Friday, November 18, 2016

Editorial | Why Fruit Juice-Accented IPA Is A BAD Idea

 Grapefruit Citradelic

Sam Adams: Rebel Grapefruit IPA
New Belgium: Citradelic Tangerine IPA
Stone: Enjoy By 10/31/2016 Tangerine IPA

The new fad this year in craft brewing is the fruit-accented beers.  Basically the breweries think that if the hop has a tangerine or grapefruit character, then, naturally, if you add those actual fruits to the beer, it is somehow supposed to accentuate and enhance those flavors produced from the hop.

I don't know where they got this idea. Whomever it was that told them was just plain WRONG! These beers taste like beer-flavored fruit juice.  In no way does adding the actual fruit and juice to these beers accentuate and enhance the hop character. If anything, it dampens the character of the hop and over-powers it with the taste of juice.

I feel like what they are trying to accomplish is completely overshadowing what is supposed to happen naturally. If I'm adding 4 different varieties of Hops to my IPA, it's because I want the subtleties of each to come across in the final beer.

Instead, what is happening is that all of those subtle flavors are being completely overpowered by one flavor; i.e. Tangerine or Grapefruit.

If you are an IPA lover, then this travesty will never be never be a beer you enjoy as an IPA.
Will people like this beer?  Yes.  Of course they will.
But is this an IPA? No.  This is beer-flavored fruit juice.  If you were to completely leave the hops out of the recipe (aside, possibly, from the bittering hops), there is a very strong probably that you would not be able to tell a difference.

My final question to you (and to the craft brewer out there thinking about undertaking this (I use this term loosely) "Style"…

Would you dump beer into your orange juice?
Then stop dumping orange juice into my beer!

Below are links to three different fruit-enhanced beers that I recently reviewed.

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