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Brut IPAs


Craft brewers are always pushing the envelope, always willing to try something different. The latest innovation is the Brut IPA. During fermentation, yeast consumes sugar, producing alcohol in the process. Typically, some residual sugar remains, but add a brewer's enzyme, amyloglucosidase, and all the sugar is converted, leaving a bone-dry beer. That's what a San Francisco brew pub did a while back, and the Brut IPA was born. Here are three different takes on the style:

Ommegang Brut IPA, $3.29—$3.69

When I think Cooperstown, New York, I think baseball and this brewery, best known for its Belgian-style ales. This departure is slightly hazy, a pale straw color with a delicate froth topping. The citrus aromas are backed by mineral and a hint of herb. The flavors are bright and bold with bitter hops, cracker, citrus zest, mineral and a mouth-drying, lightly sour finish.

Sierra Nevada Brut IPA, $1.69—$1.99

The thin, egg-white head sticks around on this pale-yellow brew. The aromas are a bit reserved, with subtle cracked-wheat, grass, and herbal hops. There's more cracked wheat on the thin, dry palate, while lightly bitter hops come through on the short finish. This beer is a bit disappointing given this brewery's track record.

Woodland Empire This Time Tomorrow, $3.29—$3.69

This crystal-clear, golden pour sports a decent head with little staying power. The nose is a mixed medley of fruity hops with a touch of pine and creamy caramel. The palate is beyond smooth, with big hop flavors but just a subtle hop bite. Soft malt adds depth to this brew, which has a dry, ethereal finish. Score one for the home team.