Since its beginnings in the late 1970s, the American craft beer movement has exalted India pale ales (IPAs). They\u2019ve gone through several incarnations, from those made with floral, earthy hops and a backbone of toasted malt, to a hops arms race to see which producer could make the most bitter IPA. But in this ever-changing world, the latest palate-shifting ales illustrate a move in a different direction. Meet the brut IPA.\r\n\r\nSimilar to the Champagne style from which it gets its name, brut IPAs are straw-colored in appearance, bone-dry and refreshingly effervescent. The secret ingredient for their perfect dryness? The amylase enzyme, which, when added after fermentation, converts residual sugars into fermentable sugars and yields a lighter body and reduced sweetness in high-alcohol beers.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe really enjoy dry white wine in general, and admire the similarities between some white wines and IPAs, in both aromatics and flavor. So, we decided to blur the lines a bit.\u201d \u2014Adam Cieslak, co-founder/head brewer, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery\r\n\r\nKim Sturdavant, brewmaster at San Francisco\u2019s Social Kitchen & Brewery, is credited widely as the style\u2019s inventor.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe inspiration for the beer came from using the enzyme in my triple IPA to get that beer as dry as possible because that is normally a very perceivably sweet style,\u201d says Sturdavant.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHis experiment worked. And while it was conceived in Northern California, seen by many as the cradle of American craft beer, breweries nationwide are now making this dry delight.\r\n\r\nAdam Smith, special projects lead brewer/brand manager of Chicago\u2019s Maplewood Brewery & Distillery, and Adam Cieslak, co-founder/head brewer , were prompted by their love of dry white wine to create their Mega Dry brut IPA. \u201cWe really enjoy dry white wine in general, and admire the similarities between some white wines and IPAs, in both aromatics and flavor,\u201d says Cieslak. \u201cSo, we decided to blur the lines a bit.\u201d\r\n\r\nTheir brut recipe is constantly evolving.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWith our first batch, we tried to mimic the gooseberry and grapefruit notes often found in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc,\u201d says Smith. \u201cWith the second batch, we used a French Champagne yeast and hops selected to mimic a true brut Champagne.\r\n\r\n\u201cWith our third upcoming batch, we\u2019ll follow that same process\u2014finding a dry white wine we enjoy and trying to capture those notes and characteristics and get them into a beer.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe name Blanc Stare came from a mutual look of astonishment that [head brewer Joel] Kodner and his assistant gave each other after they sampled the finished beer.\r\n\r\nKevin Blodger, co-founder/director of brewing operations for Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore, was intrigued when he heard about the brut IPA. He didn\u2019t know where to start, but then he caught a lucky break.\r\n\r\n\u201cPrior to brewing a brut IPA, I had never had one,\u201d says Blodger. \u201cSo I did a ton of research because I wanted to know everything about it [that] I could.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHe stumbled upon a video where Sturdavant discussed the brut IPA. From there, Blodger brought his vision to life as part of Union\u2019s Rough Draughts series of experimental, small-batch beers. Starting with Sturdavant\u2019s blueprint, Blodger added his own distinctive touch.\r\n\r\n\u201cI used Nelson [Sauvin] and Hallertau Blanc because I wanted the hops to be fruit-forward and flavorful,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\n\u201cI started thinking about how we could create a sparkling version of a Sancerre [ros\u00e9], I knew it would have to be a kettle-soured beer. And then I read a bit about Kim Sturdavant's brut IPA and how he was able to achieve the dryness.\u201d \u2014Joe Ploof, founder/CRO, Hanging Hills Brewing Company\r\n\r\nThe brut style isn\u2019t just limited to IPAs. Head brewer Joel Kodner, of Florida\u2019s West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault, was eager to try his hand at a brut brew, but first applied the process to a French-style saison to create his Blanc Stare brut offering.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cI figured a super-dry saison could be a good guinea pig for tinkering with the enzyme,\u201d says Kodner. \u201cOnce it was finished, we conservatively dry-hopped it with Hallertau Blanc to maintain the saison character, but still impart that terrific white grape and subtle tropical note you can get from those hops.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe name Blanc Stare came from a mutual look of astonishment that Kodner and his assistant gave each other after they sampled the finished beer.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn Hartford, Connecticut, Hanging Hills Brewing Company\u2019s version of the brut-style beer took a more colorful approach. Its Lucada brut ros\u00e9 ale is made with pomegranate and hibiscus.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe wanted to create a non-IPA beer that was both elegant and unique with a low [alcohol content],\u201d says Joe Ploof, founder/CRO of Hanging Hills.\r\n\r\nA huge wine fan, Ploof was inspired by the delicate and balanced acidity of French ros\u00e9s.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cI started thinking about how we could create a sparkling version of a Sancerre [ros\u00e9],\u201d he says. \u201cI knew it would have to be a kettle-soured beer. And then I read a bit about Kim Sturdavant's brut IPA and how he was able to achieve the dryness.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe figured the dryness created by the enzyme would emphasize not only the pomegranate and hibiscus, but also the tartness of the beer.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s that complementary aspect that makes brut beers so appealing. As an option for both wine-loving beer-drinkers and beer-drinking wine lovers, the style has broad appeal. Its versatility and crispness are likely to continue winning over new fans.