business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times writes that while “the craft beer market has expanded rapidly over the past decade, as breweries across the United States have dreamed up whimsical and inventive beers, often with unconventional ingredients — Beet sugar! Jalapeños! — along with high calorie counts and elevated A.B.V. (alcohol by volume) figures,” these same breweries now are moving in a somewhat different direction.

They “are now looking to make products similar to one they have long ignored and even scorned: watery, light beer.” Similar … but not the same.

“Rather than simply recreate the light beers they have long derided, many craft brewers want to emphasize their artisanal handiwork,” the Times writes. “Some beers, like Dogfish Head’s 95-calorie Slightly Mighty, are lighter, lower-alcohol versions of I.P.A.s, which often contain 200-plus calories and A.B.V.s above 5 percent, that still command respectable flavor. Others, like Harpoon Brewery’s Rec. League and Sufferfest’s gluten-removed Repeat, feature chia seeds, bee pollen or other ingredients that purport to have health benefits like reducing inflammation or lowering blood pressure. And some craft breweries are simply producing nonalcoholic beer.”

Another example: “26.2 Brew, a beer from the aptly named Marathon Brewing, part of Boston Beer Company, that is marketed to athletes,” and that contains both seal salt for electrolytes and coriander for flavor.
KC's View:
While I’ve long been a craft beer guy (even though I’ve been mocked for this by some folks, like my old friend Jim Duban), my beer consumption has gone way down lately as I’ve tried to be more conscious about health and weight. But a lighter, healthier beer that remains high in flavor sounds like a really good idea, and I’m going to have to try some.