Hoppy YumYum101: Less Is More

Hoppy YumYum101: Less Is More

Quality & Sensory manager jackie BEARD is back to chat about TRIALS WE’RE developing IN THE imagination station this month: low-abv beers. 

By Jacqueline Beard, Quality / Sensory Manager

It seems to us here at Bale Breaker that the Quarantine 15 was inevitable. How else should a body respond when pretty much overnight:

We’ve been feeling the weight of this extra responsibility to help our beer fans meet their fitness goals, so while you’ve been downloading Zoom backgrounds from your couch, we’ve been here in the Imagination Station (safely) developing new low-ABV crushers that give new meaning to the phrase “less is more”: more flavor, more freedom, and more wiggle room in your favorite jeans.

Developing a low-ABV beer which is both crisp and flavorful is no easy task:

  1. First, there’s the issue of brewing it. With such a small amount of grain, it’s easy for a brewer to strip undesirable flavors from the malt itself. Some sparge water pH adjustment was in order.
  2. And how does a brewer leave some body in the beer with so little malt and so much water? A hint for you homebrewers: aim that mash temp up at stout levels!
  3. Last, with so little alcohol, these beers have a high risk of beer spoiler infection. Best to have some extra protection in the form of low pH or alpha-acids from dry hops.

Luckily, our intrepid brewers and fearless Brewmaster were up to the challenge.

We started with a low-alcohol beer based on a sour we developed for Yakima Taco Fest. We called it Lima Pequeña Sour (2.1%, 8 IBU) and added real lime and sea salt for a better version of Bud Light Lime that pairs perfectly with a good book while the kids are running through the sprinklers.

Next, we took on a flavorful, low-ABV IPA with Mosaic hops in the whirlpool and Citra hops in the fermenter. The result was a crisp, dry beer with a big citrus hop aroma called Little Lupulin IPA (2.5%, 27 IBU).

While we’ve developed some low-ABV beers that are as crushable and delicious as any of our full-strength beers, we’re continuing to innovate and refine these recipes in the Imagination Station.

Are we making you thirsty? Look for some of our experimental beers in growlers in our Saturday drive-through or at your favorite bar or restaurant once they can pour pints again.  

Posted June 18, 2020

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