Craft Beers Latest Releases

By Bob Barnes

Karl Strauss Sun Drops Hazy IPA

Karl Strauss Sun Drops Hazy IPA

Origin: San Diego, California
Beer type: Hazy IPA
Price: $11 for 12 oz 6-pack
ABV: 4%
Brewed by: Karl Strauss Brewing Company

The San Diego-based Karl Strauss Brewing Company, which was founded in 1989, has joined the ranks of those releasing beers low in calories, carbs and alcohol.

This new release, joining the brewery’s year-round lineup, clocks in at only 4% ABV, 99 calories and 5 carbs, and represents a beer style that is quickly gaining in popularity: Hazy IPA. It’s brewed with Columbus, Idaho 7 and Amarillo hops for juicy citrus aromas and big notes of grapefruit; rolled oats are added for a silky mouthfeel. The unique labeling with a sleek and slender shape is decked out with yellow, orange and green “drops” which brings to mind a psychedelic plasma look harkening back to the ‘60s. Sun Drops Hazy IPA is the brewery’s first release of its new Small But Mighty series, so it appears we can expect more of this quickly growing segment in the future.

AleSmith Cloud Stream Hazy IPA

AleSmith Cloud Stream Hazy IPA

Origin: San Diego, California
Beer type: Hazy IPA
Price: $13 for 16 oz 4-pack
ABV: 6.9%
Brewed by: AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Brewing Company was founded in 1995 and has established itself as a major player in the craft brewing business. The San Diego-based brewery has released three new anticipated beers which will be available year-round wherever AleSmith is distributed: Cloud Stream Hazy IPA, Kickbackrelax IPA and Limeberry Twist Gose Ale.

Cloud Stream is a representative of the very popular hazy IPA style, which are known for less bitterness and quite noticeable citrus and juicy notes, and in this case also brings red currant, passionfruit and mango.

AleSmith Kickbackrelax Crushable IPA

AleSmith Kickbackrelax Crushable IPA

Origin: San Diego, California
Beer type: Session IPA
Price: $10 for 12 oz 6-pack
ABV: 4.2%
Brewed by: AleSmith Brewing Company

A popular craft beer trend is lower alcohol/calorie versions, and the Kickbackrelax fits right in. It packs a light punch of only 120 calories and 4.2% ABV while still being loaded with flavors of juicy grapefruit, mango and coconut for a refreshing light-bodied, easy-drinking brew with a smooth finish.

AleSmith Limeberry Twist

AleSmith Limeberry Twist

Origin: San Diego, California
Beer type: Gose
Price: $12 for 12 oz 6-pack
ABV: 4.7%
Brewed by: AleSmith Brewing Company

Goses are marked by slightly sour and salty flavors and the Limeberry Twist is so named for its twist of also adding fruity flavors accentuating the brightness of limes and soft raspberry sweetness. It is artfully balanced by a pinch of sea salt.

Stone Features & Benefits IPA

Stone Features & Benefits IPA

Origin: San Diego, California
Beer type: IPA
Price: $11 for 12 oz six-pack
ABV: 4%
Brewed by: Stone Brewing

Those looking for a beer low in calories, carbs and gluten, without sacrificing flavor, can to turn to this hop-forward release from the craft brewery that put IPAs on the map. Logging in at only 95 calories, 2.9 carbs and 4% ABV, featured hops are Cashmere, Vic Secret, Azacca and Mosaic, delivering flavors of orange, pear, white peach, melon and black pepper with a crisp and refreshing finish.

An added bonus is that this beer is fermented in a manner that breaks down and removes gluten, rendering gluten levels so significantly low that the beer qualifies as a “gluten-reduced” ale per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.