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Beers of the New Frontier

In the September/October 2022 issue, beer writer Joshua Bernstein examines the new directions brewers are exploring with novel malt and hop varieties, newly discovered yeast strains, and different approaches to carbonating beer. Here are a few notable examples from that new beer frontier, according to Bernstein.

Allagash Brewing White Witbier

To boost a beer’s flavor and aroma, breweries are naturally carbonating beer through a technique called can-conditioning. The process of adding extra fermentable sugar and yeast prior to packaging to encourage fermentation also helps boost a beer’s shelf stability and freshness. In 2019, Allagash Brewing Company debuted a can-conditioned version of its American Beer Fest gold medal-winning Allagash White. It’s a crisp and fresh brew once cracked open. $14.99,

El Segundo Broken Skull American Lager

Nowadays, hop breeders are creating hops that are better in easy-drinking beers such as pilsners rather than IPAs. Brewers use them to give their lagers a more nuanced flavor. For its new American lager, El Segundo’s second collaboration with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the Los Angeles brewery used the flowery Contessa hops, created by hop supplier Hopsteiner for lagers. The result is a balanced, quaffable beer with a tinge of bitterness to keep it interesting. $10.99/4-pack,

Elysian Brewing Dank Dust IPA 

Brewers are adding aromatic terpenes found in cannabis strains to create pungent brews. For its Dank Dust IPA, Elysian Brewing brewed its Space Dust IPA with proprietary terpenes, imbuing its best-selling beer with resinous notes that complement its citrus bitterness and luscious mango flavors. $15.99/6-pack,

Hop Valley Cryo Stash Imperial IPA

Cryo Hops are hop powder created by using liquid nitrogen to separate hops’ outer leaves from the lupulin responsible for IPAs’ pungency. This concentrated form bestows the beer with intense hoppy aroma and flavor. In Hop Valley‘s Imperial IPA, the hops make for a smooth-drinking 8.7% brew with tropical fruit notes and soft bitterness. $10.99/12-oz. 6-pack,

Long Beach Beer Lab Dad Beer

Inspired by the favorite beer of dads “back in the heyday,” Long Beach Beer Lab’s Simcoe dry-hopped German Pils is fermented with Jordal yeast. This yeast strain, a form of kveik, rapidly ferments in a fraction of the time it normally takes for lager. With a light maltiness, herbaceous notes, and 5.2% ABV, Dad Beer is refreshing and crushable. $15/16-oz. 4-pack,

Patagonia Provisions x Dogfish Head Kernza Pils

Bernstein predicts that thanks to its “nutty flavor and rye-like spiciness” the Kernza perennial grain might be “brewing’s next great ingredient.” Here, Patagonia Provisions collaborated with Delaware’s Dogfish Head to create a crisp pilsner from the Kernza grain. The Land Institute nonprofit developed the perennial plant to lessen farming’s impact on the environment. $13.99/6-pack,

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