Beer-Wine Hybrids Exist And They’re The Best Of Both Worlds


While beer and wine lovers seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, craft beer has given the two worlds more common ground over the last couple of years. A beer-wine hybrid is made by combining grapes with the raw grain used for beer. Both of them are fermented together. Sometimes pieces of leaves, skins, seeds and stems (all of this is called the must), are incorporated into the mix. Adding must into the batch gives the hybrid an unusually bold flavor. The final product winds up smelling like wine, but it has the texture of beer.

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These beer-wine hybrids aren’t something you’d want to chug when you’re playing flip cup or looking to drink casually at a cookout. They have a funky, musty flavor that some beer lovers might consider a little too earthy. These hybrids are good for wine drinkers who are looking for something with a little carbonation. If you’re a craft beer drinker you might be able to appreciate this style, but if Corona is your go-to, a beer-wine hybrid might not be up your alley.

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Beer-wine hybrids are fruity, oaky and complex. There are a ton of pioneering breweries that are at the forefront of the hybrid movement. Dogfish Head Brewery makes a beer called Midas Touch that can ease you into the world of beer-wine hybrids. Midas Touch brings together grain and grapes in a combination that has characteristics of beer, wine and mead. According to the Dogfish website “Midas will please the chardonnay and beer drinker alike.”

Dogfish also makes one called Noble Rot that combines must from pinot gris and wheat ales like pilsner. There’s another one called Sixty-One, which is made IPA-style with must from California syrah grapes. Beers like these can be the gateway drink that converts wine drinkers to craft beers drinkers. A few other breweries that are leading the way with beer-wine hybrids are Block 15 Brewing and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

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If you’re looking to find common ground between wine and craft beer, get on board with hybrids.