Beer of the week: Cranberry Hazy IPA

This cranberry brew will be the highlight of your holiday parties


Beer Name: Cranberry Hazy IPA
Brewery: Culture Brewing Company
Style: Hazy IPA
ABV: 6.3%

With locations in Solana Beach, Ocean Beach and Encinitas, Culture Brewing Co plants its delicious flag at the crossroads between craft beer, art and community. Known for hosting engaging art shows with impressive talents alongside a range of craft beer flavors, Culture encourages conversation beyond just the hops and malts. This week, PACIFIC spoke with social media influencer Kristine Baker of Women’s Beer Collective and beer server at Culture, and head brewer, Aleks Kostka.

What’s the story behind the name Culture?
ALEKS: The name Culture comes from our belief that we’re about more than just beer. Culture is an idea that we are not all that different from each other and that art, community spaces and beer can bring us together. That’s why Culture embodies the ethos of the neighborhoods we call home through monthly art shows featuring local artists, fundraisers and community events. But also by brewing beer styles that anyone from a beer novice to a beer nerd can enjoy.

Kristine, why did you pick this particular beer from their lineup?
KRISTINE: I wanted to showcase the Cranberry Hazy IPA for two reasons. First, the can design is dreamy! Secondly, there is so much excitement around this beer and the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. I also don’t feel that brewers use cranberries enough in brewing.

What’s in it?
ALEKS: The Cranberry Hazy IPA is brewed with Pilsner malt, white wheat, oats and rye. It’s dry-hopped with Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, Ekuanot and Chinook, and cranberry juice is added post-fermentation.

What can someone expect the first time trying it?
ALEKS: It’s brewed seasonally to get you ready for the fall months and Thanksgiving specifically. The hint of cranberry blends with the hop profile to create a drier and slightly more bitter finish than most Hazy IPAs, but not quite as bitter as West Coast-style IPAs. Oats give a medium, silky body that finishes smooth and the rye gives a touch of spice. Besides cranberry, you’ll notice strong citrus, melon and tropical notes on the nose.

Perfect Pairing?
ALEKS: Assorted cheeses or a charcuterie board, fresh seafood, roasted duck or chicken.

KRISTINE: I love the way Culture brews our hazys so that they still have a nice hop bitterness without being overly sweet or having a heavy mouthfeel. I can picture drinking this with friends and family around a charcuterie platter, with a home-cooked meal, and fireside to end the evening. I am just a sucker for anything with cranberry added and at 6.3% ABV I can handle a few!

This beer gal’s take:
Ditto on the love for cranberries, I will be grabbing a growler of this for dinner parties, where I’ll pair this crowd-pleasing hazy with a gooey cranberry baked brie in puff pastry.

Where can I get it and for how long?
ALEKS: Our Cran Hazy was freshly canned on Sept. 25 and will be available while supplies last. The only place to get your hands on these cans or fresh from the tap is at any of our three locations - Solana Beach, Ocean Beach and Encinitas. You can expect to find it on tap in our tasting rooms until Thanksgiving.

Extra juicy tidbit?
ALEKS: For the holidays, we’ll be bottling two styles of our bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stouts that have been aging for two years in Four Roses bourbon barrels. Look forward to trying our Chipotle/Chocolate barrel-aged Imperial Stout and the Fruited barrel-aged Imperial Stout. These bottles won’t last long once they’re released! Snag a few for yourself or as holiday gifts for the beer lovers in your life.

Culture Brewing Company locations and hours: 111 South Cedros Avenue, Suite 200, Solana Beach. Open noon to 10 p.m. Mondays through Sundays; 629 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. Open noon to 10 p.m. Mondays through Sundays; 4845 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach. Open noon to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and noon to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.