The Best Milkshake IPAs For Anyone Craving A Milkshake In Beer Form

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Over the past decade, the ultra-hazy, juicy, and tropical fruit-forward New England IPA has exploded in popularity. This has led to brewers continuing to push the envelope in terms of flavor, ingredients, and texture of IPAs. Which has all led us to a brand new(ish) craft beer style called the “milkshake IPA.”

We can thank Indiana’s 3 Floyds and Sweden’s Omnipollo for this particular ripple, as they were the first to add lactose sugar to an IPA back in 2015. Eureka! The milkshake IPA was born.

Not too surprisingly, this style gets its name because of its use of lactose and fruit (much like so many of our favorite milkshakes). This results in a creamy mouthfeel and consistency. Depending on the brewer and how wild they want to get with it, some include sour or tart flavors alongside various fruits, tropical or otherwise.

Naturally, not all milkshake IPAs are created equal. So we decided to grab eight well-known contenders for the crown and rank them on overall flavor. Keep scrolling to see how things shook out.

8. Westbrook Pineapple Milkshake IPA

Westbrook Pineapple Milkshake IPA
Westbrook

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $19 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

This seven percent beer literally tastes like a pineapple milkshake. It’s brewed with Cascade and CTZ hops and dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops. It gets more flavor and mouthfeel from the addition of Conan yeast as well as Carapils and Pale malts, oat, wheat, pineapple, vanilla, and, of course, lactose.

Tasting Notes:

Not surprisingly, a lot is going on with this beer’s nose. There’s a wallop of pineapple, caramel malts, slight citrus, herbal hops, and a nice hit of vanilla. There was more of the same with the flavor, as there was a ton of vanilla, slight creamsicle-like notes, more pineapple, and just a hint of hops and malts.

Bottom Line:

The hoppy taste is the only thing this beer is lacking. Still, this is a creamy, delicious, juicy beer that any pina colada or hazy IPA fan would adore.

7. Bearded Iris Mood Ring

Bearded Iris Mood Ring
Bearded Iris

ABV: 8.5%

Average Price: $16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Bearded Iris has a few different versions of its iconic Mood Ring. This version is an 8.5 percent double IPA loaded with a ridiculous amount of berries. It’s brewed with blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries as well as lactose and vanilla. To add to that, it’s hopped with Mosaic, Vic Secret, and Citra hops.

Tasting Notes:

Have you ever been strawberry picking? This beer smells like a field of strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. There isn’t much vanilla on the nose, but it sneaks through in the palate along with more berries, lactose, and a nice kick of citrus and floral hops. All around a fruity, sweet, memorable beer.

Bottom Line:

This is a little more “fruit smoothie” than “milkshake.” But it’s pretty close to the perfect IPA for anyone who loves berries and cream.

6. Hop Butcher Blazed Orange Milkshake

Hop Butcher Blazed Orange Milkshake
Hop Butcher

ABV: 7.5%

Average Price: $16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Carrying on the tradition that brewers seem to enjoy citrus flavors when making milkshake IPAs, Hop Butcher Blazed Orange Milkshake has major creamsicle vibes. This 7.5 percent ABV double milkshake IPA was brewed with Citra and Strata hops as well as orange and vanilla.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is way nostalgic with a notable creamsicle smell. Unsurprisingly, there’s also a good deal of sweet vanilla, a hint of pineapple, and slight hoppiness. The palate is more of the same with a ton of tart, sweet orange flavor paired well with creamy vanilla. There isn’t much else in the flavor department and, in this case, that’s not a bad thing.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of creamsicles or you enjoy the flavors of orange and vanilla, this is right up your alley. It literally tastes like an orange-flavored creamy milkshake but not much else.

5. Urban South Strawberry Shortcake Snoball Juice

Urban South Strawberry Shortcake Snoball Juice
Urban South

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $14 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Fans of New Orleans-based Urban South know all about the brewery’s line of Snoball Juice IPAs. Known for its fruit flavors, one of the best and most milkshake-like is its Urban South Strawberry Shortcake Snoball Juice. Original Snoball Juice is a hazy, juicy IPA made with a slew of hops including Idaho 7, Vic Secret, El Dorado, and Citra hops.

This beer elevates that flavor with lactose, strawberries, and Graham cracker crust.

