What’s Brewing? Back to the basics with these beers
As anyone who drinks craft beer can tell you, there’s no shortage of variety. In fact, it can be overwhelming trying to make a decision on which pack of beer(s) to purchase and whether or not we buy a case of something new to try or a variety pack, six-pack, four-pack, growler, 22-ounce bomber or just walk away and take a few breathes to think about it … again.
Today we have more IPAs to choose from than ever. Some are over-the-top bitter while others are chocked full of fruity flavors either from hops or because they might have actual fruit in them. The Brut IPA has a dry, champagne-like taste which I think is fantastic.
Many craft beer drinkers look for stouts that are aged in bourbon barrels or have coffee, vanilla or chocolatey flavors. Last year I had a stout that was supposed to taste like a gingerbread man. It did! There are peanut butter stouts, raspberry stouts, pumpkin stouts and many more in between.
Low-calorie beers have been popular for years and craft brewers have figured out ways to keep the low- calorie count while making them tastier than ever before.
While the regulations to sell CBD-infused foods and drinks is still being worked out, CBD and cannabis- infused beer seem like the next most logical thing we’ll see.
I wouldn’t expect lagers to ever taste like water again but as we indulge in all this variety, and as we celebrate all of this new-ness in craft beer, don’t you think it’s only a matter of time before we see a return of the basic lagers, amber ales, subdued IPAs and stouts that are happy just being stouts?
Just as designer clothes come in and out of fashion, so will these over-the-top and amazing flavors of craft beer. So get ’em in now while you can because at some point the era of “Craft Willy Wonka Beer” will be behind us. A time in which we will recall the “craft beer craze” with flavors you could only imagine. Not that brewers will stop making flavorful beers but maybe soon we’ll start to see more classic beers on the menu. Like a T-shirt and pair of jeans, some things never go out of style. Cheers!
Roundabout Brewery (Pittsburgh)
Yodeling Lager (ABV: 4.1%)
This is an amber lager with a sweet toasted brioche crust and hay aroma. A beautiful balance of toasted malt and hops (Saaz, Huell-Melon and Wakatu).
New Crescent Brewing Co. (Irwin)
O’Halley’s Comet (ABV: 5.4%)
A dry Irish stout with a slight roasted malt character. A classic stout.
Yellow Bridge Brewing (Delmont)
Higher Learning (ABV: 4.6%)
This cream ale is light, crisp and refreshing. The brew is a throwback to simpler times and simpler beers.
Levity Brewing Co. (Indiana)
Spel Czech Pilsner (ABV: 5.8%)
A beautiful blend of classic malt character balanced by old-world Saaz hops. Clean and quenching — you’re drinking history. It’s the world’s first widely brewed beer style.
Mark Brewer is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. He’s the author and illustrator of “Brewology, An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers.”