I just read an article talking about brewies, now more than ever, are experimenting with all sorts of adjuncts and flavors that never before would have been possible. Here is an excerpt:
Craft beer connoisseurs push wide range of flavors
Some brewers are devising extreme recipes to stretch the definitions even more.
Boston-based Samuel Adams, helmed by Jim Koch, has its Utopias, sold in limited release with alcohol content reaching a staggering 25 percent by volume. Its sales are illegal in 14 states.
Dogfish Head Brewery’s 90 Minute IPA — hops are added every minute as the brew boils for 90 minutes — is meant to be drunk from a snifter. Its 120 Minute IPA, in limited release, is 20 percent alcohol by volume.
Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione remembers when his Delaware brewery was a laughingstock for using ingredients like raisins. It made 120 barrels when it opened in 1995. Today, it makes about 51,000 barrels a year.
“Consumers are deciding what to buy. They expect more flavor,” Calagione said. “We never had any aspirations of appealing to the average beer drinker.”
Of course, what’s considered extreme has changed over time.
Twenty years ago, Sierra Nevada Pale was considered extreme, said Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, Calif. His brewery has been taking used wine barrels and adding wild yeast, a technique once considered undesirable.
“If we’d done what we do today 20 years ago, we’d be out of business,” Cilurzo said.