If you’re new to the IPA scene, you’re actually just in time. Dry, sharp, and harsh bitter IPAs have taken a turn into sweeter, more flavorful, and sometimes hazier IPAs.
One of those more flavorful IPAs is your New England IPA (NEIPA). If bitter doesn’t sit well with your palate, NEIPAs are distinctively fruitier and softer. How soft? Think of it this way.
The bitterness you normally expect from an IPA takes the backseat in a NEIPA. Instead, New England IPAs finish with a juicy, tropical sweetness. It’s like biting into ripe fruit. But is that all there is to a NEIPA? Heck no. The complete flavor profile of NEIPAs down to how it’s brewed are all listed in this guide.
Is New England IPA a Style?
New England IPAs are an American IPA style but with a modern take. Traditional IPAs were all about bitterness. In other words, the classic American IPA is bitter to the core.
New England IPAs (NEIPAs) are fundamentally different. Why? Because it leans more towards fruit-centric or tropical flavors and aromas.
However, it still borrows the same American IPA style of using massive amounts of hops in the brewing process.
Now you might be wondering, why then, is a New England IPA not as bitter? It’s all because of when the hops are added (more on this later).
Why Is It Called a New England IPA?
It’s called a New England IPA because of its origination. The style was originally brewed in a small state found in the New England region of the United States: Vermont.
It wasn’t until 2015 that the NEIPA style exploded and took over the IPA scene. Ever since then, it’s become one of the most sought-after IPA styles.
Because the original style traces back to New England, it came to bear the name New England IPA. However, this doesn’t confirm that New England IPAs are brewed solely in New England.
NEIPAs are brewed all over the world today including continents like Asia and Europe.
What Makes a Beer a New England IPA?
It’s intense fruitiness that takes the center stage in a New England IPA. The bitterness in a New England IPA is more of a sidekick in this style.
And then there’s juicy. Juiciness is what makes a beer a New England IPA. It’s a prominent character you’re bound to taste and smell in a NEIPA.
However, a NEIPA’s flavor isn’t the only defining quality. It’s also the brewing process or rather when the hops are added.
New England IPAs use a technique called dry hopping, which is adding hops during fermentation. Why is this necessary? And how does it make a beer a New England IPA?
For starters, adding hops during fermentation or after the kettle boil reduces the bitterness. Second, dry hopping leads to a stronger extraction of hop flavors and aromas.
NEIPAs are brewed with tropical and fruity hop varieties. In effect, the extracted flavor and aroma of these varieties give NEIPAs its juicy character.
What makes a beer a New England IPA? Check.
But what makes a NEIPA different? How does it differ from a regular IPA or West Coast IPA? You’re about to find out.
What Makes a New England IPA Different?
New England IPAs differ from other IPA styles in several ways. And the best way to understand this is by going over their characteristics:
The hop flavor of a NEIPA ranges from high to very high, leaning towards the fruitier and tropical spectrum.
However, as fruity as a NEIPA is, it shouldn’t be sugary-sweet either. After all, NEIPAs still have a slight bitterness to it. Even if bitterness takes the backseat, that doesn’t mean the style completely excludes it.
As for its maltiness, it ranges from low to medium. What that means is that the malt character is clean and neutral.
To go one step further, some NEIPAs have a lightly sweet and bready malt character. Then again, maltiness isn’t the star of the show in a NEIPA. It’s the tropical fruitiness and juiciness that truly define a NEIPA’s flavor.
The hop varieties used to impart flavor in a NEIPA are similar to tropical or ripe fruits, such as:
- Stone fruit
The aroma of a NEIPA leans towards an intense fruity aroma. You’re not going to smell any herbaceous or grassy aroma in a NEIPA.
Since the flavor of NEIPAs is downright fruity and tropical, the aromas should compliment this too. Put simply, NEIPAs are bursting with rich, fruity aromas.
NEIPAs have a smoother and silkier mouthfeel. Now, don’t take this the wrong way. Smooth and silky does not mean creamy and viscous.
Creamy and viscous would already be at par with a smoothie. A smoother mouthfeel means it’s easier to drink and doesn’t bite your palate the same way a dry and bitter profile would.
