Summer 2020 has flown on by, and so have a myriad of warm-weather brews. As breweries gear up for fall and the more snuggly sippers that come with it, Tavour takes a look back on the thirst-quenching types of beer that dominated the past few months:
The New England-style ‘Hazy’ IPA
New England-style Hazy IPAs were the clear frontrunners of the season! Their cloudy appearance is achieved through dry hopping and adding hops late to the boil, though the “haze” can also come from high-protein grain additions of oats, spelt, and wheat. But, it’s not just about looks — the style has become so popular because of the beer’s tendency to bring intense fruit flavors from hops to the forefront.
It’s tough to find an IPA-crafting brewery these days that doesn’t make a Hazy! Of course, some stand out more than others. Imagine Nation Brewing was the first to brew the style in Montana, and they’ve kept it going with their fan-favorite Lupujus series. Modist Brewing’s hazies like Dreamyard IPA have also been called some of the most popular in Illinois. Meanwhile, Anchorage Brewing’s New England-style juicebombs like Looking Out for You and Within Us are lusted after across the nation.
Once considered the domain of macro beer, the classic cold-conditioned Lager style started its rise in craft popularity a few years ago. This year, it all-out exploded!
On the Tavour app, we basked in traditional, lower ABV, highly-sessionable renditions like Crux Fermentation Project’s Hayduke Helles and Transmitter’s delicately malty Vienna Lager. But, we also saw a rise in newer interpretations of the style. India Pale Lagers like Great Raft’s At Arm’s Length brought fruit-forward notes from hops to Lager yeast’s smooth flavors. And, it wasn’t just hops being added — pFriem’s Shiso plum, wildflower, and Jasmine rice-infused Lager was also a hit, as was Chica Mala Lager (brewed with lime, sea salt, mango, and habanero) from MobCraft.
The Fruited Sour
Among the most popular Sour types of beer this summer was the Fruited Sour, boasting real fruit additions! Often called “Slushies” or “Smoothie Sours” by their makers (especially when they also contain lactose), these beers are thick, smooth quenchers that often taste more tangy-sweet than mouth-puckeringly sour. The Brewing Projekt’s Smoofee Sour series brings fresh flavors from real fruit (like passionfruit, mango, and guava) wrapped in buzzworthy 8%+ ABVs. 903 Brewers’ cocktail-inspired Fruited Sours like Peach Bellini, Painkiller Slushy, and Sex on the Beach also emerged as summer favorites.
Then, there’s Drekker Brewing, whose massively fruited Sours have been longtime favorites of the Tavour community. Their Brain Squeeze: Blueberry-Strawberry-Banana hoists over 30 lbs of fruit per barrel, which is about triple the amount in the average Fruited Sour!
Honorable Mention: The Sour IPA
Although nowhere near as common as other IPA or Sour styles (yet), the Sour IPA proved to be one of the brightest emerging styles of the summer. There are a few different ways to make this succulently juicy-tangy style, but most brewers start with a New England-style IPA base, then add souring yeast or other acidic components.
And man, the ones we tried this summer blew us away with their fruit additions! New York’s Evil Twin Brewing demonstrated a complete mastery of this style in summer 2020. What Even is Pink Pineapple Anyway? gave us a taste of — you guessed it, juicy, pink pineapple — while Commonwealth Brewing juiced up their Marmalada Sour IPA with calamansi, kumquat, and orange.
What were your favorite types of beer this summer? Message us, and let us know! In the meantime, check out the Tavour app for the latest brews on trend.