Founded in 2014 by Neil Fisher—a five-year home brewer—along with friends Colin Jones and Kristen Allen, Weldwerks Brewing Co. bursted onto the Greeley, Colo. craft beer scene with a multitude of beer styles from the start. While the brewery is probably best known for its Barrel Aged Mexican Achromatic, a 13.2 percent ABV imperial stout inspired by Mexican hot cocoa, a variety of Weldwerks IPAs are not far behind and gaining ground fast.
One of its most popular IPAs is Juicy Bits, a 6.5 percent ABV New England–style IPA brewed with Citra, El Dorado and Mosaic hops. The IPA was first released in March 2016 and has proven to be so successful for the brewery that it has already spawned a number of variants, including Double Dry-Hopped Juicy Bits (6.7 percent ABV), Extra Juicy Bits (8.5 percent ABV) and Fruity Bits – Piña Colada (7.2 percent ABV) among others.
While Weldwerks does package a number of its releases in bottles and cans, Juicy Bits and its variants have so far only be available on-draft and packaged in crowlers, which is how I came to enjoy it.
“Our version of a New England-style IPA featuring a huge citrus and tropical fruit character from the Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops, a softer, fluffier mouthfeel from the lower attenuation, and the characteristic New England hop haze,” reads the Weldwerks website. “The end result is a beer reminiscent of citrus juice with extra pulp, thus the name Juicy Bits.”
The Juicy Bits IPA pours an almost shockingly murky pumpkin color, reminding me more strongly of dirty dishwater rather than anything resembling orange juice. There is a large amount of head after the pour, but it does not stick around long, leaving a thin white lacing after a short amount of time. There seems to be plenty of carbonation in the glass, and the aroma on the nose is a combination of fruit cocktail, including orange juice, grapefruit, cream, sweet floral and granny smith apples.
Not surprisingly, the flavors in the Juicy Bits follows the nose quite a bit, with a dominant grapefruit zest combined with some sweet orange juice that really hits all the right notes for me. Lesser flavors of floral esters, mangos, tart apples, peaches and lemons flit in and out, and there is very little hop bitterness on palate. In addition, there is a very distinct pine note on the finish that really bumps up the complexity of the entire beer by being present. Overall carbonation is close to perfect without going overboard, and the mouthfeel is creamy and thick without becoming cloying.