Specifically, most of these beers contain high alcohol by volume, or ABV, contents. The End of History, for example is a 55% ABV beer -- higher than most spirits. But the lack of carbonation in many of these so-called "sipping" beers stems from how they're brewed, and not because the brewer wanted a beer without bubbles. A beer's carbonation comes naturally as a byproduct of fermentation, as the craft beer style guide explains, and there's a general correlation between ABV and carbonation.
"As you get higher in alcohol, you get less carbonation," Brewer's Association Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz told Thrillist. "Of most beers in 140 beer styles we track, the majority are less than 6% alcohol. [The beers in Bloomberg's article] are experimental beers and not a common example."
Herz went on to point out that most of the beers mentioned were more like ways for brewers to flex their beer muscles. Or, better stated, their innovations in brewing, such as cask-aging and freeze-distilling. But there's a rub with all these beers: they're exorbitantly expensive for the producer and consumer. Utopias, the most widely available of these beers, costs $200 per bottle.
"I dispute the fact that it is a trend," Herz said, continuing that the headline gives the consumer the wrong impression. "The use of the word 'flat beer' in the title and 'flat beer trend' is misleading. That insinuates the beer should have been carbonated in the first place."
But, in fact, that's not the case; it's a byproduct of some other ultimate goal. In effect, the "flat" beers used as examples are for foodies and beer-lovers, but they're the kinds of brews you'd expect to find in a brewery's tasting room or in-house brew pub -- not at your corner store, and by no means on tap anywhere near you.
In the end, the "flat beer trend" falls... pretty still.
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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. His first beer was a decade-old Coor's Light at his grandparents' house. Things have improved since then. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.