Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Five Barrel’s Milkshake IPA

1) There really is something to be said for supporting your local brewery. Let’s take this Milkshake IPA from Five Barrel. On Thursday last week, brewer Phil O’Shea posted on social media that the beer was bottled and ready to go. So on Saturday I’m at the brewery buying some beer, while it’s nice and fresh.

2) See if it had have been from an out-of-town brewery I’d likely have to wait for some local bottle shop to stock it. And then go and then go and buy some. So the time between when the beer was bottled and when I had some in my fridge would have amounted to several weeks. And when you’re talking IPAs that can make a bit of difference. That’s why buying local is a great idea – you can get beer when it’s fresh as can be.

3) Milkshake IPA, huh? Until last Saturday I didn’t know it was actually a thing. I’d thought it was just a name Phil made up and used because it sounded cool. But no, Google says it’s a real thing – and it never leads people astray. It’s basically a  New England IPA brewed with lactose, which lends a bit of milk-like sweetness. According to Google, it’s big in the US and often sees some sort of fruit added in.

4) There’s no fruit in the Five Barrel version (though Phil says he might look to brew a mango version down the line). What there is, however, is a shitload of hops. Way more hops than he used for his New England IPA. So many that the hop cake left after brewing had blocked a valve. That’s a lot of hops. See?

5) In terms of flavour, it’s bloody lovely. Which is pretty much par for the course with Five Barrel beers. It pours way more cloudier than an NEIPA and the carbonation is low – because who wants a fizzy milkshake? While there’s no fruit here the aroma is of rockmelon and peach. The lactose adds a smooth mouthfeel and a lick of sweetness. Overall, it triggered a sense memory of Fruit Tingles, which was really strange. I’d recommend you get your hands on some of this but I understand it’s probably all gone by now.

Free or paid for? I bought two four-packs last Saturday. And am impressed with myself for not drinking all eight of them over the weekend.

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