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The beer world is constantly evolving and changing. Brewers are coming up with new styles and brewing techniques to ensure that there’s always something new for beer drinkers to try. One of the latest trends in brewing is ice beer. So, what is ice beer, and how is it made?
What Is Ice Beer?
Ice beer is a style that undergoes frictional freezing during brewing. The beer is chilled until it forms ice crystals, which are removed. This process is repeated several times until the beer reaches its desired level of alcohol by volume. This brewing technique was developed in 1989 (in Canada) to create a higher-alcohol beer without sacrificing flavor or body.
Usually, these beer styles are lagers brewed with a high percentage of adjuncts, like corn or rice. This helps to increase the alcohol content to up to 15%. The chilling process also makes the beer more crisp and refreshing as it dictates how much water is left in the final product.
This beer style is gaining popularity in the United States as more and more brewers are experimenting with the style. While most ice beers on the market today are mass-produced by big beer companies, there are a few craft breweries that are starting to brew their versions. This has led to a resurgence in the style’s popularity, becoming more mainstream.
The History of This Style of Beer
The history of this beer style dates back to 1989, when Niagara Falls Brewing Company in Ontario, Canada, created the style. They were the first brewery to use this brewing technique, and they trademarked it.
The brewers of this beer were looking for a way to create a higher-alcohol beer without sacrificing flavor or body. They came up with the idea of chilling the beer until it was partially frozen and then removing the ice. This process concentrates the sugars in the beer, resulting in a dark, sweet, and strong beer with an alcohol content of 12-15%.
However, in 1993, Molson, a sizeable Canadian brewery, created a beer using the same brewing technique called it “Ice.” This caused a legal battle between the two breweries, which Molson eventually won.
How Is This Beer Made?
The brewing process of this beer is similar to that of regular beer. The difference is that you need to cool the beer to a temperature below freezing. This can be done in a commercial freezer or by using flash freezing, which involves cooling the beer quickly using liquid nitrogen.
Once the beer is frozen, the ice is removed, leaving behind a concentrated beer with higher alcohol content. You then add water to the beer to adjust the alcohol to the level you want and carbonate it. In most cases, the beer is also aged for a few months to allow the flavors to develop. Aging also helps to smooth out the harshness of alcohol.
What Does It Taste Like?
This beer is typically dark in color and has a slightly sweet, malty flavor. The alcohol content is usually relatively high, which can be a bit intense. The beer is also known for its smoothness and creamy texture.
This beer style is also a great choice for those who enjoy a robust and flavorful beer. It pairs well with hearty foods like steak and barbecue. The beer is an excellent option if you’re looking for a beer that packs a punch.
What Are Some Brands of This Style of Beer?
This beer has hit the ground and is now produced by several different breweries. The companies are working round the clock to develop new and exciting flavors. Some of the brands that you can find on the market include:
- Molson Ice: The manufacturer of this brand is Molson Coors. It was the first beer of its kind and is still one of the most popular options. It has an alcoholic content of 5.6%ABV
- Labatt Ice: This beer is the first ice beer to be sold in the United States. It’s made by Labatt Brewing Company and has an alcoholic content of 5.6%ABV
- Coors Light Ice: Light ice by Coors is a lower-calorie option for those watching their weight. It’s an American lager that has an alcohol content of 4.2%ABV
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ice Beer Good?
Yes, Ice beer is a good choice for those looking for a robust and flavorful beer. It has a smooth, creamy texture and pairs well with hearty foods. The beer also has a high alcohol content, so it is perfect for those who enjoy a beer that packs a punch.
Why Is Ice Beer So Cheap?
There is no perfect reason why this beer is cheap. Some say that it’s because the brewing process is relatively simple. Others believe the lower price is a ploy to get people to buy more of the product.
If you are a beer lover, you should give this beer a try. This beer style is perfect for those who enjoy a robust and flavorful beer. It has a smooth, creamy texture and pairs well with hearty foods. The potency also is a great deal. Cheer!