I’ve talked in the past about my Three Rules of Brut IPA to other brewers and the inquisitive. Here they are:
1) Must be extremely dry. Ideally in the 0.0 Plato to 0.7 Plato range. Alcohol volume can affect the perception of dry-ness, so it is recommended to keep them between 6.3% - 7.3% abv range (ideal range would be 6.3% to 6.8%). Often the use of enzyme is used to achieve these results.
2) Must be as light in color as possible. I shoot for mine to be as light in color as my Pilsner, or even lighter, if possible. They often end up even lighter than my Pils (which is 100% pilsner malt). The extra light color is achieved through use of light colored adjuncts like rice, corn, or wheat, or alternative sugar sources (examples would include dextrose or belgian candi syrup).
3) It must be delicious. There must be enough hops to achieve an IPA like experience. It must not be too bitter. There should be no off flavors such as diacetyl, hop oxidation, or other stale beer qualities. This has actually been a challenge with this style, so brewers should be aware there is more to achieving a delicious brut than just adding enzyme.
I should also note, I'm not particularly concerned with the beers being crystal clear. In my opinion a
"hazy brut" is totally acceptable. I think that clear bruts are beautiful, and have a tendency to distinguish themselves from other modern IPAs, but I don't feel it's essential. Mine generally have a pleasant haze, but are by no means anywhere near a "hazy or juicy IPA" but if you want to go there, knock yourself out.
Also, in terms of carb levels. Higher carb would be great, but we need our IPA to pour properly on our draft system as well as outside accounts' systems. I carb mine to 2.5 Volumes/Co2 (the carbonation level of most American craft beer). I did a wonderful collaboration with HenHouse Brewing called “The Third Volume” where the point was to package all the beer in cans with 3 Volumes/Co2 so we could bypass any draft dispensing issues. The extra carb worked really well! I’d love to only ever drink Bruts with high carb out of package poured into a small fancy glass. Not sure this dream will become a reality, but who knows.