Meet the Milkshake IPA, Your Newest Craft Beer Obsession

The India Pale is, quite possibly, the most popular and versatile craft beer style in America. Developed to exploit the preservative qualities of hops and alcohol, and used to supply British troops in the late 1700s, the IPA has taken on a whole new life in the early 21st century under the creative supervision of adventurous brewers. While the overall diversification trend has skewed toward embracing the more extreme elements of over-hopping (for example, Stone Brewing’s Ruination), the IPA has also been translated into session styles like Founders Brewing Co. All Day IPA and The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, a cloudy, citrusy New England IPA. Then, of course, there are Double IPAs, Triple IPAs and even Black IPAs.

One of the newer entries into the IPA family of beers is the Milkshake IPA, which is brewed with lactose for a full body and fruit or vanilla for the key flavoring ingredient. The first version is attributed to Swedish brewery Omnipollo, but it has since been adapted by dozens of U.S. breweries.

While the Milkshake IPA isn’t a Beer Judge Certification Program-recognized style quite yet, you can get in on the ground floor by tasting some of these excellent examples.

All The Boys Milkshake IPA Series by Bhramari Brewing Co.

Creamy and utterly delicious, the Mango and Lychee version in this Asheville brewery’s All The Boys Milkshake IPA Series tastes like pineapple upside down cake. Seriously. It’s a big, sweet dessert beer that has just the right cut of hop bitterness.

Milkshake Extra Vanilla by Tired Hands Brewing Company and Omnipollo

Ardmore, Pennsylvania-based Tired Hands paired with the creators of the original Milkshake IPA to bring some of the first tastes to the states. These sixteen ounce cans from the Milkshake series are hard to track down, but the devotees of the style swear this series features some of the best variations on the theme. Extra Vanilla is brewed with loads of oats and lactose sugar, then hopped with Mosaic and Citra. Finally, it’s conditioned on madagascar vanilla beans.

Citronious Shake by Calusa Brewing

True to its name, Citronius from Calusa, a brewery in Sarasota, Florida, brings citrus to the fore, with flavors from tangerine and mandarin oranges and a sherbet-like bite. The full mouthfeel brings an unexpected twist on the Citra-hopped IPA trend.

Feature image courtesy of Calusa Brewing/Facebook.