Style: Brut IPA / Wine Hybrid
Grain: Pilsner, Carafoam
Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Hallertau Blanc
Extra: Niagara wine must
Fermented with Kveik yeast
Tasting notes: white grapes, mango, slight butter and allspice
Pair with: Seared Tuna Salad, Blistered Shishito Peppers, Margarita Flat Bread
A few years back, a new style of beer popped up on the west coast and there was talk of it finally usurping the king of beer styles, the Hazy IPA. It was known as Brut IPA and my guess is you've never heard of it - so you know how well that went. The use of the "Brut" moniker is to draw comparison to Brut Champagne - the beer is meant to be light in color, fizzy, and bone dry. I'm not a big fan of Brut Champagne, nor the Brut IPAs I've had commercially. The beers tend to be a little too dry, thin, and harsh for my palate. So I'm reimagining the style, and the first change is to lean into the Champagne aspect by actually using grapes.
Grapes ferment differently than barley and prefer different yeast, so the world of wine+beer hybrids is largely uncharted territory. Dogfish Head has tackled it a few times, there are some breweries in Italy going all in on it, but for the most part beer and wine keep to their respective sides of the playing field. Rather than dive into the world of mixed fermentations, I simply moved the wine must to after fermentation - the beer fermented bone dry through the use of a special yeast strain and added enzymes, then I back-sweetened with the wine must. This took the edge off the dry finish and helped preserve those beautiful grape aromatics and flavor. To further increase the perception of white wine, I added the two wine-iest hops out there.