The smoother mouthfeel also compliments the lingering fruity finish of a NEIPA. After taking a sip from a NEIPA, it doesn’t finish off bitter or dry. Instead, it feels refreshing.
New England IPAs have an SRM color that ranges from 3 to 7. What that means is the appearance of NEIPAs are usually straw yellow to deep gold.
The first thing you’ll notice, though is a NEIPA’s opaque, hazy appearance. The haziness of a NEIPA is mostly due to the high-protein grains and low-flocculating yeast used.
In the later sections, you’ll learn how and what exactly influences the haziness of a NEIPA. For now, just remember that NEIPAs have a straw yellow to deep gold/orange hazy appearance.
What Makes a New England IPA Juicy?
New England IPAs are also referred to as juice bombs at times. And that’s because they are. NEIPAs look, smell, and taste nearly like juice.
Because the hops are added late in the brewing process, this results in extracting those juicy, tropical flavors and aromas.
In fact, if you didn’t know what a NEIPA was and it was served beside orange juice, you probably wouldn’t know the difference!
How Much ABV Does a New England IPA Have?
Just because it’s fruity and juicy, doesn’t mean NEIPAs are low in alcohol. In fact, a NEIPA has a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) than a regular IPA.
The ABV of NEIPAs typically ranges from 6% to 9% ABV. Quite a shocker, right? That’s according to the Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP).
However, it’s rare to find NEIPAs with 9% ABV. Most, on average, are between 5% to 7% ABV.
What Is the Difference Between a Regular IPA and a New England IPA?
A lot. Despite belonging to the same style, NEIPAs are vastly different from regular IPAs. You wouldn’t call a regular IPA “Juicy,” at least not in this century.
To give you a better understanding, here’s what makes these two IPA styles different:
- Regular IPAs have a clear, orange-gold appearance. NEIPAs are hazy and opaque yellow to deep orange/gold appearance.
- NEIPAs have restrained or faint bitterness, while regular IPAs have a more distinct bitter kick.
- A regular IPA will usually have piney or citrus aromas. A NEIPA has fruity or tropical aromas.
- NEIPAs are dry hopped during fermentation. Sometimes, brewers will do double dry hopping, which means adding hops during and after fermentation. For a regular IPA, the hops are added during the kettle boil. This allows the heat to extract more of the bitterness than you would find in a NEIPA.
Is it easier to tell the difference now? Although both regular and New England IPAs use a generous amount of hops, the way the hops are added is different for each style.
This distinct difference in brewing technique alone can change the taste and aroma completely, giving you 2 separate IPAs.
Are New England IPAs and East Coast Style IPAs the Same?
These IPA styles often get lumped together, but in truth, they’re not similar at all.
East Coast IPAs came before New England IPAs. Read that again. NEIPAs wouldn’t exist if East Coast IPAs came to be.
East Coast IPAs also have fruity flavor notes, but not like a NEIPA. NEIPAs are the real juice bombs. The fruity notes in a NEIPA are intensely tropical and fruity.
Finally, East Coast IPAs are more balanced, meaning it’s going to have hoppy bitterness and malty sweetness. NEIPAs have almost no perceptible bitterness.
Overall, these two IPA styles are similar in more ways than say, an IPA vs. New England IPA. However, there are still distinct differences, meaning East Coast IPAs are not the same as NEIPAs.
What Is Double New England IPA?
A Double New England IPA is a NEIPA with a twist: double the ingredients. Not literally double of everything, but nearly double the amount of hops and grains.
And that also means, a much higher ABV. Double IPAs have an ABV between 7.5% to 10%. Bell’s Brewery’s Incessant Double NEIPA, for example, has an ABV of 8.5%.
Even with double the hops, that doesn’t mean it’s going to have more bitterness than a NEIPA. Why? Because it still follows the same brewing technique as brewing NEIPAs. That means the hops are still added during fermentation.
And if double the hops are added during fermentation, then it’s even fruitier and juicer than a NEIPA. Remember that it’s heat that extracts the bitterness of hops, which happens during the kettle boil.
Is a Double NEIPA still juicy and hazy? Of course! Juiciness and haziness are defining qualities of a NEIPA.
Is New England IPA Hazy?
