For artists, pushing boundaries is part of the creative process. For fans, these can be the dividing points like when Dylan was “going electric” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
While some traditionalists shudder at the idea of adding anything other than malt, hops, water, and yeast to the brewing process, others have embraced this new wave, specifically when it comes to the New England-style IPA. Long a source of controversy due to factors such as its unfiltered appearance, the style has evolved over the years with some breweries continuing to push the limits of tradition, which can include adding oats and lactose to enhance the texture and body of their ales.
One of these breweries is Phase Three Brewing Company in Illinois, which uses these adjuncts as part of its rotating Crème series. For this iteration, it used Citra hops. The double dry-hopped double double IPA pours a cloudy, pale yellow. If not for the minimal head, you might mistake it for a glass of grapefruit juice. Since it's double dry-hopped, there’s a ton of tropical fruit in the aroma, with just the slightest sweet cream note.
The first sip reveals orange, citrus and mango. The oats definitely give it a smoother mouthfeel than your standard NEIPA. There’s a steady pithy bitterness that persists through the first sip before giving way to a slightly sweet, creamy finish that tastes like lemon curd.
Fans of Citra will love this version of Crème. It’s got a full body with citrus and tropical tones and just a hint of sweetness without going the full milkshake IPA route.