I don’t know when it happened, but I’m actually glad that it did. Within the past ten days, four different citrus-infused IPAs, from four well-regarded breweries, have made their way into my awareness. You see them above, starting at the left:
- Citradelic from New Belgium, whose operative citrus fruit is the tangerine;
- Rebel Grapefruit IPA from Sam Adams, obviously featuring our friend the grapefruit;
- “Enjoy By 5.30.16” Tangerine IPA from Stone, its fruit heritage self-explanatory, as part of Stone’s set-date “enjoy by” series;
- Hop Slice Session IPA from Deschutes, featuring the Meyer lemon.
I say that I “actually” enjoyed these beers, because I start out being highly skeptical of any beer you could classify as fruity. But these, which are different but all worthwhile from my POV, make vivid something I’d heard a million times but not really reflected on: that hops themselves, a powerful element of the IPA taste, bring a varying range of citrus flavors and smells to a brew.
And so I find in an authoritative piece on Citrus IPAs (which lists a number of other entries) on CraftBeer.com:
Cascade hops, of course, are redolent of grapefruit pith, and stylish Citra hops live up to their tangy namesake. Increasingly, brewers embellish these already citrusy IPAs with actual zest, peel or juice from grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and/or limes to create complementary flavor profiles ideal for both hopheads and lovers of fruit beer.
Worth checking out. Larger theme: America already becoming great again.