Fruity IPAs Increase in Popularity

Are you looking for a fresh beer that's a bit out of the ordinary? Look no further; citrus and tropical IPAs are on the rise! According to a Chicago-based consumer insights company, IRI, the number of craft IPAs flavoured with tropical or citrus fruits has increased in spite of the low overall sales of these fruity styles - accounting for only 1.5 percent of IPA sales. Find out what all the buzz is about and learn about why these beers are becoming a popular choice for companies and customers alike.

Citrus and Tropical IPAs on the Rise

It’s commonly known that craft IPA is the most popular type of craft brew in the United States. With its bold flavor profile, it’s no surprise that craft IPA is the most purchased craft beer with the highest market share of 49.2 percent.

However, while craft IPA is the most popular craft beer, there is a growing trend forming within the category towards lightly hopped, citrus and tropical IPAs. Although fruit styles only make up 1.5 percent of the total sales in the craft IPA category, the number of brands has increased, according to Chicago-based consumer insights company IRI.

As an ever-growing form of IPA style, let’s explore the types of citrus and tropical IPAs, the brewing process, and some brewery short profiles brewing the beer.

Types of Citrus and Tropical IPAs

Discussing citrus and tropical IPAs is not just about the fruit taste, its about highlighting the hops used in the brew.

  • Orange IPAs/ Citrus IPAs – orange IPAs or citrus IPAs incorporate citrus hops to provide floral and citrus notes with various hop varieties coming from Europe or the United States.
  • Tropical IPAs – tropical IPAs focus on juicy notes of tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango and passion fruit.
  • New England – also known as NEIPA, this style has a hazy/cloudy look with a low to medium bitterness, full of hop-derived flavors and aroma.
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Brewing Process

The brewing process of citrus and tropical IPAs uses the same basic brewing techniques as traditional IPAs, but the focus is on unique hop processes that give the final product its flavor and aroma.

The base of the citrus and tropical IPAs is the malted barley, with malted wheat and oats sometimes added for a smoother body and hazy look. The malts are boiled with hops for about 60 minutes to extract the bittering compounds and essential oils. The hops initially contribute bitterness, and late edition hops towards the end of the boil process bring the fruity, citrus and tropical flavors. Once the beer has cooled down, yeast is added to induce fermentation, and then transferred into conditioning tanks. When the desired level of carbonation is reached, the beer is ready to be packaged into bottles or cans.

Breweries Showcasing Citrus and Tropical IPAs

  1. Legion Brewing – out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Legion Brewing creates West Coast Style IPAs, to their flagship Juicy Jay IPA. Juicy Jay is double dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic. With a 5.9% ABV and soft bitterness, this fruit IPA is perfect for hazy beer lovers.
  2. Untitled Art Brewing – based out of Waunakee, Wisconsin, Untitled Art showcases their variety of beers throughout the state in tasters and cans. Their flagship juicy pale ale combines the use of Citra and Mosaic hops, and will provide the flavor of mango and peach. Untitled Art also creates a Mango version of this beer.
  3. Mikerphone Brewing – out of Chicago, Illinois, Mikerphone Brewing is an award winning brewery known for creating diverse IPAs. Recently they have created a tropical holy guacamole IPA that combines hops and mango, pineapple, passion fruit and a hint of lime. With so many flavors, this citrus and tropical IPA will have your taste buds jumping.
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The craft brewing industry is changing, going from traditional IPAS to incorporating many flavors and styles. One of the top styles trending is citrus and tropical IPAs, as consumers are becoming eager to try the new flavors. The types of IPAs vary, from orange IPAs, to tropical IPAs to New England. The process of brewing for these IPAs follows the same process, but with hops added as a late addition to provide the citrus/tropical flavors and aromas. Lastly, breweries such as Legion Brewing, Untitled Art Brewing and Mikerphone Brewing provide good examples of citrus and tropical IPAs.

It’s no surprise that consumers are jumping on the bandwagon for citrus and tropical IPAs, as the

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