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Beer Bulletin: Winter IPA

A behind-the-can look at our go-to cold weather brew. 

winter ipa can next to winter ipa in a five boroughs brewing co. glass

This Beer Bulletin was penned by Mat Johnson, Five Boroughs Brewing Co.’s Head of Brewing and Quality Management.

Winter IPA is a festive delight, a cold beer built for cold weather. A selection of citrus-forward hops combined with oats and a touch of red malt result in a hop-driven, warming IPA. Best enjoyed by the fire, on the slopes, or at a holiday feast with family and friends.

ABV: 6.8%

Malts: 2-Row, Flaked Oats, Carared, Carafa II

Hops: Citra, Cascade, Comet, Simcoe

Availability: 12oz/6pk cans

Let’s start with the basics. What are the notable characteristics of this debut brew?

The first characteristics that jump out of the glass are the tropical aromas of pineapple, melon and mango. It instantly brings me back to my childhood days when I consumed absurd amounts of Juicy Juice by the can. The huge citrus and mango characteristics from our house ale yeast emphasize and compliment the juiciness of the tropical and citrus-forward hops we use in this brew. A hefty dose of rolled oats in the mash results in a smooth, drinkable beer with increased body and texture that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Talk about the interplay between the quartet of hops used in Winter IPA.

We chose citrus and fruit-forward hops for this particular brew. A late kettle addition of Cascade and Comet lends flavors of apple, melon and lime. For the dry hop, we use Comet, Simcoe and Citra, which contribute additional notes of tropical fruit and citrus, as well as a hint of pine. It’s a pleasant combination that finishes with a blast of tropical punch.

How does Winter IPA fit into Five Boroughs’ broader lineup of IPAs?

Like many of our other IPAs, we stuck to the mantra of juicy and exceedingly drinkable. This beer is sessionable but flavorful, with a touch of maltiness. The addition of rolled oats, Carared, and a touch of Carafa II produces a beer with a rich color and a smooth texture and body.

What are your other go-to wintertime beers? 

As a recent transplant from the west coast, I would have to go with Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale and pFriem Family Brewers' Winter IPA. I am also a fan of big, barrel-aged Imperial stouts and porters, but only on special occasions — they tend to fall into the “one and done” category. 

Appearance: Hazy, apple juice, touch of gold.

Aroma: Pineapple, peach rings, citrus. 

Taste: Juicy Juice, passion fruit, melon. 

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky. 

Food Pairings: Roasted turkey, cranberry stuffing, holiday cakes.

Overall: Five Boroughs Winter IPA is all about the season, the festivities, and the juice.