Milkshake IPA: Lactose-Loaded Libations of Flavor [Smoothest Brews]

Welcome to the delectable world of milkshake IPAs, where hazy brews meet creamy sweetness and childhood nostalgia!

Are you ready to dive into the delicious, fruity universe of these wildly popular beers?

Let’s explore the art of crafting the perfect milkshake IPA, the top must-try brews of 2023, and even how to brew your own!

Short Summary

  • Experience the creamy, fruity world of Milkshake IPAs and tantalizing flavors like Peach & Clementine to Chocolate & Marshmallow!
  • Create a harmonious milkshake IPA with tropical fruits, vanilla beans, lactose and hops for an exciting flavor experience.
  • Experiment with unique ingredients like peanut butter or coffee when brewing your own delicious Milkshake IPA!

The Creamy, Fruity World of Milkshake IPAs

Milkshake IPAs, also known as milkshake beers, are an exciting sub-style of New England IPAs, characterized by their creamy texture, fruity flavors, and hazy appearance – all thanks to the addition of lactose and fruit purees.

This milkshake IPA style has taken the craft beer world by storm, with breweries like Tired Hands Brewing Company and Omnipollo leading the way. Imagine sipping on a strawberry milkshake IPA, with its delightful ice cream flavors, or a double milkshake IPA, boasting higher alcohol content and more intense flavors.

Many milkshake IPAs draw inspiration from beloved ice cream truck treats and fruity candies, creating an irresistible adult drinking experience. Let’s explore!

The Birth of a Hazy Sensation

The milkshake IPA was born in 2015, when Omnipollo and Tired Hands Brewing Co joined forces to create the first of its kind. Since then, the style has skyrocketed in popularity among beer enthusiasts and brewers worldwide.

The addition of lactose sets milkshake IPAs apart from other juicy and hazy IPAs, giving them their creamy texture. Fruit purees, on the other hand, impart tantalizing flavor, acidity, and even color to these delightful brews.

Breweries across America, including Mountain Culture Beer and Great Notion Brewing, have jumped on the milkshake IPA bandwagon, crafting their own unique and scrumptious versions of the style.

With so many creative flavors and brewing techniques out there, it’s no wonder milkshake IPAs have become one of the most talked about beer styles in recent years.

Key Ingredients: Lactose, Fruit Puree, and Hops

The secret to a delicious milkshake IPA lies in its key ingredients: lactose, fruit puree, and hops. Lactose, an unfermentable milk sugar, contributes to the beer’s creamy mouthfeel and luscious sweetness, making it stand out from other styles like milk stouts.

Fruit purees, on the other hand, bring unique and exciting flavors and aromas to the brew, adding a fruity punch to the creamy base.

Hops play an essential role in balancing the sweetness of lactose and fruit purees, providing a delightful bitterness and perfect harmony in every sip. The combination of these ingredients results in a beer that is not only delicious but also a true expression of the brewer’s artistry and creativity.

Ice Cream Truck-Inspired Flavors

Milkshake IPAs often feature flavors inspired by childhood treats, such as:

  • ice cream truck favorites
  • fruity candies
  • peach ice cream
  • raspberry sorbet
  • orange creamsicles

Brewed with lactose, fruit, and vanilla, milkshake IPAs can evoke these nostalgic flavors and provide a truly fun and unique drinking experience.

Some examples of ice cream truck-inspired flavors in milkshake IPAs include:

  • Peach
  • Clementine
  • Raspberry
  • Lime
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallow
  • Tropical fruits like passion fruit, mango, and guava

With such a wide variety of flavors to choose from, there’s a milkshake IPA out there for everyone’s taste buds!

The Art of Crafting a Perfect Milkshake IPA

Crafting a perfect milkshake IPA involves a careful balance of ingredients, including tropical fruits, vanilla beans, and other adjuncts, as well as a solid understanding of the New England IPA style. This delicate balance ensures that no single ingredient overpowers the others, resulting in a harmonious and delicious beer.

To master the art of milkshake IPA brewing, it’s essential to explore the role of tropical fruits, vanilla beans, and other adjuncts in creating unique flavor profiles.

Let’s delve deeper into these ingredients and learn how they contribute to the perfect milkshake IPA.

Tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and guava are popular choices for milkshake IPAs, adding a refreshing twist to the creamy base. These zesty and invigorating fruits not only enhance the beer’s flavor profile but also evoke memories of sipping pia coladas on a sun-soaked beach.

For those who prefer a non-alcoholic treat, a pia colada milkshake can offer a similar tropical experience.

Other popular fruits used in milkshake IPAs include passion fruit, peaches, and raspberries, providing a diverse range of flavors to suit every palate. With so many delicious tropical twists to choose from, milkshake IPAs offer a world of fruity excitement for beer lovers.

Vanilla Beans and Other Adjuncts

Vanilla beans and other adjuncts, such as toasted rice or coconut, can enhance the flavor profile and mouthfeel of a milkshake IPA. Vanilla beans add a creamy sweetness to the beer, while toasted rice imparts a nutty flavor, and coconut brings a tropical note to the beer.

The use of adjuncts in milkshake IPAs is a testament to the creativity and innovation of modern brewers. By experimenting with different combinations of adjuncts, they can craft unique and delicious beers that push the boundaries of traditional brewing styles.

