New Craft Beer – Redefining the Definition of Beer
From hazy IPAs to tequila-inspired beer seltzers, New craft beer has a wide range of options. Often, these new brews are part of a movement that’s seeking to redefine the definition of beer.
As the homebrewing culture blossomed and birthed the modern craft movement in the late 1970s, drinkers suddenly found themselves with choices beyond bland, watery American lagers from major breweries. That new reality created a need for language that could distinguish the various styles and the many iterations on those styles. Beer writing and competitions emerged, which helped create a vocabulary of flavor descriptors that is now widely used.
But the craft industry also began to change as big brewers began buying up small, independent ones. Tensions ran high over fears that the macros would co-opt and commodify the sector’s indelible anti-corporate cachet. Yet, as time has passed, the pain of watching a respected independent like Ballast Point sold to Constellation has largely subsided.
But even with the rise of sour and barrel-aged beers, hops still remain at the core of any brewer’s arsenal. And so, with that in mind, some breweries have stepped out of their comfort zone and began to experiment with other raw ingredients that could be infused into their beer. These experiments have yielded some eye-popping results. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that just because a brewer is playing with a new ingredient doesn’t mean it’ll be any good. Here, a few of the standouts we’ve tried recently.