New England IPA

Glassware: Updated pokal
  • USA
  • Ale
  • ABV = 6.0 – 9.0% (Elevated to high)^
  • IBU = 25-60
  • SRM = 3-7

An American IPA with a hazy appearance, fuller body, smooth mouthfeel, and an emphasis on hop flavour over hop bitterness.

Compared to American IPA, New England IPA has a fuller body, softer mouthfeel, more fruit-forward late hop expression, more restrained perceived bitterness balance, and a hazier appearance. Many modern American IPAs are fruity and somewhat hazy; if they have a dry, crisp finish, at most medium body, and high perceived bitterness, they’re better described as American IPAs, not New England IPAs.

Appearance:

  • Colour^ = Straw to gold, often with significant haze
  • Clarity = Hazy, often opaque; should not be cloudy or murky. (The opacity can add a ‘shine’ to the beer and make the colour seem darker.)

Key Aromas & Flavours:

Aroma
  • Malt = Low; Clean, neutral malt in the background, potentially with a light bready sweetness
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = High; stone fruit, tropical fruit, and citrus
Flavour
  • Malt = Low to moderate; generally neutral, sometimes bready, grainy or lightly sweet
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = High to very high; ripe tropical fruit, stone fruit, and citrus
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Pronounced
  • Balance = Towards the hops, but a high ester level and lower bitterness may give the impression of up to moderate sweetness
  • Other = A moderate, supportive alcohol character is acceptable but should never be hot or dominating.
Aftertaste/Finish

Off-dry to medium finish. The hop character in the aftertaste should not be sharp or harsh.

Mouthfeel:

  • Body = Medium to medium-full; smooth
  • Carbonation = Medium
  • Alcohol warmth = May be present in stronger versions, but should never be hot.

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pale ale malt
  • Yeast = American or English ale yeast with a clean or lightly fruity profile
  • Hops = American or New World hop varietals with a tropical fruit, stone fruit, or citrus character
  • Other = Often use oats or wheat as adjunct grains
  • Process = Heavily dry-hopped, partly during active fermentation, using a variety of hopping doses and temperatures to emphasize hop aroma and flavour over bitterness. Biotransformation of hop oils during fermentation may add to the fruit character.

Historical Development:

A modern craft beer style originating in the New England region of the United States. Alchemist Heady Topper is believed to be the original example and inspiration for many other interpretations that grew in popularity in the early to mid-2010s.  

The style is still evolving, but this style is essentially a smoother, hazier, juicier American IPA. In this context, ‘juicy’ refers to a mental impression of fruit juice or eating fresh, fully ripe fruit. Heavy examples suggestive of milkshakes, creamsicles, or fruit smoothies are beyond this range; IPAs should always be drinkable. Haziness comes from the dry hopping regime, not suspended yeast, starch haze, set pectins, or other techniques; a hazy shine is desirable, not a cloudy, murky mess.


Commercial Examples:

Other Half Green Diamonds Double IPA, Tree House Julius, Trillium Congress Street


^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.


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