Deschutes “Tropical Fresh” IPA: Voluptuous Clarity

Written by Steve Body

Fruit…in beer?

Well…okay. I guess.

After literal generations of beer being grains, yeast, hops, and relentless marketing, beer suddenly evolved a BIG Difference – FLAVORS. LOTS of flavors, of all kinds: flowers, spices, bread, cookies, infusions galore, chocolate, licorice…BIG flavors. This difference – derived at first by clever use of grains and very different yeasts and the relative handful of hops variations that existed when craft beer started to Boom – became the hallmark of that alternative school of brewing.

BUT…as with the Big IBU Scare of the early 00s, things like this escalate. We are Americans, after all, and for us Bigger Is Better. Nothing Is Too Much. And very little is ever Enough. Soon, those original fruity beers without infusions didn’t satisfy the craving for fruity beers. As clever people will, clever people began to experiment with ways to shovel up more fruit(ish) flavors – mainly citrus but also various melons, berries, flowers, nuts, anything, really, all of it kinda centered upon the juice boxes on which the new waves of people reaching drinking age were raised. “Tropical” became a core idea. Pineapple, guava, mango, papaya, lychi, citrus, and on and on. Even the exotic mangosteen and dragon fruit have had cameos in the Beer Fruit Thang. Coconut, produced by some newish hops, sticks its knobby little head up, pretty frequently. And, of course, this doesn’t even include the breweries which reasoned, correctly, that you could just, like, dump actual stuff into the tanks and induce whatever the hell flavors you want, without having to wrestle with those complicated ol’ hops and yeasts.

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