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Craft Beer Times | Crafting Beers with a Wine and Spirit Twist

Crafting Beers with a Wine and Spirit Twist

Crafting Beers with a Wine and Spirit Twist

Beer: Not Just a Beverage Anymore

The Inspiration

Beer has been a popular drink for centuries now. And for many people, beer is just a beverage that they enjoy. However, over the years, a new type of beer – the craft beer – started gaining popularity, and with it came experiments to create beer that tastes different than the usual stuff. This experimentation led to new types of beers that are inspired by wine and spirits, which are taking the beverage world by storm!

Wine-Inspired Beers

Wine-inspired beers – or grape beers – are created by replacing a portion of the grains used in brewing with grapes or by blending grape must (juice, skins, stems) with beer wort. The result is beer with unique flavors and aromas that are similar to wine. Grape beers can be made using any grape variety, which means the flavor combinations are endless! They can range from sweet and fruity to dry and tart.

One example of a grape beer is the Belgian Gruit ale, which is made by replacing hops with herbs that are commonly used in medieval brewing – such as yarrow, bog myrtle and wild rosemary. These herbs give the beer a subtly tart and fruity flavor that is similar to grapefruit.

Spirit-Inspired Beers

Spirit-inspired beers are made by adding spirits or liqueurs to the brewing process. This can include adding whiskey, rum, tequila or gin to the beer while it’s still in the fermenter, or aging the beer in barrels that previously held spirits. Spirit-inspired beers can have a range of flavors, depending on the type of spirit that is added.

For instance, bourbon barrel-aged beers have a distinct smoky, vanilla-like flavor that’s similar to the Kentucky whiskey. Some breweries, like the Goose Island Beer Co. and the Founders Brewing Co., even produce different lines of beer that are aged in different types of barrels – like whiskey, rum, and tequila – to showcase the unique flavors.

The Final Word: Try Them Out!

Wine- and spirit-inspired beers are just one example of how experimentation and creativity can lead to fascinating new ways of enjoying a drink. These beers are perfect for people who are looking for something a little different than the classic beer, and for those who want to try something new. So next time you’re in the mood for a beer, why not try one of these unique, flavor-packed concoctions? Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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