This script is from the second season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at beernotes.org.

One of the latest trends in the world of craft beer is sweeping across Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, as well as the rest of the country. This week on Beer Notes, we’re looking at the birth of the Brut IPA — the newest iteration of the India Pale Ale.

The Brut IPA was created by brewmaster Kim Sturdavant of San Francisco’s Social Kitchen and Brewery. He’d been experimenting with the enzyme amyloglucosidase, or AMG, which is used to break down sugars in the brewing process and has traditionally been used to make “light” beers or to lighten the body in alcohol-heavy and viscous imperial stouts.

In November of 2017, Sturdavant added the AMG to a traditional IPA.  The resulting brew was bone dry, just a little bit hazy, and 0 degrees Plato, which means there are no residual sugars in the beer at all– but we’ll save the story on the Plato gravity scale for another episode.

Brut IPAs are traditionally crisp and not extremely bitter, but with high hop aromas, full of bubbles, and extremely dry, in the vintner’s sense of the word.

Sturdavant and other brewers are now experimenting with when the hops are added and what grains are used in the grist. Rice lightens the beer and tastes “coconuty,” while corn makes it creamier. Adding the AMG earlier in the brewing process allows a little sugar to remain, making some Brut IPAs a little less dry.

Sturdavant told Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, “The Brut IPA style lets the hops shine in a wholly unique way, and it’s an excellent counterpoint to the juicy New England–style IPAs we’ve been making.”

Here on Delmarva, EVO Craft Brewing leads the style with their BrutAle DrIPA. Across the Bay, Union Craft Brewing recently brewed a limited-release Brut in their “Rough Draughts” series.

Keep your eyes peeled, because this latest creative endeavor of craft brewers is only just getting started — and the competition for the best Brut IPA might get brutal. For Beer Notes, this is Anne Neely.

Kristin Helf
Author: Kristin Helf

Kristin is a writer and picture-taker in Ocean City, Maryland. She likes puppies, pumpkin ales and watching movies for the Ocean City Film Festival in her spare time.

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