Beer Man

Seven Trendy Beer Styles That Are Catching On, and One That Isn’t

That's a beer?
That's a beer? Wiley Roots

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5. Beer Slushies
Beer slushies first crossed my radar in April when Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley got a slushie machine and began turning and churning out these new summer treats. Since then, several other breweries have followed suit, including Fiction Beer, Station 26 Brewing and Declaration Brewing. Beer slushies consist of beer — usually tart or sour ales — frozen and mixed with various fruit flavors like coconut and lime, peach, blackberry, orange and vanilla. This trend will likely continue through the summer. Will it be back in 2019? Hard to know. By then, something else may have caught the collective eye.

6. Smoothie Sours
Kind of like the sour version of a milkshake IPA, smoothie sours are typically kettle soured beers made with fruit and lactose for a richer taste and smoother character. Recent local examples have come from Dry Dock Brewing, Cerebral Brewing, Fiction Beer, Station 26, Verboten Brewing, Something Brewery and Resolute Brewing, which created Fluffy the Lemon Slayer: Lemondrop Milkshake Sour, a 4.9 percent ABV beer brewed with three pounds per barrel of Lemondrop hops, lactose and a hint of vanilla — like liquid lemon meringue pie.

click to enlarge AVERY BREWING
Avery Brewing
7. Electrolyte Beers
In early July, Avery Brewing unveiled Go Play IPA, a beer made with sodium and potassium, in addition to trendy hop varieties like Vic Secret, Idaho 7 and Simcoe. Why sodium and potassium? Because they are electrolytes often found in sports drinks. And although the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) won't let breweries use the term "electrolytes" on the labels because of the implied health benefits, that's what's in them. Avery simply says the result makes "Go Play IPA the perfect beer to handle any sweaty situation." Dogfish Head was the first major brewery to make an electrolyte beer with its SeaQuench Ale, but there are also a couple of upstart companies that are brewing them and marketing them to runners and other athletes. They include the Sufferfest Beer Company, which makes its products at the Sleeping Giant contract brewing facility in Denver. It remains to be seen whether these will catch on, but we haven't heard the last of them.

And the one that's not:

CBD Beers

There's been a lot of buzz over the past years when it comes to beers that are infused with marijuana or with non-psychoactive CBD. But the truth is that marijuana beers aren't really beers if they don't have alcohol in them — at least not in my mind. And CBD beers? Well, they are hitting hurdles around every corner. Aurora's Dad & Dudes Breweria became the first brewery to win approval from the feds for a beer made with cannabidiol, which is made from hemp and doesn't get you high. But the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau tried to revoke that approval soon thereafter when the DEA decided to classify CBD as illegal. Dad & Dudes stopped making its CBD beer at that point, but a variety of other breweries across the country decided the test the waters without approval. Many, from Florida to California, were ordered to stop. There are still various ways to legality for CBD beers, the easiest of which would be if Congress reclassified hemp — a proposal that is now on the table. But it's not the only way, and Dad & Dudes and others are working on it. But for now, and possibly for some time into the future, CBD beers are illegal and therefore quite scarce.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes