Order a mug of beer at any good dive bar, and the bartender will serve you a bowl of roasted nuts to go along with it. This is good business—salty foods keep the beer orders coming—but Planters and Noon Whistle Brewing have decided to dissolve the line between snack and beverage completely. Their collaborative Mr. IPA-Nut combines Planters honey-roasted peanuts with, brazenly enough, a Citra-forward IPA. It’s beer you couldn’t have dreamed of asking for, but one that you’ll be glad ended up in front of you.
Like all of Noon Whistle’s canned offerings, Mr. IPA-Nut comes in a pop-top 360 End can. Opening the lid feels delightfully similar to peeling back the metallic seal on a can of Planters nuts. The beer itself is a cloudy amber orange. It’s almost disturbingly murky, likely a product of the peanuts added to the brew.
Mr. IPA-Nut knows its strength is in salt. It’s a highly atypical flavor in IPAs, but here it feels oddly right.”
A huge benefit of the 360 End can is that you get a big pop of aroma right away. Mr. IPA-Nut has a lot of the traditional IPA charm, with Citra and (most likely) Mosaic lemony notes leaping to the front of the nose. I was nervous that the peanuts would bombard the aroma, killing the appeal of drinking an IPA, but that honey-roasted aroma sits dutifully beneath the first hit of hops.
Mr. IPA-Nut knows its strength is in salt. It’s a highly atypical flavor in IPAs, but here it feels oddly right—like Planters and Noon Whistle have hit on a formulation our lizard brains are genetically programmed to crave. The depth of flavor—first grassy then sweet then salty as a dive bar appetizer—is really surprising, though the beer is so thick you almost have to chew it down.
Much like Harpoon’s recent one-off with Dunkin’, this Planers and Noon Whistle collab is liable to be written off as a gimmick. But doing so would mean missing out on an innately gratifying beer. Mr. IPA-Nut manages to capture, in a single can, what makes the combination of cold beer and salty peanuts such a time-tested pairing. Someone find that dandy anthropomorphic peanut and give him a high five.