New Year’s Eve always seems more festive with a little “bubbly” and now that bubbly can mean beer. This week on Beer Notes we are exploring the world of Biere de Champagne or Biere Brut.
According to Beer Advocate there are 91 different champagne beers The Biere de Champagne originated in Belgium. It adopted the complicated fermentation process of champagne, including “multiple fermentations and the remuage and dégorgement process of yeast removal. (A bottle’s neck is frozen and the cap is removed. Then the pressure forces out the yeast and sediment.)”
Champagne yeast is frequently used because it allows for higher alcohol content and it effectively consumes the sugars in the beer, drying out the beverage.
The style is typified by a delicate beverage, light in color, high in alcohol and with higher than average carbonation. In an article in Wine Enthusiast, the founder and brewmaster of Adelbert’s Brewery is quoted as saying that their champagne beer, the limited-release Sundowner “is a great crossover style perfect for beer lovers and non-beer fans to enjoy together.”
American brewers have taken this style to a new level. They are mixing yeast varieties with the Champagne yeast to produce new flavors of this effervescent beer. From Brut IPAs to pilsners, ales, and even Belgian dubbels and tripels, craft beer drinkers will be able to find a champagne beer at one of your local or regional breweries to celebrate the New Year or other special occasions.