This week, I'm sharing a look into a beer style that's a personal favorite and one I have seen appear on many craft beer fans' go-to lists: white IPA.
The white IPA is an interesting style in that it arose out of a known origin point, kind of like last week's Helles or Munich blond lager.
According to BeerofTomorrow, a Los Angeles-based beer blog, the style arose when two titans of the craft beer world, Oregon brewery Deschutes Brewery and Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing, came together to develop a collaboration beer in 2010:
"The two brewers developed the recipe and then returned to their respective breweries to each produce their own take on the single recipe. This beer, Conflux No.2, is the first commercial example of a White IPA that we have been able to find any reference to, though inventive home brewers might have been developing this style before the Deschutes/Boulevard collaboration."
It is unsurprising that a couple of innovative brewers in America have gone through the process of experimenting with the India pale ale, a beer many have grown to obsess over in the past decade.
The white IPA is part of the 21B Specialty IPA category, according to the Beer Judge Certification Program. They note it is "a craft beer interpretation of American IPA crossed with a witbier." When it comes to other commercial examples, the usual suspects include Deschutes Brewery's Chainbreaker (not yet available around here), New Belgium's seasonal Accumulation, and Sierra Nevada's Snow Wit. There have been only a small number of local examples.
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For this week, I picked up a can of Tomoka Brewing Company's Oceanside IPA, which has taken the normal attributes of the style further with the addition of grapefruit peel. It pours only slightly hazy, with a typical yellow-gold color and a sticky white cap of foam. Aromas of mild citrus and fruity are evident. The flavor is bright and structured upfront with citrus and sweetness, which then transition into a dry bitterness that rounds out the beer.
With so much experimentation going on, there's no telling where a new style will pop up next. Perhaps a new style will emerge out of South Florida's diverse drinking culture.
Tomoka Brewing Company is located at 4647 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange; 386-256-4979; visit tomokabrewingco.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger dedicated to educating the public about all things beer, with a focus on Florida brews. He is the Brand Marketing Manager for Due South Brewing Company and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.