TropiCoastal: Fruit without Fruit

There’s a tropical trip in every sip of our new TropiCoastal Tropical IPA, now available throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana in cans, and all GLBC markets in draft. We’re on island time now, so settle in at your favorite getaway, crack a can, and let’s explore this untapped oasis of tropical fruit flavors. 

Close your eyes, lower your nose to the glass, and take in the bright, lively aromatics. Scents of pineapple, orange, and other tropical fruits emerge. Now take a sip. Citrus fruits burst upon the palate, supported by a wave of soft, rind-like bitterness and a kiss of malt evoking the light sweetness of actual fruit. Ahhh… paradise. 

There are a lot of fruit flavors in TropiCoastal IPA, all right. But real fruit? You won’t find any on this island. All of the tropical fruit aromas of TropiCoastal IPA come straight from the hops. While we love experimenting with fresh, real fruit (check out Crushworthy Lo-Cal Citrus Wheat) sometimes it’s just good old fashioned (or refreshingly new-school) hops, malt, water, and yeast that get the job done.

So how exactly does this hoppy magic work? Hops contain two main compounds that are utilized in the brewing process: alpha acids and essential oils. The former give beer its bitterness when those acids are boiled in the brew kettle. But it’s the latter that provide the wide array of flavors and aromas we enjoy in hop-forward beers. Depending on which kinds of oils (such as myrcene) are present in a particular hop varietal, a brewer can highlight anything from grapefruit and tangerine, to passion fruit and peach, to berries, melon, and more! Load up on hops with a high level of the right oils and you’ll have a fruit bomb without needing to know the best way to slice up a mango. 

When these hops are used in the brewing process matters too. Hop oils are very volatile, and can easily escape during the brewing process, especially during the kettle boil. So, the later hops are added in the brew, the more their flavors and aromas will be retained in the finished beer. While traditionally brewers would add hops at the beginning of the boil for bitterness, in today’s aroma-forward brewing world, a brewer will add most of their hops late in the boil, in the whirlpool, and even in the fermentor itself (a process called dry hopping). While this shift in the hop schedule is especially typical of Hazy IPAs like our own Hazecraft, it’s become equally common in clearer, crisper IPAs like TropiCoastal IPA too.

So let’s meet the main attractions in TropiCoastal IPA, three hops our brewers are using for the first time at this scale: Idaho 7, Calypso, and Strata. Named for its home state, Idaho 7 promises flavors of guava and apricot atop a sticky pine base. Calypso, whose name alone conjures images of the tropics, contributes crisp notes of apple and pear, alongside lemon and lime citrus. The especially oil-rich Strata, one of the most popular hops of the moment, delivers droves of strawberries, melon, passion fruit, and just a touch of dank. GLBC brewhouse stalwarts and modern classics Mosaic and Lemondrop provide additional tropical, citrusy accents to round out TropiCoastal IPA’s fruity flavor profile. 

So while TropiCoastal IPA may be GLBC’s most fruit-forward IPA yet, no papayas were harmed in its brewing. Now, if you want to go full tiki-mode and enjoy a TropiCoastal IPA from a hollowed-out pineapple on the beach, we aren’t stopping you! Even better, swing by the GLBC brewpub to enjoy a pint fresh on draft, and take home a 12-Pack from our gift shop on the way out. Not currently chilling in the oasis that is Cleveland? Use our Beer Finder to track down this new hoppy hideaway near you.