FIRST DRAUGHT — Innis & Gunn goes tropical with Mangoes on the Run IPA

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Ten years ago, I was living in Quebec City to improve my horrible French and getting paid to improve it as much as I could. It was an awesome summer.

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Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/07/2018 (1492 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Ten years ago, I was living in Quebec City to improve my horrible French and getting paid to improve it as much as I could. It was an awesome summer.

I was already an annoying beer snob by then, but I turned into a poutine snob thanks to their local poutine chain Chez Ashton. In the three months I was there, I went to more concerts than just about any time in my life. I saw local bands such as Les Dales Hawerchuk, Winnipeg’s own The Weakerthans and even bands like Van Halen.

One of the biggest shows I saw the entire summer I was there was Paul McCartney — 10 years ago this week. That was likely the best free concert I’ve ever attended but 10 years later my feet still hurt from that very concert.

What does this have to do with beer? Not much, really! Well, Scotland-based Innis & Gunn Brewing released a new beer called Mangoes On the Run IPA a few months ago, with a name like that … for some reason all I can think of is Paul McCartney’s Wings’ hit “Band on the Run,” so all I’ve been doing for the past few days is singing “Mangooooooes on the run!” Well I’m thinking that Mangoes On the Run is Innis & Gunn’s take on the tropical pre-New England/Milkshake IPA trend, before all IPAs had to be thick and creamy and overly heavy. Mangoes On the Run is brewed with a medley of Hercules, Citra and Simcoe Hops to give it a rich, fruity aroma and flavour to it.

As a hop head, I tend to gravitate towards bitter IPAs with pine, alfalfa and lemongrass even though the current trend is more toward pineapple, orange peel and pepper — yes, pepper! I expected Mangoes On the Run to have a moderate bitterness to it but also some of the tropical citrus presence we’re seeing in modern day IPAs.

It has been a while since I’ve seen a clear IPA, as most modern-day IPAs are thick, creamy and look like a tropical smoothie. Mangoes On the Run has a clear caramel amber body to it, a heavy amount of carbonation and a thick frothy beige head on top.

The aroma is a sweet yet moderately bitterness that has notes of mango, pine, a bit of a grassy profile, a bit of caramel and even more mango to it. This beer is incredibly citrus forward but nowhere near as overpowering as a mango smoothie, like many Milkshake IPAs.

The flavour profile starts off with a bitter presence of pine, a mild grassiness and then a hefty mango presence with a light black pepper spiciness to it. Considering that this beer uses Citra and Simcoe — two hops that are incredibly popular with the tropical IPA craze — this isn’t overly tropical as I was expecting. But there’s a definite mango presence popping up with the spice and bitter hops.

The beer is fairly dry for mouthfeel and leaves behind a bit of a green apple aftertaste on the palate once the beer is long gone.

My favourite brewery in the world (Unibroue) released their very first IPA a few months back, a peach IPA brewed to be a West Coast-style IPA. It was their first non-discount non-Belgian style beer they’ve ever produced for the general public. The IPA, Autre Chose, was only available for the Quebec market, and honestly … it wasn’t great, it had a hefty peach presence to it but it reminded me of Unibroue’s Éphémère fruit beer but with a bit of a hoppy presence to it.

I kind of felt like Innis & Gunn was doing the same thing, moving away from the sweet, syrupy, boozy ales to a fruity IPA. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening but it’s definitely working well for the brand. The fruitiness of the IPA pops out before anything else, just like the caramel sweetness of the typical Innis & Gunn ale. I’ve been told that Innis & Gunn’s largest market outside the United Kingdom is Canada, and I wouldn’t be surprised. Their product is readily available here in Manitoba, and I have some of their barrel-aged beers aging in my fridge right now.

Seeing that this IPA came all the way from Scotland, it has held up incredibly well and tastes like it was just canned a few weeks ago. Mangoes On the Run is tropical, mildly bitter and even has a smidge of peppery presence to it. You can find Innis & Gunn’s Mangoes On the Run for $3.49 per 500-ml can at the Corral Centre Liquor Mart or Dauphin Liquor Mart.

» Cody Lobreau is a Canadian beer blogger who reviews every beer he can get his hands on as he believes that he should try every beer twice to get an understanding if it’s truly good or bad.

» BeerCrank.ca

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