Fruity beers are nothing new. They’ve been around for a long long long time before there was beer as we know it today. However, the recent trendy move towards jamming (no pun intended) fruit purées into beers has seen alot of beers with very little difference until a Dublin Bar & a Dublin microbrewery decided to not only flip the script, but set fire to it, walking off nonchalantly afterwards. And the result is?
‘Strawberry Vanilla Shake IPA’ was a beer I was really looking forward to getting stuck into at the recent AllTech event. Sure, it was only five horsepower on the ABV scale, but still – horsepower for something like was unimportant. It needed to delivery big, bold, brash strawberry vanilla milkshake flavours in an IPA. That’s not just a bold challenge. That’s betting everything down to your underpants knowing you’ve a the tools to make a blue whale blush IF you lose.
Before I’d even seen this beer, let alone tasted it I knew what I wanted from it. I wanted a super creamy strawberry & vanilla milkshake. I’m not taking your McDonald’s style of milkshake, I’m talking one with real Strawberry & Vanilla ice cream & real milk where the pink hue is not something most commonly found adorning Katie Price’s choice of car, that even through the chill you get the waft of vanilla & strawberries. That’s a tall order. And a heck of an expectation. And when you see photos like this, it’s an express ticket to drool city:
There would be an expectation of all this sweetness being balanced against an IPA bitter, but that’s not what I wanted. To hell with balance. I want that unmistakable IPA malt backbone with the milkshake reminiscent of a malted milkshake; a real fill-you-up drink that you know could put you in a diabetic coma. The head on this beer is delightful in the glass (or should I say plastic opaque tumbler).
The colour when poured into a clear plastic cup (ugh, I hate plastic cups at beer festivals/events) it was gorgeous with alovely subtle red hue to it that screamed sctrawberry. And the big waft of strawberry vanilla milkshake from it was exactly what I wanted. That first taste was exactly what I wanted. Heavenly & satisfying likea perfectly looping scene of diner-delighful decadence.
It was everything I wanted; Strawberry? Check. Vanilla? Oh fuck yeah! Creamy? You bet your sweet ass! I tried alot ofthis beer during my time at AllTech & I was utterly in love with it.But, it felt like a whirlwind romance that was heading for heartbreak as a realisation set in. This was going to be a single one-off only at AllTech & on tap at Idlewild in Dublin. I would never get to enjoy it at home. Then this happened:
Success!!!! Cue the happy dance!
Now, STAY AWAY FROM MY CANS OF IT!!! IT’S ALLL MIIIINNNEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!