Craft Beer Guide: What Is New England IPA?

In The Beginning…

The origins of the India Pale Ale can be traced back to the late 18th century. Originally brewed to quench the thirst of the British Empire in Asia, the style was heavily-hopped and more attenuated (drier and more alcoholic) than most beers of the time to survive the gruelling six month voyage to India.

Much like the British Empire, the IPA would gradually diminish. Flavours faded, ABVs weakened and the style quickly became a uninspired and unappetising imitation of its former self.

Today, thanks to a resurgence born in the USA, IPAs are undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and ubiquitous styles of beer available. Breweries around the world produce their own interpretations of the hop-forward style. The revival of the IPA introduced complex flavours, higher ABVs (including double and even triple IPAs) and the spirit of experimentation – what was once a historical relic, quickly became a distinctly contemporary tipple.

The Haze Craze

Recent years have seen the popularity of the New England IPA rapidly rise. Hazy in appearance, packed with tropical and fruity flavours, and possessing a soft and juicy mouthfeel, the style proved a clear departure from the bitter, piney and resinous West Coast IPAs popularised by breweries such as the California-based Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada.

The New England IPAs origins can be traced back to the release of “Heady Topper“, a cult beer brewed by Vermont’s The Alchemist. After releasing limited amounts of Heady Topper on tap in the brewpub he owned with his wife Jen, brewer John Kimmich discovered the beer was being smuggled offsite and sold on a beer “black market” due to the limited supply and the scarcity of cloudy IPAs outside of the state. In response The Alchemist began to bottle, and later can the beer. Today the beer’s popularity has given rise to countless cloudy, hazy and especially juicy brews.

HonestBrew Recommends

Amundsen – Hopbliminal NE IPA 5.5%

Based in downtown Oslo, Amundsen have creating delicious Norwegian beer since the the brewery’s conception in 2011. The team is constructed from a variety of cultures and nationalities, all of whom contribute a myriad of influences to the brewery’s diverse range of brews. In 2016 they moved to a brand new, modern brewhouse where they strive to create, experiment and adventure.

Hopbliminal Messages is Amundsen’s New England IPA, jam packed with the juiciest hops they could lay their hands on. Tropical, juicy and oh so good. As the picture suggests, it tastes of fruit cocktail.