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The new IPA from MKE Brewing Co.: MKE IPA, naturally. (PHOTO: Jon Mattrisch/JMKE Photography)

Drink this: Milwaukee Brewing Co.'s new MKE IPA

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Milwaukee Brewing Co. didn't really need to add another IPA to its portfolio that already includes Hop Happy, Hop Freak – a potent double IPA laced with Rishi jasmine tea – and Citrus Happy, which adds grapefruit juice.

But the more the merrier, right?

"The era of the IPA has arrived in Milwaukee," says Milwaukee Brewing Co. CEO Jim McCabe. "As our market has matured and Wisconsin craft beer drinkers have become very savvy, there is a demand for modern flavors and experiences."

Don't worry about duplication, because the new MKE IPA – launched in February – and Hop Happy are not especially alike.

MKE IPA rolling off the line at Milwaukee Brewing Co. (PHOTO: Jordan Crawford)

While Hop Happy's got a kick of 7.7% ABV and a subtler IBU of 51, MKE IPA is not quite session-level in terms of alcohol, clocking in at 5.5%.

It's blend of Citra and Mosaic hops – and a scaling-back on the malt – that boost its IBU up to 60, giving it a nice flavor profile. Hop Happy, for the record, uses a blend of Columbus, Cascade and Fuggle hops. This contrasts nicely with the sweetness that Hop Happy gets from the addition of oats to the mash.

While both boast a citrus quality, the juicy new IPA boosts it, with hints of grapefruit as well as other tropical aromas like mango.

"As beer geeks ourselves, we are constantly experimenting with new flavors, trying other beers, etc.," says McCabe.

"Over the last six months, our talented brewing crew each put together an IPA that was their personal favorites. We whittled it down to the MKE IPA recipe, which incorporates and features Mosaic and Citra hops. These are newer varieties that were not even available when Hop Happy was released."

Because the new brew is a Milwaukee IPA, Milwaukee Brewing Co. has wrapped the new brew in the People's Flag of Milwaukee.

Read more about MKE Brewing Co.'s new brewery on the site of the old Pabst Brewery here.


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