Back in early 2000s, during the height of the bitter beer craze, a typical IPA slammed into the tastebuds with all the subtlety of semi-truck full of hops. People called these beers ‘palate wreckers,’ and they meant it as a compliment.
But hey, it was a weird time. People across the country walked around with frosted tip hairstyles like members of a boy band. And high definition TV was just beginning to show us how big celebrity’s pores actually are.
Thankfully, Hollywood makeup artists have adapted to high def, and tastebud terrorizing hop bombs are almost as rare as bleached hair.
In fact, IPAs have changed dramatically in the last few years, as you may have gathered from our list of awesome breweries making delicious Milkshake IPAs.
Milkshake-style brews aren’t the only change in the IPA world — there’s a fruity revolution happening in the world of hops! And while fruited IPAs run the gamut from bold pineapple to tropical guava, none of them will wreck your palate. In fact, many of these brews bring so little bitterness that old-school craft fans might hesitate to call them IPAs at all!
No matter what you call ‘em, these fruity, hoppy, juicy brews demand a little space in the beer fridge. Especially if you’re lucky enough to snag one of these five fruity brews.
Blue Velvet Ripple Sorbet IPA - Energy City Brewing, Illinois
You can tell at a glance, this ain’t your standard IPA — it’s freakin’ purple!
To get that lovely hue, the brewers at Energy City used preposterous quantities of ripe blueberries, along with a pile of juicy tangerines. A heap of Citra Hops puts this brew firmly in IPA territory, and thanks to a generous addition of real vanilla, it drinks as silky smooth as a spoonful of actual sorbet!
There’s no lactose in this beer, so it’s not a true Milkshake IPA, but it certainly brings all the Chicagoland fruit fiends to Energy City’s yard. No surprise there. When it comes to making delicious dessert beers, this crew always nails it.
Pineapple Smoosh - Separatist Beer Project, Pennsylvania
This tropical IPA is loaded up with more real pineapple puree than a dole plantation, and it’s double dry-hopped with Centennial and Mosaic Hops for extra juicy flavor! Every sip tastes like a dollop of pineapple-mango sorbet served in a hollowed-out pineapple.
When this tropically fruity brew hits your tongue, you may find yourself overwhelmed by a sudden urge to toss on some Bermuda shorts and head to the beach — even if it’s January. It’s like the crew at Separatist somehow liquified sunshine and canned it for your enjoyment!
Pineapple not your thing? You can try Smoosh IPA in other summery flavors like Blood Orange and Mango!
Mango Wango IPA - Abnormal Beer Company, California
Like the name suggests, this IPA flaunts massive amounts of real mango to make your tastebuds tango! But, the brewers at Abnormal didn’t stop there — they were hellbent on creating one epically fruity brew, so they also added a load of tangy pineapple and sweet-tart passionfruit.
Then, they created a symphony of citrus flavor with an absurdly juicy hop bill of Nugget, Mosaic, Citra, Cascade, and Simcoe! That’s 3 fruits and 5 hops for a total of 8 different kinds of deliciousness!
If you tossed an entire tropical fruit market into a giant blender, this is what it would taste like.
Opaque Thoughts IPA: Guava - Mountains Walking, Montana
This tropical Milkshake IPA drinks so thick and fruity, you might be tempted to stick a couple of straws in and share it with your sweetie, 50’s style. But, it’s actually a monster IPA with over 6 lbs of Mosaic, Hallertau Blanc, and Strata Hops per barrel!
Everytime you sip this beer, it’s like your tastebuds do a swan dive into an olympic-sized swimming pool full of guava jelly and fresh squeezed OJ. And, thanks to preposterous amounts of oats and flaked rice in the mash bill, it drinks softer than silk pajamas.
M-43 Strawberry IPA - Old Nation Brewery, Michigan
But, these brewers are never satisfied, so they took this beloved brew and loaded it full of ripe, red strawberries! All that berry flavor melds with the fruity, hoppy notes of Calypso, Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo Hops until it’s impossible to tell where the hops end and the berries begin!
So basically, this IPA is like a delicious Mobius strip — once you start sipping, it’s all too easy to get lost in the strawberry fields of flavor forever.