Strange times call for strange beers. Idaho’s craft brewers are pumping out kegs of quirky ales — and other creative styles of cold, frothy brew — to keep you stocked up while you’re staying safe and healthy at home. Introduce an element of surprise and intrigue to your palate by picking up a few of these unusual Idaho brews.

1. Gherkin Gose – 5% ABV | 6 IBU
Powderhaus Brewing Company

person holding beer bottle
Photo Credit: Powderhaus Brewing Company.

A gose (pronounced “goes-uh”) is a German tart kettle sour. Nothing says German and tart like a sour beer brewed with pickles, right?! This may not be your grandfather’s idea of beer, but it certainly provides a pleasant pucker.

2. Helhest, Oat Ale – 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU
Mad Swede Brewing

pint glass of beer
Photo Credit: Mad Swede Brewing.

Throwing it back to old-school tradition, Helhest is a Kuyt beer from the 15th-century Dutch tradition. The style is packed with oats, building a nutty and fruity ale with low bitterness and a hazy appearance.

3. Candy Fruit IPA – 6% ABV | 72 IBU
2C Family Brewing Co.

pint glass with beer and growlers
Photo Credit: 2C Family Brewing.

Whoever said sweets and beer don’t mix is clearly missing out. This New England IPA (aka “hazy”) is a splendid union of sweet and juicy. Exploding with a tropical blend of candied grapefruit and passion fruit along with orange and guava juices, the nose on this IPA is heavy with aroma. Brewed with Centennial and Chinook hops, this thirst quencher pairs perfectly with fresh fish tacos or a hardy hamburger.

4. I am Gruit, Vol. 4 – 6.5% ABV | 0 IBU
Barbarian Brewing

 globe of purple beer
Photo Credit: Barbarian Brewing.

You don’t have to be a Guardian of the Galaxy to enjoy this traditional, yet rarely seen ale made from herbs and flowers. In its fourth round of production, I am Gruit blends butterfly pea flower, orange blossoms, mango and vanilla to paint an other-worldly purple finish. Never had a purple beer made from flowers? You won’t want to miss this one.

5. Urban Surfer Citrus Wheat – 3.7% ABV | 16 IBU
Payette Brewing Company

can of beer on a rock by a river
Photo Credit: Payette Brewing Company.

When it comes to craft beer, finding a low-calorie option can be hard to come by — especially one oozing with flavor. Urban Surfer sails in to save the day, packed with zesty citrus notes from orange, lemon and grapefruit peel blended with coriander and lemongrass. Best of all: one of these radically refreshing beers will only set you back 100 calories.

6. Hounds of Love – 4.6% ABV | 18 IBU
Woodland Empire Ale Craft

can of beer
Photo Credit: Woodland Empire.

Do you ever crave a creamsicle and a beer at the same time? Then you’re in luck! Part of Woodland Empire’s rotating B-Sides series, this Helles Lager is brewed with key limes, tangerines, cranberries, and bready malt to transport you back to your childhood days of popsicles and slushies.

7. Whole Lotta Colada – 5.3% ABV | 0 IBU
Boise Brewing

bottle of beer
Photo Credit: Boise Brewing.

If you like Pina Coladas… you’ll like this beer. Concocted during a homebrew contest by the folks at Boise Brewing, and voted as the winner, Whole Lotta Colada is your escape to palm tree-lined beaches while you’re stuck at home on the couch.

8. Wreckin’ Wolly – 5.4% ABV  |  18.8 IBU
Loose Screw Beer Co.

globe glass with beer
Photo Credit: Loose Screw Beer Co.

This ale resembles a porter; but unlike its sister, Wreckin’ Wolly is wheat-based instead of barley-based, which delivers a smoother malt flavor than roasted barley. Paired with pounds of plum and blackberry puree, this beer offers one smooth finish.

9.Because We Carrot – 5% ABV  |  15 IBU
Bear Island Brewing Co.

beer tap handle
Photo Credit: Bear Island Brewing Co.

Have your cake and drink it, too, with this carrot cake cream ale. Inspired by grandma’s recipe, Because We Carrot has all the traditional ingredients you want in a carrot cake: brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and, of course, carrots.

To honor the growers, brewers, and distributors who make Idaho craft beer possible, we’re hosting a virtual toast on Thursday, April. 2 as part of Idaho Craft Beer Month. Join in by posting a photo of your Idaho craft beer of choice on your social media accounts and be sure to use the hashtag #PintsUpIdaho.

Find more Idaho breweries to explore by checking out the Idaho Brewer’s Trail Map here.

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Published on April 2, 2020