This enzyme used in an IPA creates the exact opposite of a juicy beer. It makes the beer bone-dry.
While a few breweries have begun tinkering with their own versions of a Brut IPA, one to watch is Ommegang’s Brut IPA. Cleverly taking into consideration the holidays, Ommegang has brewed the perfect beer for your New Year’s resolution. Clocking in at 140 calories and only 4 carbohydrates per bottle, this Brut IPA isn’t just a style experiment. It’s a flavorful, readily available, low carb, calorie conscious option for hop lovers everywhere.
Doug Campbell, president of Brewery Ommegang, states “With Brut IPA, we’ve created a distinctively Ommegang expression of this hop-driven style, using high attenuation and bottle conditioning to achieve a bright, dry, champagne-like character. It’s a classy New York counterpoint to the hazy New England IPA.”
With endless factors to dictate industry trends and seemingly limitless innovation from craft brewers around the nation, only time can tell what 2019 will bring.
More Brut IPAs to seek: Stone Enjoy By 01.01.19, Otter Creek Super Brut IPA, Fair State The Brut Squad