In winemaking, the term brut typically refers to a dry Champagne or sparkling wine with little to no residual sugar. However, it’s found its way into the craft-beer world: The brut IPA is a bone-dry, light-bodied, Champagnelike version of the style. Brewmaster Kim Sturdavant of Social Kitchen & Brewery in San Francisco is credited with inventing the brut IPA; now, brewers across the country are experimenting with their takes on the brand-new style.
When it came time to determine the next beer in Broadway Brewery’s Experimental IPA Series, director of marketing Harry Katz says the decision was an easy one. Broadway’s brut IPA is traditional to the – albeit new – style; it’s dry and crisp with lots of hop aroma from Nelson Sauvin, El Dorado and Vic Secret hops. The beer is low in bitterness, which Katz says makes it an easy sell for beer drinkers who might not think they like IPAs. “I think it’s the next New England IPA,” he says. “Whereas the New England IPA is hazy, the brut is a little more nuanced. I think you’re going to see a lot more of them in the next couple months.”
Broadway Brewery, 816 E. Broadway, Columbia, Missouri, 573.443.5054, broadwaybrewery.com
2nd Shift Brewing
It shouldn’t come as a shock that 2nd Shift Brewing co-owner Libby Crider was immediately drawn to the brut IPA style. A sommelier by trade, she loves that the beer emulates the dryness of brut Champagne. The St. Louis brewery’s brut IPA, whose debut batch was made in collaboration with Transient Artisan Ales in Michigan, quickly sold out in cans. Crider describes it as a crisp beer with the mouthfeel of an ale and a nice juicy hop profile thanks to some Amarillo and Idaho 7 hops. “It’s a super clean, simple style,” she says. “I just wanted to do something different – we’re a brewery that’s not afraid to experiment.”
2nd Shift Brewing, 1601 Sublette Ave., The Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.669.9013, 2ndshiftbrewing.com
Boulevard Brewing Co.
At Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, ambassador brewer Jeremy Danner thinks that brut IPAs can change some beer-drinkers’ minds about IPAs in general. “I dig the lower bitterness; I think that’s why so many people have fallen in love with New England IPAs,” he says. “For people who say they don’t like hoppy beers, it’s more approachable and it kind of changes their mind about IPAs and what they can be.” Boulevard first released its brut IPA over the summer at the brewery’s Crossroads Arts District beer hall, where the new beer was described to guests in three quick phrases: “super dry,” “low bitterness” and “high carbonation.” Last month, the beer hit shelves in Boulevard’s new BLVR&D six packs of experimental IPAs.
Boulevard Brewing Co., 2534 Madison Ave., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.474.7095, boulevard.com