Australia, USA, Denmark, Belgium: Beer-wine hybrids are on the rise

People who are undecided whether to drink beer or wine have now an alternative: beer-wine hybrids. These new beers are on the rise all around the world. In times when ingredients like roasted marshmallows and graham crackers (Stay Puft by Barreled Souls Brewing in Saco, Maine), hay (Reposé by Jester King in Austin, Texas), digested coffee beans (Beer Geek Brunch Weasel from Mikkeler in Copenhagen, Denmark) or even smoked goat brains and cranberries (Walker by Dock Street Brewing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) are added to beer, the mixture of wine and beer flavors does not seem too unusual.

The Sturm is a Riesling-pilsner hybrid, which comes from Hop Nation Brewing Co. from Melbourne, Australia. It is intended to “play an important part in encouraging more drinkers to try beer”, says Duncan Gibson, co-founder of the Australian craft beer brewery. “We wanted to do something that was a wine derivative and which had that harvest or vintage feel and hopefully include the terroir of the grape harvest in the beer,” he adds.

His colleague Brendan O’Sullivan, head brewer at Thornbury’s 3 Ravens Brewery, which is also located in Melbourne, Australia agrees: “I think there’s a very broad appeal for grape-based sours in wine drinkers and foodies since it introduces flavours that people are quite familiar with in Australia. It helps bridge the gap and acts as a stepping stone which helps challenge people’s perception of beer.” O’Sullivan says. Thornbury’s 3 Ravens Brewery released a beer called Wild Ravens Riesling Golden Sour. The beer is brewed with Riesling pomace, effectively the stems, skins, seeds and anything else left after the juice is squeezed from the grapes, which are also used to produce the world famous Italian Grappa.

Stillwater Oude Bae is a sour amber ale aged on French oak with pinot noir grapes brewed at Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. from Baltimore, Maryland. The beer comes in cans and pours red with some pink foam. Other US beers mixing beer and wine flavors include TRVE Ecate, a golden sour aged on Cabernet Sauvignon Pomace by TRVE Brewing from Denver, Colorado; Jester King Bière de Blanc du Bois by Jester King Brewery from Austin, Texas; Holy Mountain Sacrament by Holy Mountain Brewing Company from Seattle, Washington and Upright Oregon Native by Upright Brewing from Portland, Oregon.

Riesling People is an IPA - New England style beer, brewed by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, a math and physics teacher who founded his brewery Mikkeller in 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mikkeller exports its innovative beers already to 40 different countries and is internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative and cutting edge brewers in the world.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus is a lambic style fruit beer, which is aged in oaken Bordeaux wine barrels with merlot grapes. It is brewed by Cantillon Brewery from Brussels, Belgium.

This list is by far not complete and is only intended to demonstrate the wide acceptance of beer and wine hybrids around the world.

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