The Role of New England IPA in Milkshake IPA’s Popularity

The popularity of New England IPAs has played a significant role in the rise of milkshake IPAs, as they share similar characteristics and brewing techniques, including the hazy IPA brewing process.

Both styles are known for their hazy appearance, juicy hop character, and low bitterness, making them approachable and enjoyable for a wide range of beer drinkers.

The success of New England IPAs has paved the way for milkshake IPAs, with the latter adopting and building on the former’s hazy, juicy, and creamy qualities.

The addition of lactose and other ingredients to create a milkshake-like mouthfeel has helped propel milkshake IPAs to new heights of popularity in the craft beer world.

Must-Try Milkshake IPAs

Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey through the top 10 must-try milkshake IPAs of 2023! These brews showcase a variety of flavors, breweries, and styles, ensuring there’s something for everyone on this list.

From tropical twists to decadent dessert-inspired treats, these milkshake IPAs are sure to delight your taste buds.

Some of the top milkshake IPAs include:

  • Westbrook Pineapple Milkshake IPA
  • Bearded Iris Mood Ring
  • Hop Butcher Blazed Orange Milkshake
  • Urban South Strawberry Shortcake

Each of these beers offers a unique flavor profile, crafted with care and creativity by talented brewers from around the world.

Don’t miss out on the chance to experience these mouthwatering milkshake IPAs. Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer enthusiast or new to the world of hazy brews, these top 10 must-try milkshake IPAs are sure to leave you craving more.

Smoothie IPA vs. Milkshake IPA: What’s the Difference?

Smoothie IPAs and milkshake IPAs may seem similar at first glance, but there’s one key difference that sets them apart: the presence of lactose in milkshake IPAs.

This unfermentable milk sugar gives milkshake IPAs their signature creamy texture, distinguishing them from smoothie IPAs, which are brewed with unfermented fruit puree and sugar.

Both styles offer a unique and flavorful drinking experience, with smoothie IPAs providing a fruit-forward, juicy taste, and milkshake IPAs delivering a rich, creamy mouthfeel. No matter which style you prefer, there’s no denying the innovation and creativity behind these delicious brews.

Brewing Your Own Milkshake IPA

Ready to take the plunge and brew your own milkshake IPA? You’ll need to start with a hazy IPA base, adding lactose and exciting adjuncts such as:

  • vanilla
  • tropical fruits
  • chocolate
  • peanut butter
  • coffee

Experimentation is key to finding the perfect balance of flavors and achieving the desired mouthfeel.

To brew a milkshake IPA, follow these steps:

  1. Boil the mash for 75 minutes.
  2. Chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 70°F.
  3. Pitch the yeast. Use a low flocculating, low attenuating yeast strain, such as Wyeast 1318 London Ale III.
  4. Mash at 155°F for 60 minutes to achieve the desired creamy mouthfeel.

With a bit of practice and creativity, you can craft a milkshake IPA that rivals those of the pros. Happy brewing!


Milkshake IPAs offer a delightful fusion of creamy sweetness and fruity flavors, making them a popular and innovative addition to the craft beer scene.

From their origins in the New England IPA style to the wide variety of ice cream truck-inspired flavors available, milkshake IPAs are a testament to the creativity and skill of modern brewers.

Whether you’re sipping on a tropical pia colada milkshake IPA or brewing your own strawberry milkshake IPA at home, one thing is for sure: the world of milkshake IPAs is a tasty adventure you won’t want to miss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a milkshake IPA?

Experience an indulgent treat with a Milkshake IPA – a creamy and smooth hazy IPA brewed with lactose and tasty adjuncts like vanilla, tropical fruits, chocolate, peanut butter, and coffee.

Treat yourself to this delicious mix of flavors with passion fruit, mango, guava, peaches, and raspberries!

What is the difference between an IPA and a milkshake IPA?

Ahh, the great debate of New England IPAs vs. milkshake IPAs. The biggest difference between the two is that the milkshake IPA takes it a step further and adds lactose for sweetness and body.

It’s an exciting combination of flavor and texture that beer lovers can’t seem to get enough of!

Do all milkshake IPAs have lactose?

It is a common occurrence for Milkshake IPAs to contain lactose because that’s the defining characteristic of the style. Lactose gives it the smooth, creamy texture so many fans love.

What does Juicy IPA taste like?

Juicy IPAs are the perfect combination of hazy and flavorful hops. It has a beautiful golden color and offers aromas and flavors of citrus, stone fruit, and tropical fruits.

The boldness of the hops gives it a refreshing bite that is balanced with sweet malt for an overall juicy and flavorful IPA.

IPAs are a popular style of beer that has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. They are known for their bold hop character and juicy flavor profile.

Who invented the milkshake IPA?

Are you a fan of innovative beer styles? Then you’ll be excited to hear that the first milkshake IPA was created in 2015 by the collaborative efforts of Omnipollo and Tired Hands Brewing Co.

Delve into the creamy realm of Milkshake IPAs! Each image is a sip into this lush, fruit-forward brew style that melds hoppy goodness with a smooth, milkshake-like consistency. From tropical fruit additions to the velvety finish, it's a sweet escape into a hoppier horizon.

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