Early days for (fruit) IPA: Fixation

Squish Citrus IPA

The spectacular growth of fruit IPAs in the United States won’t be repeated in Australia anytime soon, according to Fixation Brewing Co’s Tom Delmont.

Fixation has released Squish Citrus IPA, which is infused with blood orange and white grapefruit, as a strictly limited draught-only product.

In the US, Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin grew faster than original Sculpin in 2016, a year that also saw the tangerine-infused New Belgium Citradelic IPA achieve runaway success.

No such feats have been achieved by fruit IPAs in Australia, where – despite what local IPA enthusiasts may believe – Delmont says the parent category remains on the fringes.

“IPA is still such a small part of the craft beer market in Australia,” he told Australian Brews News.

“It’s really early days for any kind of hop driven six per cent beer – the only exception would be [Feral] Hop Hog that’s cracked through… Feral’s been leading the charge for ages.

“Australia’s still dominated by Pale Ale and derivatives of Pale Ale.”

Goose bumps
Nevertheless, Delmont said IPA is currently growing at 20 per cent a year, and Fixation itself has experienced solid growth since launching early in 2016.

“We started with one fermenter and now we use four or five to keep up with demand for our main IPA,” he said.

Fixation managing partner Tom Delmont

The high profile launch of Goose Island in Australia may actually be a positive for independent producers of IPA, Delmont added.

“I think it will be good to see the big guys introduce well made hop driven beers to the market,” he said.

“And if we can get a Goose Island IPA at the MCG then it’s not a bad thing!”

The Fix into bottles
Delmont hopes Squish Citrus IPA will be the first of many upcoming pilot batches for Fixation, after its first year was characterised by a singular focus on its flagship IPA.

The company will also continue the periodical release of its Double IPA, The Fix, which will also be available in bottles, likely on a quarterly basis.

Meanwhile, Fixation is looking for a Melbourne site to accommodate a brewpub of sorts, to give the brand “a spiritual home” and pilot brewing facilities. Production of its larger volume beers would otherwise remain at Stone & Wood.

Squish Citrus IPA will be on tap at the below venues, starting later this week.

VIC (check times with venue)
Palace Hotel – South Melbourne
Beer Deluxe – Hawthorn
Rainbow Hotel – Fitzroy

NSW (launching Thursday March 9)
12pm – Dove and Olive
2pm – Beer Deluxe King St Wharf
4pm – Forest Lodge Hotel

QLD (during Brewsvegas)
Crowbar (Brisbane launch – Thu 16th March from 8pm)
Woolly Mammoth (Sat 18th March – NSW Pint of Origin)
Bloodhound Bar (Sat 18th March – Hopfields event)

Beer Details
Name: Fixation SQUISH Citrus IPA
Style: Fruit infused IPA
ABV: 5.9%
Appearance: Pale gold in colour, hazy & unfiltered (lighter colour than our regular IPA)
Malts: Maris Otter Pale, Weyermann Carared and Weyermann Vienna
Hops: Citra, Amarillo and Mosaic (all US varieties)
Other ingredients: Blood Orange and White Grapefruit

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