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Belt’s Beer Garden: He’s a Juicebox Hero!

Central Coast’s Juicebox Hero, a delicious hazy IPA

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Does anyone else bottle shop like I do? If I see a cool label/logo, I just have to try it. And that’s exactly how I ended up with a Juicebox Hero from Central Coast Brewing - it’s got one of the coolest can designs I’ve seen in quite some time.

Central Coast was started in San Luis Obispo, California all the way back in 1998. Located between LA and San Francisco, the brewery is known for producing a variety of hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind ales/lagers and now has two locations in the city. If you’re not in California though, you’re still in luck! Their beers can be shipped straight to you from Drizly.

Juicebox Hero is a hazy IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Sultana hops. But it’s not your average juicebox. Oh no, this bad boy clocks in with a 7% ABV with just 35 IBU. It was packaged on July 5th and each 16-ounce can costs $5.50. And just look at that awesomely retro can!

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It looks like the ideal New England IPA - bright golden straw/orangish color but very foggy and opaque. Just about a finger of purely white head topped the beer off but quickly fades down into a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is as advertised and this very well might not be beer. It is 100% juice. Orange, guava, lemon, and mango lead the way with some ripe pineapple sitting right behind. There is no trace of the malts in the aroma...only fruit juice. It’s a liquid fruit cocktail for adults.

There is a flash of carbonation to start the sip before the flavors really begin to pop. And it tastes almost exactly like it smells.

Sweet and juicy orange hits first with the pineapple making a stronger appearance in the taste than they did in the aroma. The pineapple adds just a hit of acidity to the brew but never takes control of the flavor.

Midway through there was a burst of mango, guava, and lemon zest that clears the other fruits out of the way and takes over. However, it’s short lived as the orange returns with some pithy grapefruit in the final moments.

When the grapefruit shows up it is not alone. Joining it was a very dry, sticky feeling that finishes off the sip and lingers on for a few moments afterwards. That resinous dry feeling is the only thing that told me I had beer in my glass and not juice.

This was a super crushable IPA. The best way to fight that sticky finish was to drink more of it...which led to a dangerous cycle and an empty glass within 15 minutes. Juicebox Hero not only looks cool but it tastes great too. It’s everything a hazy IPA should be.

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