New England IPAs have a hazy appearance and are usually caused by high-protein grains used like flaked wheat and oats.
Low-flocculating yeast also has an influence on the haziness of NEIPAs.
Why Is New England IPA Cloudy?
The reason for the cloudiness in a New England IPA is largely due to 3 factors:
Proteins and polyphenols are a longer discussion, so first, yeast. How does yeast contribute to the cloudiness and haziness of a NEIPA?
NEIPAs use special strains of yeast that have a low flocculative tendency. Did flocculative catch your eye? Because if it did, you’re on the right track.
Flocculative tendency is the tendency of yeast cells to form a clump. In short, yeast cells combine together and form a clump. When this clump remains in your beer, it gives your beer a cloudy or hazy effect.
Here’s what you should remember:
- High flocculative tendency means there’s a higher chance for yeast cells to combine and form a clump. Once this clump is formed, it will eventually drop out of the beer. The result is a clear beer or IPA.
- Low flocculative tendency is the opposite. Because not all yeast cells combine to form a clump, some of these yeast cells remain. These yeast cells that prefer to “float” in your beer can also be called yeast sediment, floaties, or yeasties. The more yeast sediment that stays in your beer, the cloudier and hazier it gets.
However, yeast doesn’t influence the cloudiness or haziness of beer as much as proteins and polyphenols do.
How Proteins and Polyphenols Influence a NEIPA’s Cloudiness
Alright. First things first.
Polyphenols. What the hell are polyphenols? Another term for them is hop oils. Hop oils are found in the cones of hops.
Now comes dry hopping. When dry hopping takes place, this releases the polyphenols or hop oils found in hops.
Next, you have high-protein grains like spelt, oats, and wheat. Still following? Don’t worry, the answer is less than a 30-second read.
When dry hopping takes place and the polyphenols are released, the protein found in your grains also combines with polyphenols. As a result, you have a protein-polyphenol bond. That’s the scientific term. The more general term is called colloidal haze.
Colloidal haze is large enough for the naked eye to see but also small enough that it remains in your beer solution. The effect of colloidal haze is the haziness or cloudiness you see in a NEIPA!
See — told you it wouldn’t last more than 30 seconds.
How Many Calories Are in a New England IPA?
The calories in a New England IPA range from 150 calories to 210 calories. The calorie content is largely influenced by the ABV or alcohol volume.
What that means is that a NEIPA with 6% ABV has higher calories than a NEIPA with 5.5% ABV.
How Many Calories Are in a 16-Oz. New England IPA?
Pour size also affects the number of calories in beer, whether it’s a NEIPA, regular IPA, or East Coast IPA.
A 16-oz. (473 ml) can will have more calories than a 12-oz. (355 ml) can. So how many calories can you expect to find in a 16-oz. NEIPA can?
You’re looking at 200 calories to 280 calories on average. For a Double NEIPA, the calories can shoot as high as 300 calories in a 12-oz. can! For a 16-oz. can with an ABV of 9% ABV, you’re looking at 360 calories.
You can use an ABV calorie chart as a reference the next time you buy beer. If you’re trying to cut down your calorie intake, an ABV calorie chart is a handy reference to have.
Where can you find one? There are a ton of free ABV calorie charts online. Simply search for an ABV calorie chart on Google and that’s it!
How to Brew New England IPA
If it’s your first time brewing a NEIPA, don’t let that discourage you. And don’t expect your first time to go as perfectly as you expect either.
Brewing beer is an art, and there are bound to be repeats or improvements along the way. Some get the haze right but miss out on the fruitiness. Some get the fruitiness right but end up with a murky brew.
Whatever the case, this section will help you as a first-time NEIPA homebrewer and provide tips along the way.
How to Make a Juicy New England IPA
From your water chemistry down to the hop selection and mashing temp, these all matter in making a NEIPA.
