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Six Brewers/Six Questions: Alpha Acid Overload Here to Stay?

One thing I believe is often overlooked is how diverse our local brewers really are. The mid-Atlantic has a great balance of traditional brewers as well as some that are a bit more experimental. Innovation is great, but a balance between pushing the envelope and having more traditional brewers is better. The idea for our next set of interviews was to ask a handful of brewers from unique brewing backgrounds the same series of questions and see how their responses represent their own niche.  For the next six Fridays we will be presenting a new question every week with responses from all six of our chosen brewers.

The past five years have been a collective alpha acid overload. Is this trend here to stay? If not, what’s the next big trend?

Favio Garcia of Lost Rhino – Love the hops. Beer with big hop flavors are here to stay but alcohol percentages will go down.

Bill Madden of Mad Fox – I believe the IPA, big beer trend is here to stay, we cannot keep enough hoppy beers on our menu at Mad Fox Brewing Company.  We are pushing for a new trend in extreme session beers and it is going very well for us with our Fennec Ale which is an English style Ordinary on cask dispenser.  At 4.2% abv, folks are able to savor a few of these without the impact of a lot of alcohol.

Jonathan Reeves of Port City Brewing – I don’t think the [Alpha Acid Overload] will remain here to stay. Much like classic rock’s long guitar solo, there will always be people who like it, but many will move on. I see breweries focusing more on sustainability and as a result breweries sourcing more local ingredients and as a result producing more territorial beers. I see local maltings being a big trend as well. This may lead to a whole slew of new regional styles in the US. Cool stuff.

Ernie Igot of Heavy Seas – It will still be here in the next 5 years, but the wood- and barrel-aged beers are getting popular.

Matt Brophy of Flying Dog – Some say sours; I’m not sure about that. I think hops are here to stay.

Brian Strumpke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales – The current hotness is sour/wild ales..The session beer concept is having its go as well (and for good reason). Also, throwing beer into barrels could not cause more hype these days.

This interview is a part of the six part interview series Six Brewers/Six Questions. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.

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