6 Popular Brews for the New Year
With the craft beer industry growing, it's never been a better time for beer. With so many brewing techniques and options, it's always nice to try new beer ideas for the next year. Whether we're talking about a bold hop flavor, a new malt product, or venturing into fruit beers — there are tons of popular options that enhance a craft brew. If you aren't into trying something totally new, you could always make the following popular brewing ideas/flavors even more popular by adding in an interesting twist.
Braggots are a hybrid beverage, combining the best of mead and beer that’s been around since the Middle Ages, and they’re making a comeback. The classic food pairings for a rich drink are equally flavorful which includes well-seasoned red meat or desserts made from dark chocolate.
Typically brewed in small batches, using local ingredients whenever possible, the flavor profiles of this beer can look new every year for any brewer but the general characteristic is made of spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, heather, ginger, and nutmeg. You can also incorporate hops for a popular citrusy flavor or add fruit for an even sweeter beer finish. Choices would range from apples, and pears to plums, cherries, and cranberries.
Flanders Red Ale
The Belgian style’s complexity is increased by the addition of oak chips and storage in oak casks. The best part? Because it's a red ale, it goes really well with your favorite steak. You can also grill up some burgers, and this beer will be a welcome addition to your New Year celebration.
This particular style is characterized by an earthy taste and a sour aftertaste. What you can do to make this beer stand out even more, is to add raspberry and cherry purees. Together, they make for a subtle but an extremely enjoyable experience for those who like their beers on the fruity side.
Gruit is a popular light beer that's made without hops, and instead uses herbs, spices, or fruits to give its distinct flavor. Because they’re more aromatic than hoppy beers, they make a great match for dishes with intense flavors like spicy curries or Thai food.
Ready to make it your New Year beer? Gruit is made by mixing herbs such as yarrow, mugwort, and bog myrtle with honey—and sometimes spices like ginger or sage. The result is a sweet, herbal beer whose strong flavors are undoubtedly challenging for some beer drinkers. But if you're not an avid fan of beers on the stronger side, no worries! Just add pomegranates or raspberries to balance out the sweetness with a bit more tartness.
You're ready to take on the world. So why not craft a beer that's as bold and rich as you are? Imperial stouts are a great choice for those who love something that has a lot of body and depth of flavor. This is the beer to enjoy New Year’s savory beef dishes or juicy steaks.
The flavor profile of these beers can vary depending on the ingredients used—but they generally have hints of raisins or plums in them. These brews tend to be brewed using dark grains like barley, chocolate malt, roasted barley, and black patent malt. While these beers take some time to create, they are definitely worth it
Saisons are very flexible in terms of ingredients but they generally have a refreshing quality that make them perfect for spring and summertime drinking as well as a complement to food that you can find in a farmhouse. Think of beer with roasted poultry, grilled vegetables, and smoked meat which are also great additions to a New Year spread.
A classic saison is a pale, dry Belgian ale that's often spiced with a variety of herbs and spices. While the yeast and hops flavors will usually be present in a saison to give it a dry finish, you can opt to add cranberries to give it a subtle tartness that works well with the honey-like sweetness of the malt.
Specialty Smoked Beer (Rauchbier)
This German specialty brew is made with malted barley smoked over beechwood fires. It's an acquired taste but one you'll come to love if you give it a chance. This beer, with its intense, smoky flavor, not only serves to welcome the New Year but also pairs perfectly with traditional German foods like bratwurst and sauerkraut. You can also pair it with other smoked meats, like bacon or ham.
It is common for popular smoked beers like Rauchbier to have no fruity esters but if you really want to add one, then cherries are a safer bet. Just be careful not to go overboard with the cherries or else it will end up tasting more like cough syrup.
Even after you've settled on a beer, don't hesitate to add or substitute any ingredients that strike your fancy. The best part about brewing is the experimental nature of it all. The possibilities are almost limitless, and even seasoned brewers often go back to the drawing board looking for new flavors and ideas. Have fun crafting your new beer for next year when you shop Fierce Fruit’s purees made with real, sun-ripened fruits.