To get the juiciness and tropical fruitiness, your hops and yeast play a significant role. Water chemistry helps you nail down the style. Malt contributes to the mouthfeel, body, and haze. Here’s how to brew a juicy New England IPA:
With a NEIPA, hops should take the center stage, specifically fruit-forward and tropical hops. It’s these fruity hops that make a NEIPA juicy, and you have a ton of options available.
|Classic American Variety||Columbus and Centennial||Earthiness; adds some balance|
|New Zealand Variety||Riwaka, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka||Floral, Grape, and Melon|
|New American Variety||Mosaic, Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra||Layers of tropical flavors and fruitiness|
|Australian Variety||Ella, Galaxy, Vic Secret||Tropical fruitiness|
Although you have a ton of hop options available, it’s not a good idea to combine too many hop varieties.
If it’s your first time, always start with the basics. Start small and then slowly move your way up as you’re more familiar with the recipe.
When you combine too many hop varieties, you get unbalanced flavors and aromas. It’s like eating a marshmallow and crouton snack mix.
Or maybe something like peanut butter, cheese, jelly, and lettuce. Can you imagine the kind of flavor you would get from that? The point is, always start with the basics. After all, the basics are how NEIPAs came to be.
Good hops to start with are Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic. You can’t go wrong with these 3 since they impart a lot of tropical, juicy, and fruity flavors. For some bitterness, you can add some Simcoe too.
Don’t ever neglect your yeast. It’s your yeast that brings all the flavors together in harmony. Choose a bad yeast, and you could wreck the flavor and the haziness.
You’ll want to choose yeast strains with low flocculation (for haziness), low attenuation, and fruity esters. Luckily, English Ale yeast strains all have these attributes.
American yeast strains also work well when brewing a NEIPA particularly if you’re using Galaxy hops.
Still, as a good starting point, go with an English Ale yeast strain. A good example would be London Ale III (WY1318).
Imperial Yeast – Juice A38 is also an excellent choice. Both English Ale yeasts mentioned will give your NEIPA fruity esters and a soft, sweet body.
Take note, though, that these are liquid yeast strains, so you’ll need a yeast starter. Why use a yeast starter? To ensure it’s healthy enough for fermentation.
If your yeast isn’t healthy, even if you do every single part right, your NEIPA will still taste off. An alternative to liquid yeast is to use dry yeast instead. For a beginner homebrewer, these are good dry yeast options:
- Safale US-05 (American Ale yeast)
- Safale US-04 (English Ale yeast)
- LalBrew – New England (English Ale yeast)
You could also use 2 packs of liquid yeast if you don’t want to use a yeast starter. However, this would also increase the costs of your homebrewing project.
Finally, the malt.
If you remember correctly, high protein grains are essential for adding haziness to a NEIPA. But that’s not the only reason why.
Using the right malts for a NEIPA also boosts mouthfeel. Without a smooth and silky mouthfeel, it wouldn’t exactly be a NEIPA now, would it?
So, what are your options?
For your base malt, your best starter options are either 2-Row Malt or Golden Promise. Between the two, Golden Promise has more depth to its flavor but it’s also more expensive.
As a newbie, go with 2-Row. You can always experiment later on with Golden Promise as your preferred malt.
For your specialty malts, add high protein grains like flaked wheat/oats, malted oats, Dextrine malt, or Golden Naked oats.
If you want good haze, a fuller body, and a silky mouthfeel, you can’t go wrong with flaked oats and Golden Naked oats.
If your flaked oats and wheat add up to more than 20% or 30% of your grain bill, add rice hulls. Why? Think of it this way. Adding a lot of wheat and oats leads to one thing: your mash becomes stuck. Rice hulls help you avoid that stuck sparge.
Adding some Dextrine malt for head retention is also a good option.
Don’t forget to add some flaked wheat to your grain bill too! Here’s a good reference for how much you should add of each:
- Base malt: 70 to 80%
- Flaked Oats: 10% to 15% (some might add 20%, but you can tweak this more later on)
- Flaked Wheat/Wheat malt: 10% to 15%
- Specialty malt: 3% to 5%
A good specialty malt is Dextrine malt or CaraPils since it adds a fresh malty flavor, boosts mouthfeel, and helps with head retention.
Water chemistry is more important than you think. The wrong ratio could leave a sharper mouthfeel on your beer.
When brewing a NEIPA, the first thing to get right is your chloride to sulfate ratio, which is 2:1. This ratio should give your NEIPA a softer, pillowy mouthfeel. If you reverse this ratio, you end up with a sharper mouthfeel.
