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

One brewing trend that’s been steadily gaining traction over the past few years has brewers turning away from some traditional and highly-specific beer styles and towards experimentation.

This week on Beer Notes, we’re discussing the growing popularity of culinary beers where brewers are taking inspiration and even ingredients from food.

Jared Rouben, brewmaster and owner of Moody Tongue Brewing Company in Chicago, believes that the concept of culinary beer rests on three principles: “sourcing the highest-quality ingredients, understanding how to handle those ingredients and knowing when and where during the brewing process to incorporate these ingredients.”

Rouben started his career as a chef, which made it easy for him to cross over to the world of brewing. Some of Moody Tongue’s brews include a peeled grapefruit pilsner, a sliced nectarine IPA and a Smoked Applewood Gold, each with culinary pairing suggestions to create the perfect, beer-centric meal.

Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewing Company has prided itself on, quote, “brewing beers with culinary ingredients” from the very beginning. Sales of their SeaQuench ale, a lower-calorie beer brewed with black limes and sea salt, were up 96 percent over the 52-week period ending February 17, 2019, according to data from market research firm IRI. One of their latest releases – the SuperEIGHT Gose – is brewed with pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, kiwi juice, and quinoa.

Incorporating culinary ingredients from around the world, Dogfish founder Sam Calagione said, has always been their priority. Now, he said, “it is great to see hundreds of craft breweries if not thousands coloring outside of stylistic guidelines.”

Because of the brewers who haven’t been afraid to experiment, craft beer has become more than just an alcoholic beverage – it’s a culinary masterpiece and mainstay. For Beer Notes, this is Ann McGinnis Hillyer.

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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