Tasting Notes:

A complex mix of strawberries, slight citrus, sweet Graham crackers, and vanilla meet your nose. Sipping it reveals more lactose sweetness, ripe berries, slight herbal, piney hops, and sweet, creamy vanilla. It’s a great combination of milky, fruity sweetness, and gentle hops.

Bottom Line:

This beer is aptly named. It’s a slightly hoppy, juicy, creamy, strawberry milkshake in a can and we can’t get enough of it.

4. Paperback A Milkshake Orange

Paperback A Milkshake Orange
Paperback

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $22 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Named for the novel and film A Clockwork Orange, Glendale, California’s Paperback Brewing’s 6.5 percent A Milkshake Orange is brewed with Sabro hops, blood orange, and lactose. It’s a citrus-filled homage to the ultra-violent, iconic Stanley Kubrick film adaptation.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find citrus zest, bright orange juice, vanilla beans, creamy lactose, and orange rind. The flavor is a mix of creaminess and sweetness with a lot of ripe, juicy orange, lactose, and slightly bitter citrus zest. All in all, a creamy, juicy beer for citrus maniacs.

Bottom Line:

It seems that creamsicle-like milkshake IPAs are the name of the game. It’s not surprising that this orange and vanilla flavor works together perfectly and has a real “milkshake” feel to it.

3. Hoof Hearted Who’d Like To Hold My Clipboard

Hoof Hearted Who’d Like To Hold My Clipboard
Hoof Hearted

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $8 for a 16-ounce can

The Beer:

With a name like “Hoof Hearted Who’d Like To Hold My Clipboard,” you might not have any idea what you’re getting into. That’s what makes this beer even more exciting. You’re unprepared for this highly complex, nine percent ABV double IPA brewed with fruit puree, Tahitian vanilla, and milk sugar.

Tasting Notes:

This beer’s complex nose has notes of guava, mango, ripe pineapple, vanilla beans, and sweet milk. The palate is epically sweet with hints of candied pineapple, sweet orange candy, vanilla beans, and a slight hop note.

Bottom Line:

This is the kind of milkshake IPA that requires multiple sessions to find all of the various flavors. It’s sweet, creamy, and — frankly — pretty magical.

2. Clown Shoes Tropical Blender

Clown Shoes Tropical Blender
Clown Shoes

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $13 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

The folks at Clown Shoes obviously have an intriguing sense of humor. You wouldn’t expect a milkshake IPA called Clown Shoes Tropical Blender to feature an image of the Grimm Reaper. But there it is. This seven percent ABV milkshake IPA is brewed with pineapple, mango, and guava puree, as well as lactose.

Tasting Notes:

This is a fruity beer for sure. Aromas of guava, mango, and pineapple immediately meet your nostrils. There are also notes of vanilla cream and slight, floral hops as well. On the palate, this beer is hoppier than many on the list and it tempers to tropical fruit and creamy lactose flavors quite well.

Bottom Line:

This is a great example of a well-balanced milkshake IPA. There’s a ton of tropical sweetness that pairs well with slightly bitter hops and a rich, creamy base.

1. WeldWerks Brewing Piña Colada Milkshake

WeldWerks Brewing Piña Colada Milkshake
Weldwerks

ABV: 8.8%

Average Price: $9 for a 16-ounce can

The Beer:

Greely, Colorado’s Weldwerks is well known for its beloved Juicy Bits, a New England IPA is bursting with juicy, hazy, and fresh fruit flavor. But this brewery is more than a one-trick pony. Their Piña Colada Milkshake is brewed with toasted coconut, pineapple puree, vanilla, lactose, and Citra and Mosaic hops.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find a ton of caramelized pineapple, mango, passionfruit, sweet vanilla, and just the right kick of dank and piney hops. There’s more ripe pineapple on the palate along with toasted coconut, sweet cream, vanilla beans, more tropical fruit flavors, and a nice kick of dank hops at the finish.

Bottom Line:

If you like pina coladas (and getting caught in the rain?), but you still want your beer to taste like beer, this is a milkshake IPA for you. Pineapple is the star of the show with this beer but the creaminess of the coconut help make this the ultimate IPA milkshake.

Source: https://uproxx.com/life/best-milkshake-ipa-craft-beers-ranked/