JUNEAU, Alaska – The bright and bountiful berries of Alaska inspired a pairing with the smooth vanilla creaminess of a milkshake IPA for Alaskan Brewing’s newest Pilot Series offering, Berry Milkshake IPA.
“Our concept was to make a milkshake IPA that first and foremost was still an IPA,” said Alaskan Quality Assurance Analyst Blake Hass, who worked with Brewer Greg Morgan on the first experimental versions of the beer. “We wanted it to have complex layered flavors, where you would taste the hoppy IPA qualities up front, and then the fruit flavors would fill in with vanilla rounding out the finish.”
Wild strawberries ripening along the shorelines and grasslands of Alaska’s wilderness are a mid to late summer treat enjoyed by humans and all manner of wild birds and animals. Berry Milkshake IPA also adds blackberries to bring in a tart and tangy component that counterbalances the smooth vanilla flavor.
“Our hop selection was an interesting part of the process,” said Morgan. “We wanted to accentuate the berry flavors, so we ended up using the fairly new and really delicious Sabro hop, plus we wanted some citrus quality so we also added Citra.”
Berry Milkshake IPA is 7% ABV and contains lactose that provides the soft and silky mouthfeel that are the hallmarks of this style. “Think along the lines of a hopped-up vanilla milkshake with a drizzle of berry syrup,” said Hass. “The lactose and berries contribute just enough sweetness to balance the bitterness of the hops.”
This latest edition of the Alaskan Pilot Series will be in stores starting in August and will be available through October. It will be available in most of the 25 states where Alaskan is distributed. The best way to see if it is at a nearby location is to check the Alaskan Brewing Beerfinder at alaskanbeer.com/find-our-beer.