A little nutty: Mr. Peanut cracks his way into the craft beer industry

23 October, 2018

One of the classiest and well known peanuts is getting his own IPA. Yup, Planters Peanuts tapped the expertise of Chicago's Noon Whistle Brewing to help them with their first step into craft brewing and you can get the monocle dawning creation this Friday in 16oz. cans at the brewery as well as in 4-packs at beer stores in the Illinois area.

Beyond just a gimmick, the beer is solid. Pouring a turbid amber color due to all those peanuts, Mr. IPA-Nut, which is a managable 6.2 percent alcohol, boasts an aroma that’s unusual, but wholly welcome: earthy, malty, fruity-citrus sweet and a hint of caramel.

One factor that attracted Planters to Noon Whistle was its deft touch with IPA, Tople said: “If we were going to bring a Planters beer to market, we wanted it to be unique and different.”

Mr. IPA-Nut is certainly that. The increasingly crowded craft beer industry has seemed to add just about every conceivable ingredient to every style of beer, but peanut IPA has remained a rarity beyond the occasional small-scale experiment — and for good reason. IPAs tend to veer fruity and bitter — not obvious bedfellows for rustic nuttiness.

Noon Whistle brewer and co-founder Paul Kreiner hashed out a handful of ideas that he thought would lend themselves to peanuts. The list included obvious choices, such as imperial brown ale (Kreiner was thinking of a peanut brittle brown ale) or stout. It included more challenging options, such as peanut hefeweizen. At Planters’ request, he also sketched out a possible peanut IPA — which is what the company ended up choosing. "Mr. IPA-Nut has a unique citrus aroma with a hint of honey-roasted peanuts followed by a slightly salty finish," says Ashley Tople, marketing director for Planters.