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Tree House Brewing | Juice Machine Double IPA

Tree House Brewing Juice Machine
Eric Griffin

Do You Even Juice, Bro?

To those who frequent the forums and social media of breweries across the U.S., June saw the re-release of one of the most anticipated beers of the year so far. The brewer? None other than Tree House Brewing in Charlton, Massachusetts. The beer? The legendary Juice Machine.

Juice Machine was “originally devised” for their first trip to Extreme Beer Fest back in 2014. This latest edition marks only the second time the beer has been released, with a slightly tweaked recipe. The product? Many consider it to be the best Double IPA out there. If you’re crazy enough to trade away or buy for the current asking price of this elusive Juice bomb, we’ll let you decide. I am one of those crazies, and here’s how it went down.

Tree House

The Beer

I’m a craft enthusiast that is often guilty of falling victim to the hype surrounding craft beers from all over. Juice Machine was no different. A silent release back in June, photos of the infamous fruity Robot quickly circulated the internet. I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible. The beer itself is quoted by Tree House as essentially being a marriage of the King Julius malt bill with a hopping intensity schedule similar to that of Very Green (King Julius and Very Green are also brewed by Tree House, both being almost as equally elusive as Juice Machine itself). Arguably this brewery’s most complex offering, Juice Machine is brewed with a combination of Magnum, Columbus, Citra and Galaxy hops.

My Experience

The Juice Machine I received was canned on 06/12/18,  with the stamp “I LIKE ROBOTS” mechanically situated below the date. I got my can for a pretty sweet deal, only having to give up a gold-rimmed Monkish Brewing Luttich glass I had been holding on to for the last few months.

The beer pours a deep opaque golden color. The orange-hued gold is very reminiscent of mango juice, and serves as a precursor to the flavor profile to come. The froth is bubbly and about a finger thick. The foamy carbonation invites the next sip like a bubble bath, but settles quickly and leaves spotty white lace all around the glass.

The nose on this is blended tropical fruits, completely unmistakable. Notes of sweet mango, overripe papaya, and pineapple combine for an incredibly fruity aroma. Fighting the sweetness you get just a tinge of citrus acidity and bitterness. Spicy hop aromas fight through, a definite influence from the Columbus hops. Subtle hints of booze round out the aroma profile and balance the complexity.

In contrast to the nose on Juice Machine, the flavors start out with a potent kick from the hops. Hints of spice and a slightly grassy bitterness work together with a zesty lime flavor that all hit the palate first. The bitter, citrusy hops tail a re-emergence of tropical pineapple and join a peachy overtone. The overripe fruit profile combines with lingering dashes of melon and stone fruit to round out this continually complex double IPA.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and the juicy character leaves a stickiness in the finish. The carbonation is medium but soft, a crucial afterthought to the experience.

Worth the Hype?

I’ll let you decide. Regardless of the popularity of a brewery, the exclusivity of their releases, or the value it holds on the secondary market, always be open to new experiences. Juice Machine is more and more popular every time it is released, and I definitely won’t blame you if you find it too hard to ignore its draw.

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