Thirst Trap: Introducing Brut IPA (5.5%)
Earlier in the Spring, a few members of our team had the opportunity to visit San Francisco and check out their vibrant beer scene. Although both Bandits visited the Bay Area separately, they shared their notes on where to enjoy some of the city’s most innovative and most importantly, tasty, brews. It seems like it was in a “divey” beer bar, not far from the infamous intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, that they both got to try their first Brut IPA, a fairly new style in the beer world, but one that has positioned itself as San Francisco’s buzziest (and fizziest) beer style of the year. This newcomer to the craft beer industry remains true to other West Coast styles; it’s all about the intense aromas, but brings down the gravity in the beer to a minimum, resulting in a bone-dry, effervescent beer, hence the Champagne-referencing name.
With all that inspiration in mind, and continuing on our fondness for dry West Coast beer styles (Dundas West Coast IPA, Flashback IPA), we decided to take on the challenge to create our very own version of a Brut IPA. The result? A light bodied, slightly hazy, “fizzy” beer with strong aromas of grape and citrus and a particularly intense bone-dryness that makes it stand out from any of our other beers.
Brewing this beer style is somewhat different than other IPAs, since it’s necessary to bring its gravity down as much as possible in order to provide the beer with its characteristic dryness. The initial mashing turned into a longer process, as we had to bring the temperature way down in order to release as many fermentable sugars. An addition of the amyloglucosidase enzyme, an enzyme more commonly used to lighten the body of Porters and Stouts, helps to continue breaking down the complex sugars that didn't turn into alcohol, removing as much sweetness as possible from the beer. Using Hallertau Blanc hops, an incredibly aromatic hop variety with overtones of grape, berries, and pear, for the dry-hopping brought forward the champagne-like quality of the beer.
Brut IPA is now available on tap in our brewpub, as well as in our bottle shop.