Brew Review: Abita’s Hop 99 Light IPA

Although light beer isn’t a new category overall, it is an expanding market and a fascinating one for craft breweries that are looking to find sales in the segment.​

Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company introduced​ ​what it’s calling ​a ​’​guilt-free IPA​’​ offering to meet the demands of the evolving beer drinker — Hop 99.

​Categorized as a Light IPA, ​Hop 99 contains 99 calories and 2.7 carbohydrates​.

“We brewed this ‘guilt-free’ IPA for the way we love to live in Louisiana — tailgating, crawfish boils, and anything that requires us to be outdoors,” the brewery wrote Brewer. “Also, the Keto craze and low-carb, healthy lifestyle have been the major push for a couple of years now.

“This brew allowed us to create a flavor-forward IPA, while it also gives beer drinkers a craft-forward, sessionable option that significantly cuts the number of carbs and calories normally found in an IPA, or any beer category for that matter. Not to mention, Hop 99 is one of the first low-calorie, low-carb IPA style. It has the flavor profile of an IPA, with a light body so you can enjoy more of them.”

Creating a low-cal light IPA definitely presented challenges, they noted, but added that the brewers of Abita had been working on the development of this brew for a while before it launched. The end result has Mosaic and Citra hops loaded into Hop 99 to give it a big hop flavor, while pale malts give it a light body and crisp finish.

“We worked on our pilot system with various batches, and once we were able to get the hop flavor with a light body, we knew it was ready for market,” they said. “We know as the craft beer industry continues to evolve, we had to think outside the box to break into a new category and brew a more sessionable beer without sacrificing the craft taste for long-time patrons and new craft drinkers.”

To help push the beer since its late September release, Abita has partnered up with local running clubs, gyms, yoga groups and other fitness clubs for samplings.

“Our sales representatives are out doing samplings at local grocery stores and our media team has a push behind​ ​it,” they said. “We are working very hard for everyone, loyal drinkers and new consumers, to try this awesome brand.”

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