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What Is New Craft Beer?

Until recently, New craft beer was synonymous with brewing with newer ingredients or styles. Now, the term can also mean a rebranding of older brands or repackaging of familiar ones to appeal to new customers, or it can refer to the way consumers categorize beverages. When the hazy IPA craze hit, many beer drinkers categorized these unfiltered beauties as part of the craft category, even though they lacked the traditional hop bitterness and breweries like Mikkeller opted for a more rounded, fruit-forward style.

Other beer fans embraced a new subculture that revolves around waiting in lines for hours to score limited releases. They’ve coined terms such as hazebro and hazeboi to describe themselves, and they haven’t been shy about letting their love of IPAs, fruited sours and pastry stouts on social media do the talking for them.

While the rebranding of familiar brews can be a welcome addition, it’s not without its drawbacks. It’s no secret that the breweries most affected by this shift have been those that were bought out by major macrobreweries or private equity firms, and that has led to Old Testament-level vitriol from some of the community’s most passionate adherents. Half a decade later, however, these sellouts are starting to feel more like a given than a shock to the system.

This organic stout from Flying Embers uses reishi mushrooms (which are believed to improve the brain’s ability to cope with stress) along with cocoa, rolled oats and vanilla. The result is a creamy, easy-drinking beverage that’s a healthy alternative to a traditional cola. It’s a reminder that the beer industry is still innovating, and that new customers are seeking options to meet the demands of an ever-widening palate.

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