As a supposed “beer expert” I am always asked what the next big beer style or craze will be. In the past two years we have seen the emergence of the hazy IPA, which as I have said in the past, I was against before I came around to actually embrace. However, something was always missing for me with the hazy IPA. As a lover of wine and Champagne, I always lean toward dry whites and brut Champagne. I do not need unwanted residual sugar. As white wine and Champagne have a much higher alcohol level than my favorite IPAs, it is imperative that they are as dry as possible.
Brewer’s yeast can only consume fermentable sugar and therefore there is usually a small percentage of unfermentable sugars remaining. However, a local brewer in San Francisco found a solution! San Francisco has been a very important city in the history and development of beer in our country. After all, “steam beer” was invented in this great city. Social Kitchen Brewery and their Brewmaster Kim Sturdavant had been using a well-known enzyme, amylase, to help dry out his high-gravity beers. This technique is a common process used by many brewers worldwide. However, Kim thought he could perhaps employ the same technique in a lower alcohol beer like an IPA and really do something different with a style to suit his preference. And guess what folks … BAM! The local beer scene went nuts! Kim is well known in the region and was happy to share this new style, which he coined “Brut IPA,” with his brewing friends! His only request was to agree to use the term “brut.” He thought this would be a way to invent a new style of beer!
As we are finishing up our annual business plans with our great partner brewers for 2019, it was fascinating to me to see how Brut IPA is in many of our plans! I love this new style and I know you will too!
Our brewers are busy working on different versions as well. Perhaps Champagne yeast instead of brewer’s yeast? Why not? After all, breweries like Calicraft and Dogfish Head are already blurring the line between wine and beer with great results!
This is a fun time to see the creation of a brand new style, Brut IPA! Be sure to find our great new selections of this style from Drake’s, Sierra Nevada, Anderson Valley, New Belgium, Ommegang and many more to come.