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Beer Today: Maple Beer, Tea-Like Infusions, the Real Champagne of Beers

A round-up of beer news on this day, Friday, April 3.

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It's maple syrup season, and while that means sugary treats in Montreal and Vermont, it also means maple beer at hundreds of craft breweries across the country. The AP reports that maple beer season is now underway, and a growing amount of maple syrup is heading out of sugar shacks and into beer bottles. Bridging the gap between "maple tap and beer tap" is beer that some find more palatable than the average ale. One beer drinker noted that it's "not sugary... like a cider... You have that almost like a hickory taste that you get from maple syrup but just not the overwhelming sweetness of it."

Hop Theory designs tea-like infusions for beer. Their idea is to turn the average beer into one that tastes like a craft brew. Bio-degradable satchels filled with cascade hops, citrus peel, herbs, spices, and seeds can be left in glasses of beer until the flavors meld. The company's goal is to "create a line of different flavors that suite the taste buds of every living beer drinker." Hop Theory has raised nearly $3K of a $25K goal with 36 days remaining on its Kickstarter campaign.

Beer brewing limits have been re-written in Arizonaaccording to the AP. To support the growth of craft beer breweries, caps and limits are being extended so that breweries in the state can increase production to meet demand. The bill Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law this week supports the state's burgeoning craft beer industry, and follows similar measures passed earlier this year in North Dakota and Wyoming.

Move over Miller High Life, there's a new champagne of beers. A few craft beer brewers have adopted a production method from some of the finest wine makers in the world: methode champenoise. Beer Advocate reports that two Belgian beer companies and one brewery in Oregon are creating Bière de Champagne or Bière Brut, which is beer made in the style of champagne. The process, in a nutshell: Once the beer is bottled, it is refermented with a measure of Champagne yeast. It is then aged on its side to let the sediment settle. The bottles are then flashfreezed so as to expel the small block of sediment (in methode champenoise, this is called disgorgement). Beer Advocate writes that the resulting liquid is "clean, sparkling, bubbly" and "drinks much like Champagne."