Brut IPAs: The New Haze?

Around this time last year, we started to see the explosion of hazy IPA popularity. What’s not to love about these hazy guys? They’re pretty far from the ultra-bitter IPAs that were dominating palettes, and it gave non-beer fans an excuse to drink alcoholic orange juice.

The point is, hazy beers are here to stay. The other point is that, because of their lasting power, they’re no longer a fad.

It’s time for a new fad.

Brut IPAs.

Brut (pronounced “brute,” but spelled without the “e” to save time) is a term most commonly applied to super dry champagnes. Unsurprisingly, brut IPAs also have that dry aspect.

Brut IPAs are in their infant years right now, developing personalities and learning important life lessons like “don’t drink too many brut IPAs or you will pay.” And the new craze is just getting started, folks. Prepare your taste buds for this coming dry storm. If you couldn’t piece it together yet, I think that brut IPAs will be more than a fad and will become a commonplace beer over the next few years.

Why? Because they’re different and taste good.

How are brut IPAs made?

To understand the brut, one must know the nature of the brut.

Brut IPAs stem from the enzyme amyloglucosidase, more commonly referred to as amylase. This enzyme is commonly known for digesting sugars.

A little background: in brewing (and alcohol making in general), the alcohol comes from sugars. Sugars, of course, are in pretty much everything. Beer uses malts, typically from barley, which carry enzymes of their own. These enzymes break the barley down into sugar. The yeast them comes in, eats the sugar and spits out alcohol. Easy peasy.

In a super simplified way, more sugar can mean more booze. More booze lets you shove the ABV up into higher ranges, making that tasty 6% IPA into a 10% triple IPA mistake.

These boozy bad boys needed more sugar, and amylase was used to break them down so the drink wasn’t horribly sweet. Then, a mad scientist applied amylase to a beer intended to have a lower ABV: a traditional IPA.

The result? The amylase eats more sugars, making the beer less sweet and bitter and, ultimately, dry. It truly is the champagne of beers (sorry, whichever mega-corporation tried to apply that tagline to their beer).

Where can I find a brut IPA?

I don’t know! I have no idea where you live. But I do know this: people like brut IPAs. I like brut IPAs. Demand demands supply, and supply supplies for demand. It’s simple economics, really.

My point is that you’ll probably be seeing brut IPAs popping up all over the place.

And you should try one.

Thomas Short
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