Craft Brewery Dogfish Head has developed the first light, low-calorie IPA. There's finally a light beer that tastes great except light beer. Slightly Mighty's new low-cal IPA measures 4 percent alcohol and 95 calories, and is therefore nutritionally (nutritionally) with Michelob Ultra.
If it seems strange that it took so long for someone to create a low-calorie version of an IPA, while the style has been taking stubs and aisles over the last decade, then it's because of the calorie-intensive balancing act IPAs require for theirs fruity, floral hop aromas and flavors. In addition to the grapefruit and pine flavors that bring hops to a beer, there is also an inevitable bitterness that requires sweet carbohydrates to balance out the biting sensation. Therefore, besides the higher alcohol, many IPAs such as Bell's Two Hearted, Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Ballast Point Sculpin are 200 calories per bottle with nearly half of the carbs (about 20 grams) of a Clif Bar.
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"If you just remove the carbohydrates and keep all the hops," says Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, "you get a really unpleasant astringency and a watery beer. "
Calagione and R & D brewer Dan Weber and Brewmaster Mark Safarick (Abb spent more than a year testing low-carbohydrate recipes that tasted like a good IPA The challenge, however, was to make a beer with almost no carbohydrates: in an early blast, enzymes decomposed most, but not all, of the complex malt carbohydrates into simple, fermentable sugars.The leftover carbohydrates are a welcome addition to most beers since they are supplement the balancing act with hops and aroma and body.
Dogfish's research and development lab found an extra enzyme to convert most of the remaining complex carbohydrates into sugars and then mate with a yeast strain that happily turns this sugar into alcohol They still had this watery, astringent durc when adding IPA hops. The team then looked for an ingredient that could add body and sweetness. An early, failed effort used smoked malt, which added sweetness, says Calagione. "But it also tastes like a band aid."