Some beer and wine drinkers can be compared to Buckeyes and Wolverines, a great difference of opinion and staunch loyalists of their individual team. But now, two worlds collide and you no longer have to make the choice between beer and wine. Yup, the newest trend in the beverage world is combining the two cousins into one drink. Although this trend isn’t exactly new (Dogfish Head has been a big proponent for a long time), it is starting to gain traction as a trend and enter the mass market.
Here are some brewmasters behind the latest, greatest, and not so greatest beer/wine hybrids on the market.
Blue Moon Brewery
- Proximity Vintage Ale: A wheat ale blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Floral nose, citrus notes.
- Golden Not Vintage Ale: A wheat ale blended with Chardonnay juice. Tart, sweet, with notes of apples and kiwis.
- Impulse Vintage Ale: A wheat ale blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, with a bright berry aroma.
- Crimson Crossing Vintage Ale: A wheat ale blended with Merlot to create aromas of black cherries and raspberries.
Our thoughts: All of these brews remind me of Blue Moon…completely non-offensive. But this trend is not about being non-offensive, it’s about creating unique and captivating flavors. If you are looking for a basic, light wheat ale with a bright aroma then this is your selection. But if it’s full flavor and unique structure you’re craving, look somewhere else.
Dogfish Head Brewery
- Sixty-one: DFH’s first new core beer since 2007. Their famous 60 minute IPA blended with Syrah grape must, pairing perfectly with chocolate.
- Noble Rot: Aptly named after one of the most rare events that happens to a grape – this blends Viognier grapes that have been affected by the noble rot fungus (botrytis) to concentrate sugars, Pinot Gris, pils and wheat malts. The result is a saison like beer/wine with a dry and tart finish.
- Red & White: A belgian style wit beer brewed with orange peel, coriander, and fermented with Pinot Noir. A combination of Belgian citrus flavors with the robust structure of a red wine.
Our thoughts: Sam Calagione, founder and president of DFH, rarely missteps. The Dogfish Head beer/wine hybrids are everything they should be, a perfect marriage of hops and vine. They may be difficult to find, but well worth the search.
Russian River Brewing
- Consecration: A dark ale aged 4 to 8 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with black currants (and some techincal wine-related things). Chocolate, truffle, spice, tobacco.
- Supplication: A sour brown ale aged for 12 months in Pinot Noir barrels with sour cherries. Flavors of cherries with some wine funkiness.
- Sanctification: A golden ale base fermented with 100% brettanomyces (often used in the production of Chardonnay), refreshing flavors.
Our thoughts: If you want to try a beer that’s not quite as wine-influenced than some of the others, these beers are for you. Instead of fermenting with straight grape juice or wine these selections have simply been aged in wine barrels.
Other notable breweries sampling in the trend: