With competition comes innovation, and the American IPA knows this phrase too well. Over the last twenty years American breweries have been constantly broadening the parameters of this hop forward beer, resulting in the emergence of styles such as the Double IPA, Black IPA and the currently trending Hazy/Juicy IPA. Most recently, hailing predominantly from breweries on the West Coast, a new style has been born: the Brut IPA.
The Brut IPA is brewed like a traditional American IPA; however, brewers use the enzyme amyloglucosidase within the mash to break down complex sugars. This process makes the sugars highly fermentable, creating a beer that finishes bone-dry with no residual sweetness. The brewers then partner this method with high carbonation, mimicking traditional dry champagne, which warrants the name Brut. The hops shine in a wholly unique way, creating an excellent counterpoint to the traditional IPA.
A few breweries have already begun developing their own versions of the Brut IPA. Here are a few of our favorites:
Ommegang Brut IPA – Weighing in at 6.3% ABV and 49 IBUs, Ommegang’s Brut IPA is dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso and Citra hop varietals, followed by a two-week bottle conditioning process to achieve high levels of carbonation. Aromas of dank, resinous pine, grapefruit and pineapple precede a lively effervescence body and bone-dry finish. Now available throughout the Capital Region in 4-pack bottles.
New Belgium Brut IPA – Bubbly, dry, crisp and refreshing, this effervescent brew pours platinum blonde with white grape and tropical fruit aromas. New Belgium's Brut IPA offers a crisp alternative to those hazy New England IPAs. At 6.7% ABV and 55 IBUs, this brew starts sweet but ends with a slight bitterness, a very light body and a refreshingly dry finish. Now available throughout the Capital Region in 6-pack bottles.
Sierra Nevada Brut IPA – This new spring seasonal from Sierra Nevada is as intriguing as it is drinkable. With an ABV of 6.2% and only 25 IBUs, this Brut IPA is brewed for a dry, champagne-style finish. Late hop additions give the beer balanced bitterness and a bright pop of citrus flavor. Now available throughout the Capital Region in 6-pack bottles.
Head to our Beer Finder to find these Brut IPAs at a retailer near you.
MacKenzie Zarzycki was born and raised in Schuylerville, N.Y., where the beer flows like wine. Now a Certified Cicerone®, MacKenzie is on a mission to further her beer knowledge. When she’s not contributing to gotbeer.com, she’s nursing an unhealthy level of attachment to her dog, Kylie.