Trending: 10 wine-minded beers

Trending: 10 wine-minded beers

Elegant wine-minded beers give you the very best of both worlds. Photo by Ed Rudolph, styling by Marcella Capasso
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If your holiday table is split between wine sippers and beer drinkers, we’ve got 10 simple solutions: These elegant wine-minded beers give you the very best of both worlds. Made with grape juice additions or wine barrel-aging techniques or even Champagne yeast strains, they each have a different spin on vinous tastes that will please all palates.

Wicked Weed White Angel
This American wild ale was first blended with two pounds per gallon of muscadine and scuppernong grapes; then, it aged for eight months in white wine barrels before receiving another pound per gallon of Albariño grape juice, stems and skins. The soft beer’s decidedly tart, laced with pleasant funk and white grape juice.

Straight to Ale Cabernet Barrel-Aged Laika
Bourbon barrels aren’t the only way to age imperial stouts. Milk Dud aromas waft off this garnet-hewed brew, while the sip introduces layered flavors of hazelnut, dark cherry and a red wine character that slowly surfaces.

Enlightenment Ales Brut
Bust out the flutes: The Everett, Massachusetts, brewery was one of the first to produce an American-made Biere de Champagne, a sparkling Belgian golden ale made with Champagne yeast. The yeast’s spicy character links up with light apricot and fruity sweetness in a delicious sip.

Russian River Supplication
Located in the country’s best wine-producing region, this brewery churns out exquisite wine barrel-aged brews. This brown ale rested in used pinot noir barrels, where it joined sour cherries and a host of wild bacteria and yeast. It emerges with a lively red berry sweet-tart flavor wrapped up by grape skin dryness.

Alpha Apocrypha
When brewers from St. Louis’ Alpha got their hands on used wine barrels from California’s La Pitchoune, they plucked a yeast culture from the wood, which helped ferment this pinot barrel-aged black saison. The result is a tart, roasty beer that marries red wine notes with a wisp of smoke.

Brouwerij Bosteels DeuS
No one would fault you for mistaking this elegant bottle for champagne, though what’s inside tastes more like a sparkling Belgian tripel. Plenty of light peach and apricot float to the top of the well-carbonated pour, easily masking the 11 percent ABV in a sweet, bubbly swallow.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One
This “IPA” pours like black cherry cola: Juicy syrah notes from the added grape juice link up with light earthy hops for an easy-drinking sip. There’s plenty of wine-beer interplay to pick apart here, but even beer newbies should enjoy its effortless balance.

Upland Dantalion
The brewery’s Bloomington, Indiana, neighbors, Oliver Winery, previously aged red wine in the oak barrels that now cradle this fall-release spiced sour ale. Billowing aromas of star anise, licorice root and peppermint counter the dark malt and oaky flavor that plant this firmly in winter sipping territory.

To Øl Sans Frontière
The Danish gypsy brewers behind To Øl brewed this white wine barrel-aged saison at Belgium’s De Proef; it shows off both Belgian yeast fruitiness and a striking similarity to white wine. Despite the complexity of spicy hops and light funk, it’s remarkably drinkable, with a pleasing white wine dryness.

Goodwood Red Wine Barrel Saison
Time spent in a variety of red wine barrels lends a tannic, grape skin finish to this peppery, bright saison. The lively Belgian ale doesn’t lose itself in wine character; rather, the woody dryness builds on the saison’s clean finish for a lovely sip.

 

Author
Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.

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