Citrus Ninja Exchange
Collaborations are fun, and in this case, delicious. Westbrook brewed two beers with the Charleston Beer Exchange boys in mid-2011 -- Citrus Ninja Exchange, and a yet-to-be-released dark, sour monster we'll hear more about later. This one is a massive double IPA, made more massive by metric tons (exaggerating) of Cascade hops used during the boil and during all four (not exaggerating) dry-hop sessions. Beyond that, they used a technique seen in a handful of casks from Westbrook - adding fruit that complements the natural flavor and aroma of the hops. Since this was an all-Cascade affair, grapefruit was a natural fit. Around 50 pounds of that citrus was added to the boil.
The 2012 edition features a new methodology for the fruit addition, a wider variety of hops, and even a touch of Cascade hop extract. Here's a little more detail from the Westbrook crew:
"This year's version (in our opinion) blows the first batch out of the water. The malt bill is simplified, resulting in a lighter, drier beer - which allows the massive hop additions to shine through. A mix of fresh grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges was added to the boil, and this batch also features a blend of several different American and New Zealand hop varieties, instead of just Cascade."
*A chunk of 2011 Citrus Ninja, aged for a year in Laird's Apple Brandy barrels and then dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade, saw a super-limited draft release in October 2012.