Earlier this summer, we told you how Night Shift Brewing sources hibiscus petals for JoJo, a pink IPA brewed with the flowers (spoiler: the hibiscus comes all the way from the African nation Burkina Faso). The story was an introduction to the flower’s growing popularity in craft beer, but since tasting recent hibiscus beer offerings from Boulevard and Stone, I think it’s safe to call it a full-on trend—and one that’s worth checking out.
On the one hand we have the very sessionable Boulevard Hibiscus Gose, a German-style gose (that tart, briny style). The pink pour greets the nose with a lovely aroma marked by scents of citrus, strawberry and honeysuckle. A tart snap tightens the sip, accentuating a wash that reflects the aroma, while a subtly briny finish caps off the refreshing sip.
On the other hand, we have Stone’s newest release in its Stochasticity Project, a line of experimental beers: Hibiscusicity (you have to say it out loud a few times before it rolls off the tongue) is a Belgian blonde ale brewed with hibiscus flowers and orange peel. The hibiscus’ brings tropical fruit to the beer’s slightly bitter orange peel; spicy clove and bready malts fill out the sip.
Although the fall/winter season will bring a slew of heftier beers featuring dark fruits, coffee, chocolate and barrel notes, I’m betting hibiscus returns to full bloom come next spring. Bold prediction: Hibiscus Berliners and goses will be the next big thing.