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The Most Refreshing Brut IPAs, According To Brewers


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In the hierarchy of beer, the IPA is (and probably will forever be) king. But in recent years, variations on the iconic hop-fueled, subtly (sometimes overtly) bitter beer have grown in popularity. The hazy, juicy New England-style IPA has exploded over the past year. Meanwhile, the dry, effervescent, hoppy Brut IPA is seeing huge growth from Seattle to St. Petersburg.

The reason for the Brut IPA’s recent boom is partly due to the fact that it’s new and different and beer drinkers love trying new things. But the Champagne-like beer also appeals to fans of sparkling wine or other effervescent drinks. If you’re ready to hop on this hoppy train yourself, we’re here to make introductions. We asked some of our favorite brewers to tell us their go-to Brut IPAs (that they don’t make themselves).

Devils Backbone Brut IPA

Brad Manske, beverage director at VH Beer

Devils Backbone Brewing Brut IPA. It’s dry and light-bodied with notes of citrus and white grape from Amarillo and Halberdier Blanc hops. It’s delicious and has been one of my go-to beers this season.

Sixpoint Sparkler

Scott Francis, president, co-founder, CEO and co-owner of Santa Monica Brew Works

Sixpoint Brewery Sparkler. As a native New Yorker, I know the summertime heat can be oppressive. So when I’m visiting friends in the city, I’m looking for something refreshing. A favorite of mine is Sixpoint Brewery’s Sparkler IPA. The hop character is incredible, but the body of the beer is what really sparkles… it’s brewed to be extra dry and effervescent. This is the perfect Brut IPA to survive an urban heatwave.

Sierra Nevada Brut IPA

Mike Stoneburg, brewmaster at Bluepoint Brewing Company

My favorite Brut IPA is Sierra Nevada Brut. To be honest, I haven’t got to try that many types of this style, but I love anything Sierra Nevada does and this one is crisp and refreshing.

Verboten I am Brut

Dylan O’Malia, brewer at Bonfire Brewing

“I am Brut” from Verboten Brewing. It’s supremely drinkable, despite that the ABV is nearly 9%. It’s like biting into a pineapple… but in a good way! It’s double dry-hopped with a ton of El Dorado hops, so the aroma is incredible.

Westbound & Down Negative Numbers

Carl Heinz, head brewer at Breckenridge Brewery

Brut IPAs are an interesting sub-genre of a classic style, but I haven’t spent enough time with any single one to declare it my favorite. It seems like a lot of the breweries where I’ve enjoyed a brut are usually still dabbling with the style, and what I’m drinking at that moment may not be available the next time I visit.

That said, one particular beer comes to mind that my brother and I each enjoyed last summer after a hiking trip. It was called Negative Numbers and was brewed by Westbound & Down Brewing Company in Idaho Springs, Colorado. The beer was bright, golden straw with white foam and had a phenomenal, fruity aromatic hop character with a remarkably balanced, crisp and dry finish.

North Park All of the Bubbles

Mark Theisen, head brewer at Coronado Brewing Company

This isn’t my favorite style, but North Park Beer Co. makes a great version of the style called “All of the Bubbles”—it’s very champagne-like, effervescent, and super dry.

Industrial Arts Cut Once

Alex Coronado, head brewer at Nap Time Liquid Creation

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of these around the lower Hudson Valley. Industrial Arts Brewing Company’s Cut Once was quite nice. I would love to taste what Kim Sturdavant, the innovator of the style is doing over in the Bay Area.

Terrapin Brew Lab Rookie Debut

Jason Santamaria, beer architect at Second Self Beer Company

I haven’t had many Brut IPAs and, in my opinion, a majority of them didn’t bring the brut. I love dry IPAs and want to see more of this style. The best one I’ve had is the Rookie Debut at the Terrapin Brew Lab here in Atlanta. It has a great combination of Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria hops that balance out the dryness of the beer.

Swiftwater Dry Life Brut IPA

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Dean Jones, brewmaster at the Genesee Brew House

My favorite Brut IPA comes from Swiftwater Brewing – Dry Life Brut IPA. It’s bone dry, super crisp and clear with some fruitiness. It’s incredibly refreshing.

Writer’s Pick: New Belgium Brut IPA

This 6.7 percent ABV Brut IPA is crisp, refreshing, subtly dry and chocked full of Citra, Amarillo, Azzaca, Huell Melon, and Nelson Sauvin hops. It’s full of tropical fruit and tart dry grape flavors. It’s just as at home on a summer day as on New Year’s Eve.

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