Move over IPAs: Craft brewers win over new fans with lighter beers

two glasses of beer
Craft brewers are increasingly finding success with lagers.
Ketut Subiyanto for Pexels

When the weather warms up and the days get brighter, so do the beers people drink. And increasingly, craft brewers are focusing their efforts on those light, refreshing lagers.

Dustin Brau of Brau Brothers Brewing Company in Marshall is one of those brewers. He created a lager for his mom. She doesn’t like the hoppy IPAs that have become so popular in recent decades.

He says their Old 56 Light Beer, which took top honors in the 2024 MN Brewers Cup Awards in the American Lager category, “is something similar to what your parents would have drunk 30 years ago.”

Evidently, lots of people are enjoying drinking it now, too. Old 56 Light has become one of their top sellers.

“Tastes are changing. They’re evolving. Lager is a type of beer that never really went out of style,” he said. “But we’re seeing people focus on it a little bit more. And we’re seeing people taking a second look at it. And probably most importantly, we’re seeing craft breweries start to invest a little bit of time and energy into producing these beers, knowing that they’re good sellers and they always have been.”

Brau joined MPR News host Tom Crann to discuss his award-winning beer and the craft lager trend. Click on the audio player above to listen to the interview.

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