Back in July we introduced our new beer company, ZēLUS (pronounced zee-luhs). We talked a lot about our approach to the beer industry and our involvement in running and sporting events. This time we want to focus on how we craft beer for the active lifestyle by maximizing flavor and refreshment in beer with less than 5% ABV.
The brewing process and ingredients are what makes each beer unique. Historically, new beer styles came out of what are now known as some of the classic brewing cities, such as Dublin, Ireland and Burton-Upon-Trent, England. Later, it was appreciated that the effects of the unique profile of dissolved minerals within the water of these cities was playing a very important role in regulating mash pH, hops alpha-acid isomerization, process efficiency, and overall palatability. Most brewing salts are a combination of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, sulfate and chloride. These are naturally found in water aquifers in the form of gypsum (calcium sulfate), table salt (sodium chloride), Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), limestone (calcium carbonate), and others. Brewers have been using these salts in moderation for years, and many try to emulate the water profile of the classic brewing cities to design beers to match the classic styles.
ZēLUS carefully identifies beer styles, develops recipes, adjusts water profiles, and keeps alcohol content low to produce one of the most refreshing beers available. ZēLUS uses a mix of commonly used brewing salts plus additional unique salts in each of its beers to enhance flavor, aid in the brewing process, and to produce beers with a balance of potassium, sodium, and calcium. Each beer has a salt profile that is tailor-made for the specific style of beer.
We also focus on lower levels of alcohol in order to reduce both calories and the diuretic effect of drinking beer. Our initial three beers have all been a very sessionable 4.7% ABV. And our fourth and latest creation, Race Pace, comes in at a remarkable 3.7% ABV. Remarkable, since it is still a full-flavored New England-style ale. Lower alcohol beers present a number of challenges when competing with higher alcohol beers – mainly in regard to a beer’s body, its mouthfeel, and even its flavor. To overcome these challenges, ZēLUS uses flavorful base malts including Maris Otter, flaked grains, and our special blend of brewing salts including those commonly used, plus our unique additions.
Very unusually for a craft brewery we invested time and money in writing and applying for a patent for our improved brewing process. We applied for it before we even produced any beer commercially. We did this because we felt like we had something novel and unique.
Many beer brands have targeted the athletic lifestyle space, these brands have typically taken a low calorie or gluten-free or gluten-reduced direction. The largest brand to operate in this relatively small, yet growing sector of the beer industry is Michelob Ultra. At ZēLUS, we took a holistic approach and looked at the entire brewing process.
As craft beer continues to grow, the active lifestyle sector of the beer industry will also expand. The consumer will continue to look for differentiation. The companies that succeed in the crowded craft beer market are those that offer a unique, high quality, flavorful beer. ZēLUS beer was designed to achieve such a goal.