Happiest Hour: Coconut IPA 

  • Courtesy of Stone Brewing
What it is: An India Pale Ale brewed with 280 pounds of coconut. The special collaboration is the brainchild of homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan; Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe of Rip Current Brewing in San Marcos, Calif.; and Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing in Escondido, Calif. It carries a hefty 7.5 percent ABV and is available locally in 22-ounce bomber bottles.

How we found it: Missoula is lucky to have an abundance of well-stocked beer aisles, including those at Orange Street Food Farm, Liquid Planet, Worden’s and Good Food Store. We went to Summer Sun Garden & Brew, which may offer the most eclectic selection, and simply asked for something new, different and relatively rare. It says something that we were shown about 20 options before settling on the Coconut IPA.

How it tastes: The coconut cuts through a typical bitter and hoppy IPA taste, and lasts through a creamy finish. We don’t love overpowering IPAs, and even though this one packs a punch the flavor is complex and smooth enough to make us want more.

Talk more about this coconut flavor: Weird, right? It sounds strange, but it works. We’ll let Steele explain how the brewers dialed in the recipe: “The primary flavor note is coconut, and its intensity was achieved by two additions, one in the whirlpool and the other post dry hop. The selected hop varieties add subtle tropical fruit and berry notes that blend well with the coconut. There is no doubt this is a big IPA, but with a very interesting twist!” That tropical twist earned this brew a new fan.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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