Food & Drink

Craft Beer: Play your cards right with these fruited IPAs 

Rocket Lolly is a 4.7 per cent fruited IPA from Northern Monk
Rocket Lolly is a 4.7 per cent fruited IPA from Northern Monk Rocket Lolly is a 4.7 per cent fruited IPA from Northern Monk

Among the things you never think you’ll hear, ‘There’s a feather boa shortage in Ireland’ has to be right up there. However, this was the case last weekend when fans of one-time One Directioner Harry Styles poured out of every town in the country and onto a bus bound for Slane. 

Pink cowboy hats, flares and the ubiquitous boa seem to be the uniform for fans of Styles, if not fans of style.  

After a few uncertain years, the big summer gig is back and as Harry wowed them under the iconic Slane Castle, Elton John will being filling the headline slot at Glastonbury next week.  

With summer well and truly here (for now anyway) this week’s weather may have prompted some to dive headfirst into the freezer. What my kids will have found was a box of rocket lollies. In the fridge, though, was a beer inspired by the frozen treat.  

Rocket Lolly IPA is the creation of Northern Monk and what better way to toast the Rocketman himself than diving into one of these. 

Clocking in at 4.7 per cent, it pours a hazy, light amber colour in the glass with a slight, fluffy white head. 

Now, the fact that the labelling on the can tells me that it has flavours of strawberry, orange and pineapple mean deciphering the aromas and taste is a bit easier, but then what else would you expect from a beer based on a Rocket lolly. 

However, that knowledge doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the beer – far from it. This is packed with those fruity flavours, partly down to the addition fruit puree and partly down to the hops.  

Although it may be more puree than purist, it’s a lot of fun and as novelty beers go, it’s pretty solid. 

It’s hugely refreshing and slides down easily on a hot summer’s day.  

Rocketman was a big hit for Elton John in the 1970s, when Bruce Forsyth was a constant on TV screens in the Generation Game. Another beer which gave me great summer vibes this week was an ode the to the light-footed entertainer.  

Juice Forsyth is a 5 per cent fruited IPA from Brew York
Juice Forsyth is a 5 per cent fruited IPA from Brew York Juice Forsyth is a 5 per cent fruited IPA from Brew York

Juice Forsyth is a fruited IPA from Brew York which clocks in at 5 per cent. This is another hazy, almost opaque number, pouring an amber colour with a slight white head. 

Again, the ingredients rather give the game away with this one, but there’s a fair few hops crammed in there to take you on a bit of flavour journey which stops at pineapple, passionfruit and mango – all providing, in the words of the good people at Brew York, ‘a juicy bonus’.