The North Island IPA presents itself as a New England-style marvel, capturing attention with a haze akin to the coastal marine layer enveloping the north side of an island. Sampled from a 12 oz can packaged on 1/22/18, the beer boasts a translucent light golden to straw color, crowned with thick white foam pillows that persist due to its high carbonation. A commendable improvement in label design from Coronado Brewing, diverging from the seltzer water aesthetic found in their core lineup.


The aroma is a symphony of green banana, pineapple, star fruit, and subtle notes of white sugar. As it warms, these elements harmonize into a delightful mango banana smoothie bouquet, stimulating the olfactory senses with a tropical allure.


High carbonation takes the lead initially, making way for a balanced profile of medium sugar and bitter mango skin. The soft water profile imparts buoyancy and a nuanced saltiness. Despite its 7.5% ABV, the beer’s body, bitterness, and tropical fruit notes keep it remarkably drinkable. The sweetness registers at a moderate 4 out of 10, while bitterness sits at a gentle 2 out of 10. North Island challenges preconceptions of an IPA from five years ago, seamlessly blending champagne-like bubbles with pineapple, mango, and green banana flavors dancing around the palate.


Unlike some peers in the New England-style IPA category, North Island sidesteps the common pitfalls of chalkiness and grittiness in mouthfeel. Often attributed to exaggerated haze effects, the beer maintains a soft and smooth texture as intended for the style. This departure from the norm contributes to the overall positive experience, setting it apart from others in the same league.


Count Coronado’s North Island IPA as a rare gem that not only encapsulates the essence of the New England-style IPA but also secures a prominent place in wider retail distribution. Impressively, even seven weeks post-packaging, the beer maintains its integrity. In every aspect, from appearance to mouthfeel, this brew stands out as a highly commendable and noteworthy addition to the world of craft beer.