What do you get when you add milk sugar and fruit to a New England or Hazy IPA?  This week on Beer Notes, we are discussing Milk Shake IPAs.

It’s time to try a milkshake IPA if you haven’t already.  This style started in 2015 according to researchers quoted on VinePair and Hop Culture.  With the popularity of the hazy IPAs, adding fruit for even more haziness and then lactose, or indigestible milk sugars, for a smooth ,creamy, sweet taste was the next step in experimentation.

Jason Alstrom, a co-founder of Beer Advocate was not impressed with an early version of this style  He rated Hop Hands by Tired Hands Brewing Company a 2.74 out of 5 and called it a muddled mess.  The brewer was not discouraged, however, and ended up releasing 22 milkshake IPAs by the end of 2016.  His Hop Hands now has an outstanding score of 92 on Beer Advocate!

Today, any search for milkshake IPAs or smoothie IPAs, an almost synonymous moniker, delivers pages of results by breweries, large and small.  In the mid-Atlantic region, Big Oyster Brewing is known for their Dreamsicle series of milkshake IPAs with flavors like pineapple,, Tropical, and Vanilla Cream.. 

Lest you think the experimentation is over and milkshake IPAs  have settled comfortably into a fruit and cream style with descriptive names, you should try Dogfish Head’s 2019 entry in the milkshake IPA category which they say is a style-defying beer brewed in collaboration with Beer Advocate.  The name:  Possibly the Next Top Rated Beer on BeerAdvocate The description: “ a Double New England Maple Pastry Black Coffee Milkshake IPA. Brewed with maple syrup, toasted coconut, lactose, vanilla beans, cocoa powder and cold-press coffee, this beer draws inspiration from ingredients found in some of the top-rated brews found on the BeerAdvocate website.”  To that, all we can say is cheers!

Jessica Bauer
Author: Jessica Bauer

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