Within the last couple years a couple sub-styles of IPA started to gain traction amongst beer drinkers and brewers. One sub-style is the Brett IPA, hop-forward ales fermented with funky Brettanomyces strains of yeast. Another is the myriad of fruited IPAs, which were popularized with the introduction of Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin. I love Brett IPAs when they are done correctly, but it is really important to have the right mixture of hops to complement the yeast instead of clash with it. I have mixed opinions of fruited IPAs, I’ve had a few that are stellar but many seem like a cheap way to add fruity hop flavor to a beer instead of adding more hops, and in a few the fruit flavor overwhelms everything else. While I’ve tried many beers from each of these individual sub styles, I am pretty sure that Kent Falls Juice Maker Mango is the first fruited Brett IPA that I’ve sampled. Juice Maker is actually a series of Brett IPAs, each brewed with a different type of fruit. Kent Falls Juice Maker is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 500 mL bottles.
Kent Falls Juice Maker Mango pours a murky light yellow with a massive white head. The scent is mostly the Brettanomyces along with some fruity hops. The yeast leads the flavor with funky and spicy notes. This is complemented by the hops, with hints of lemon, grass and orange. I don’t get much mango in the flavor or the aroma, not sure if it’s just being drowned out by the other flavors. A light malt backbone rounds out the flavors with touches of crackers and cereal. Juice Maker is light and quaffable, not too boozy at 5.6% ABV. The finish is dry with a little lingering hops and funk. I enjoyed this beer as a Brett IPA, but with a name like Juice Maker I expected a little more fruit flavor and aroma. Still, another solid addition to the Kent Falls roster. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
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