Throughout its history, Southern Tier Brewing Company has curated a wide portfolio of beers ranging in style from light, lemongrass-forward saisons (Sonnet) to dense, thick imperial pumpkin stouts (Warlock). Southern Tier gets a lot of buzz for its boundary-pushing beers, but like many other breweries, the less extreme brews don’t get enough love.
So it’s worth remembering that for every rich and decadent dessert ale like Creme Brûlée Stout, there’s an equally enjoyable beer like 8 Days a Week, a less sexy but satisfyingly crushable blonde ale.
Southern Tier recently added three new year-round beers to its lineup, and all three touch on current trends in the world of craft beer. Nu Juice IPA and Lake Shore Fog join the fray of sweet, juicy IPAs on store shelves, while Swipe Light is part of a new wave of low-calorie craft brews.
“Juicy” India Pale Ales are beers saturated with citrus-forward hops. Some are so rich with orange, grapefruit and lemon flavors that they actually taste like they were squeezed straight from the fruit. These beers also have a relatively low bitterness for IPAs, making them easy-drinking hop bombs. Nu Juice is a strong example of the style, with only 30 IBUs (International Bitterness Units) and a days-long hopping schedule utilizing Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Mosaic hops. Those hops provide tastes of tangerine and mango, and the beer comes in at an approachable 6% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Lake Shore Fog is firmly in the juicy camp but is also billed as a “hazy” IPA due to its cloudiness. Brand new for 2019, Lake Shore Fog is brewed with Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra hops and is also mild on the bitterness front. What makes this beer stand out is the sweet malt base that accompanies the stone fruit and pineapple flavors. It’s substantive at 6.5% ABV, and also a refreshing thirst quencher.
Swipe Light is a choice for drinkers who want the more complex flavor profile of a craft beer, but with lower alcohol, fewer calories and almost no bitterness. At only 4% ABV and a lowly 15 IBUs, Swipe Light has a hint of citrus and a sweet biscuit character that put it at the top of the pack in this increasingly crowded craft beer segment. Targeted to the fitness and diet-conscious crowd, expect to see even more of this style in the future.
The next time you’re passing by the Southern Tier collection at your bottle shop, keep an eye out for these new beers — and don’t forget to pick up a few old classics as well.