Tampa Beer Works has always been a bit of an odd duck. Originally opened as ESB Brewing Co. by the owners of the adjacent homebrew supply store, the company rebranded and reopened last year with a new name, new head brewer, new recipes and a new brewing philosophy. This includes a range of beers treated with novel ingredients, such as cranberries, cinnamon and a variety of tropical fruit.
Falling in the latter category is Joosy Froot IPA, a sleeper hit that's liable to lose its best-kept-secret status when it's released in 22-ounce bombers next month. For now, it's available on draft, fresh at the source — Tampa Beer Works' quirky, business park tasting room and micro-beer garden, located right on the border of Tampa and Brandon.
Joosy Froot follows the playbook of the now-ubiquitous Northeast-style IPA, featuring an aggressively unfiltered, entirely opaque appearance and an emphasis on fruit-forward hop varieties that are used more for aromatic qualities than bitterness.
Where Joosy Froot diverges from the style is in the addition of fresh fruit juices. Where NE-style IPAs rely on those fruity hops for a perceived fruit juice character, Tampa Beer Works cuts to the chase, adding mango, tangerine, orange and papaya to max out juiciness levels.
The result is a fantastically fruity, super-juicy brew that finishes with a clean, crisp bitterness to remind you that it's still an IPA. Get it in bottles come mid August, or stop by the tasting room (333 N Falkenburg Road, Suite 407, Tampa) now and find out why Tampa Beer Works can hardly keep this stuff on tap.
— Justin Grant
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