In 2014 beer began to get more of the respect it deserves as a serious beverage that delivers serious flavor to those willing to dive into the sea of styles and varieties. Why not celebrate beer's new-found respect by ringing in the new year with some malted barley beverages instead of the staid sparkling wines?
Bright, dry, and festively effervescent, these bottles of (usually) golden ale are treated to a special refermentation and conditioning process akin to what traditional Champagne goes through. The result is a refined and complex glass that will beguile those grape fans who claim to dislike beer. A classic example is DeuS from Brouwerij Bostells, while Malheur Brut Noir is a curiously dark and fruity version of the emergent style. Some American craft breweries — like Missouri's acclaimed Side Project Brewing — are beginning to experiment with the style, and perhaps by New Year’s 2016 there will be more craft brewed options for such beverages.