A good rule of thumb is to start with 200 ppm chloride and 100 ppm sulfate. As for calcium, keep it at 100 ppm for good yeast health.
Magnesium can affect your beer’s flavor profile. Higher magnesium is adding astringency to your flavor profile while lower magnesium is for bitterness. 20 ppm magnesium is a good start.
Finally, you have mash pH. If your mash pH is too high, there won’t be a lot of fermentable sugars. As a result, less sugar for the yeast to convert into alcohol.
If your mash pH is also too low, you get a reduced mouthfeel and body in your beer. The ideal range for your mash pH should be between 5.2 to 5.6.
Ultimately, a good water profile for your NEIPA should be:
- Chloride: 200 ppm
- Sulfate: 100 ppm
- Magnesium: 20 ppm
- Calcium: 100 ppm
- Mash pH: 5.2
- Use Reverse Osmosis (RO), distilled, or carbon filtered water
Always make sure to also treat your water source with a Campden tablet. If your water source has chloramine and chlorine, treat it with a Campden tablet so it doesn’t destroy the flavor of your hops.
6 Helpful Tips for Brewing a NEIPA
Below are some tips to help guide you in your NEIPA brewing journey:
|Mash Temp||Mash temp plays a vital role in the brewing process. Mashing in a temperature between 153°F (67.22°C) to 156°F (68.89°C) should give your NEIPA a sweeter and softer finish. Mashing in a temperature between 148°F (64.44°C) to 150°F (65.56°C) will lead to a drier and crispier finish.|
|Whirlpool Hopping||Adding hops at the end of the kettle boil helps preserve the delicate aromas and flavors in your hops. This is also called whirlpool hopping. The ideal temperature to whirlpool hops for a NEIPA is 170°F (76.67°C). If you go higher, you might extract excess bitterness. Whirlpool your hops for a good 20 to 30 mins.|
|Whirlpool Hops Ratio||A good ratio for your whirlpool hops is 3 to 5 ounces (85 g to 142 g) for every 5 gallons (19 L) of beer|
|Ratio of Dry Hops||For dry hopping, a good ratio is 6 to 12 ounces (170 g to 340 g) of dry hops for every 5 gallons of beer. Feel free to tweak this as well. Some might prefer 8 ounces (227 g) while others might go a little higher.|
|When to Add Dry Hops||It’s usually best to save all your dry hops for the 7th or 8th day of fermentation. However, this can depend on personal preference. It’s worth exploring early dry hopping like 1 or 2 days after you’ve pitched yeast in your fermenter. Or, you can also add your dry hops on the 3rd and 4th day of fermentation.|
|Double Dry Hopping||If you want to do double dry hopping, save the majority of your dry hops after fermentation. Add 1/3 of your total dry hops during fermentation and the rest after. So if you’re using 10 ounces (284 g) of dry hops, for example, you would add about 3 ounces (85 g) during fermentation. The remaining 7 ounces (199 g) are added after fermentation.|
What Is Appropriate in a New England IPA?
Sometimes, you’ll brew a NEIPA and still get a bad or poor result. In other cases, the haziness fades after a while. Some even end up with a dark-colored NEIPA. How does this happen?
There could be a number of reasons. However, what’s appropriate for a New England IPA is by going over some of the most common mistakes.
|Mistakes to Avoid When Brewing a NEIPA||Explanation|
|Mistake #1: Not accounting for oxygen||How does dry hopping work? It’s simple. Add your dry hops during fermentation. However, you’d have to pop open the lid of your fermenter. What this does is introduce oxygen into your container. In effect, it’s going to throw off your NEIPA’s flavor. And mostly, the color.
To avoid this, purge CO2 as you’re adding your dry hops.
|Mistake #2: Using too few high-protein grains||As a first-time homebrewer, it’s okay to play it safe. But not too safe. Adding too little high-protein grains won’t give you the haziness you expect. Instead, you can shoot as high as 40% to get a nice haze.
