Get to Know the Latest Trend in IPA Styles: Brut IPA

Oct. 29, 2018

Brut IPA

You’ve heard of an imperial IPA, a session IPA or maybe even a hazy IPA, but are you familiar with the newly arrived brut IPA? It’s a new variation of an IPA that’s making waves among breweries and consumers alike. 

Brewers have been experimenting lately by using an enzyme (amyloglucosidase) that’s typically used for imperial stouts and triple IPAs to cut the sugar content, while preserving the alcohol content. 

The end result is pale in color, highly effervescent and dry like champagne while still maintaining the hoppy aromatics of a traditional IPA.

We spoke to Breakthru Beverage Colorado’s Senior Manager - Beer, Therese Rednor, about this new style of IPA and her thoughts on this bubbling trend.

What does a brut IPA taste like?

Therese Rednor: The idea behind a brut IPA – at least in the naming – is to resonate the character of the dry finish while still bursting with flavor at the front. Brut implies “dry” to the average American consumer and it’s a great short descriptor for this type of beer.

A good brut IPA will be crisp, hop-forward on the nose and finishes clean, fast and dry. It’s not cloying, resinous or malty -- it’s very pleasant!

Do you see this trend growing like the New England IPA? 

From the standpoint of breweries creating brut IPAs – YES. At least for now. What will be interesting is how consumers respond to it. This hits a lot of types of consumers: the IPA drinker and the non-IPA drinker alike in that the hops being used are, I think, more universally palatable.

But the beer industry, in response to the constant demand of “what’s new?” has thrown a lot of different beers out there. Seasonals, while declining, continue to play a big role in the brewery portfolio. Different spices in beers continue to dominate in seasonals, such as chai, coffee and chocolate nibs.

Now there are more than just juicy IPAs, there are juicy lagers coming out. Grapefruit IPAs were really hot a year and a bit ago, then came the grapefruit lagers. What will be interesting is not only what sticks to create a category, but which breweries can create a brut IPA that resonates enough with the consumers to make it part of their always-eon beer lineup. 

What have colleagues in the industry have to say about this new style? 

Some roll their eyes to yet “another new style” and some say, “Wow, this is great!” Personally, I think if done well, not only will this style become a category, but the breweries who produce a high quality, consistent brut IPA will be successful.

Right now, I think the war cry in the beer industry has to be, “Quality! Quality! Quality!” and the breweries with the labs who are testing their beer and making consistent quality beer will ultimately win.
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