Extra Pale and Milkshake
Hi all, I thought this week we'd take a look at 2 styles of beer that have seen a bit of a surge in the Irish market, one of which has divided craft beer enthusiasts and other being extremely hard to define. The Milkshake IPA and the Extra Pale Ale
The Milkshake IPA
As I was talking about in the last blog (here) the Hazy IPA has been the dominant and best selling style of IPA since its inception in the early 2000s. Although there has been a renaissance of more "traditional" styles of beer in the craft beer market, the Haze Craze still retains a large part of that market.
One of the latest trends within the Hazy IPA style has been the Milkshake IPA. I say latest, but as with most styles of beer these have been around a while and are just now coming to the fore.
A milkshake IPA essentially is a Hazy that has been brewed with Unfermentable Milk Sugar, the addition of Lactose gives a far creamier mouth feel akin to a Milkshake. Many of these beers also have the addition of fruit to the brew which builds on the creaminess and tropical or candied fruit flavours.
There has been a bit of a discourse about what this style of beer has done to the brewing industry, but as always I think that any style of beer that gets people to try something new is a good thing. It leads to people becoming accustomed to different flavours and from there, more often than not, consumers will move from there to try different styles of beer.
The changing trends of the craft beer industry aren't necessarily reductive of one another. I think it attracts more people to drinking craft beer which is good for every brewer. These are people who may never have picked up a craft and have been attracted by the fruit flavours or creaminess and will then probably move onto other styles.
The Extra Pale Ale
Irish Brewers especially have released some amazing varieties of this beer. But what exactly is an Extra Pale Ale?
It's a brand new style in the craft beer world and because of this the term is a bit nebulous. I think of it as a halfway step between a Pale Ale and an IPA, not quite as session-able as the former and not quite as boozy as the latter. I think, from the ones I've tried, that it's slightly closer to the Pale Ale than say a session IPA.
Personally, I think this is a great style. It provides a stepping stone for the Pale Ale drinkers to the more Hop-Forward IPA. When I started drinking craft beer that was actually a bit of a step I had to make.
Making craft beer more accessible and making the steps to different styles a bit easier is important, and doing it while being delicious is even better.
The Extra Pale Ale is here to stay, watch this space!