ATLANTA — What if brewers made a milkshake IPA that really is not a milkshake IPA? Monday Night Brewing’s newest release – Slam Dunk – is an orange-creamsicle India Pale Ale that is technically considered a milkshake IPA. However, once you pour it into your glass, you will notice one big difference from other beers in this style – it is crystal clear.
By now, many people know what to expect from a milkshake IPA: a thick, rich, creamy beer with low hop bitterness and high flavor, usually from fruity adjuncts. After experimenting with this style (most recently with the strawberry-vanilla Piranha Dealer), Monday Night’s brewers found some things they could do differently.
“One of the things we love to do is to take a classic style, do it well, and then put our own twist to it,” says brewmaster Peter Kiley. “The milkshake IPA is a brand new style, but that doesn’t mean we can’t shake it up…see what I did there?”
The shakeup? Filtering the beer.
“We loved the way the flavor profile worked in Piranha Dealer,” said head brewer Ryan Cooley. “But we experienced some stability issues on the shelf. It wasn’t staying as fresh as long as we wanted it to. Our lab took a look at it and suggested that we filter it.”
That is what the brewers did with Slam Dunk. The result was a clean, more brilliant flavor. A slightly bitter orange aroma balances perfectly once you take a sip and enjoy the mellowing tones of vanilla alongside juicy orange notes.
“We filtered the beer before we added fresh orange peels and vanilla,” said Kiley. “It’s totally unorthodox, we know. But in reality, we replaced the haze with shelf stability, and that’s a tradeoff we are totally comfortable with. The aroma, flavor and mouthfeel are all where it needs to be.”
But that does not mean the brewers are done with experimentation. “We’ll keep tweaking and adjusting our recipes for each beer,” said cellar manager Aaron Butzen. “We may still come out with a hazy milkshake IPA in the future…it just depends on what works best with the style and the ingredients we’re working with.”
Slam Dunk debuted at Monday Night Brewing’s West Midtown taproom (670 Trabert Avenue, Atlanta GA 30318) on Friday, Feb. 8. Can artwork is by local artist Eric Nine. It will be available alongside Currant Events, a taproom favorite black currant session sour ale.