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Canned Craft Beer Becomes Trendy Choice

Canned Craft Beer Becomes Trendy Choice



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Restaurants, bars find cans to preserve flavor, be easier on environment

The first Canned Beer Dinner at Tokio Pub in Schaumburg, Ill., gave guests a grip on two hot topics in today’s industry — craft beer in cans and locally produced beverages.

The four-course, $45-per-person event featured products from Chicago-area craft brewers like double IPA, or India pale ale, paired with Asian BBQ Pork Sandwiches, blonde ale with Tokio Pub Fish and Chips, and stout with liquid-center chocolate cake. Adding to the novelty of the evening were beer-inspired plate presentations like a can-shaped parmesan tuile perched atop a green salad and beer-battered onion rings looped around an empty suds can.

“Initially, people were wowed that they each got their own can of beer,” said Jill Koval, general manager of the pub, which blends Asian and Latin-American culinary influences and is part of the Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises restaurant group. “And they really got to see how much we pride ourselves on food presentation. By the end of the night, everyone was pushing their tables together and having so much fun.”

The pub’s beer list is made up exclusively of cans and beers on draft. All told, there are 10 standard 12-ounce cans ranging from mainstream U.S. lagers to Mexican and Japanese imports and local craft choices. Add to that seven “big cans” ranging from a 14.9-ounce Irish stout to a jumbo 22-ounce Japanese reserve lager. One of the popular choices served at the dinner is a strongly hopped brew that is made just 20 minutes away from the pub in suburban Chicago, Koval noted.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.


Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it's simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let's gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ’n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley's The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.

Like tattoos, IPAs are addictive, and one never enough. They're everywhere, offered in every imaginable flavor and form. There’s the wild IPA, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, tasting—in the most amazing way—of citrus and tropical fruit sipped in a funky cheese cellar white IPA, spiced with coriander and orange peel and even coffee IPA, buzzing with beans. This year, the biggest breakout sub-style is the dry-hopped sour.

It's a relatively low-alcohol or moderate-strength beer, typically turned tart with Lactobacillus (the bacteria that morphs milk into yogurt) and highly dosed with tropical, citrusy hops such as Citra or Amarillo. The results are transfixing, brightly acidic, and overloaded with lush aromas, like a boozy, barely sweet juice box for adults. New Belgium pioneered the style with Le Terroir, a fall release, but look for Evil Twin’s just-canned Sour Bikini and Lagunitas’ Aunt Sally. They're what you want to drink when it's 70 degrees outside, knuckles deep in a bag full of fatty, salty chips or smearing a cracker with a slice of mild, creamy brie.

Despite the bitterly glorious rise of the IPA, America is still a lager-guzzling nation. That’s understandable. Lagers hit that home run of refreshment and restrained ABV, crowd-pleasers suited for BBQs, baseball games, and beach visits alike. Craft brewers typically leave long-aged, cold-fermented lagers to the domain of multinational breweries.

But now, as craft breweries grow in popularity and expand their physical space, many have made the shift toward sessionable, easier-drinking beers, embracing the once-maligned lager. If you regularly crush Corona and Tectate, try 21st Amendment's Mexican-style El Sully or Deep Ellum's tortilla chip–ready Neato Bandito, while Devils Backbone's toasty-sweet Vienna Lager is the new best friend to burgers and pizza.

Photo: Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown, can’t meet demand for their hops heaped with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and mangos, peaches, and papaya. As a runaround, brewers are increasingly looking to Australia and New Zealand.