Now, 40% isn’t necessary but you also don’t want it to be as low as 10%. Just be sure to have some rice hulls ready in case your mash gets stuck.
|Mistake #3: Not paying attention to your mash pH||The ideal mash pH you should aim for is 5.2. Going higher than that and you either get a really sweet beer or a beer with low alcohol content.|
|Mistake #4: Whirlpool hopping for too long||When you whirlpool your hops for an hour, you get a grassy or herbaceous aroma and flavor. These aromas and flavors don’t sit well with a NEIPA. Not to mention, grassy and herbaceous aren’t the flavor/aroma profiles of a NEIPA.|
|Mistake #5: Adding hops during the kettle boil||When you’re brewing a NEIPA, there shouldn’t be a lot of room for bitterness. Adding hops during the kettle boil will inevitably make your NEIPA have a distinct or strong bitterness.
Instead, during the kettle boil, don’t do anything. Really. Because anyways, when you add your hops during the whirlpool stage, it will extract some bitterness. This low or restrained bitterness extracted is exactly what you want in a NEIPA.
|Mistake #6: Using the wrong hop varieties||Columbus and Chinook aren’t ideal hop varieties for a NEIPA. These lean more towards a West Coast IPA brew. However, a small amount of Columbus is fine, but not too much as it will throw off your NEIPA.
You should stick to fruity and tropical hop varieties like Galaxy, Mosaic, Simcoe, Motueka, etc.
|Mistake #7: Using too many whirlpool hops||Remember: the majority of your hops will usually go to your dry hopping stage. Adding too many hops during the whirlpool stage will make your NEIPA have a grassy flavor profile. A minimum of 4 ounces (114 g) of hops should be enough during the whirlpool stage.|
What Kind of Hops Are in a New England IPA?
Even with a ton of hop varieties available, choosing the right hop varieties matters significantly. For a NEIPA, you always want to choose fruity and tropical hop varieties.
Going for bittering hops or herbaceous hops like Columbus and Chinook is actually better suited to a West Coast IPA. Great fruity and tropical hop varieties include the following:
“Pacific Jade, Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Astra, El Dorado, Enigma, Ahtanum”
How Long Does It Take to Brew a New England IPA?
Brewing a NEIPA shouldn’t take too long. A good timeline should be around 10 to 12 days total, including fermentation.
How Long Should a New England IPA Ferment?
Ideally, around 5 to 7 days should be a good starting point. Some homebrewers might say to ferment as long as 3 weeks, but this is a huge risk to take. Why?
The longer you ferment your NEIPA, the higher the chances it’s going to pick up oxygen. If oxidation happens, you get a dark-colored NEIPA or the flavor profile is thrown off.
How Long Does a New England IPA Last?
A lot of packaging labels will say that a NEIPA will have a shelf life of 3 months. This is only partially true.
For starters, this packaging label doesn’t account for how it’s stored. It doesn’t account for temperature or ultraviolet light exposure.
Finally, most breweries only include a “Best before” date instead of a “Bottled by” date. What’s the difference? Best before dates don’t accurately tell you when beer was bottled.
To accurately tell how fresh beer is, you would need to know day 0 or day 1 when the beer was bottled. Then, you can count down starting from day 0 until day 30 to determine its freshness.
It’s true that NEIPAs will last for 3 months. But as early as the 2nd month, most of the aroma and flavors are nowhere near the level of top-notch quality.
Furthermore, storing it in warmer temperatures is only going to lead to a faster decline. If you drank a NEIPA that sat on a beer shelf for 3 months, it would taste like meh.
By this time, you’d taste more of the malt of a NEIPA, zero aromas, and only some fruity hops. Does that sound like a NEIPA to you?
Even if NEIPAs last for up to 3 months, always try to drink a NEIPA as soon as you buy it. However, if it’s been 3 weeks or a month since a NEIPA was bottled, it’s still fresh. To get the most out of what you’re spending for a NEIPA, drink it within that 3-week or 1-month period.
If it’s past that, at least store it in a refrigerator to slow down the decline of its flavors and aromas.
How to Pour New England IPA
There’s no right or wrong way to pour a New England IPA. In fact, some even say it tastes just as good drinking straight from the can.
But if you want a more wholesome experience, the steps below should guide you:
- Grab an IPA Glass (it’s better to use since this captures all the aromas than regular glassware)
- Tilt your glass at a 45-degree angle and start pouring down the side of the glass
- Pour half of your NEIPA and tilt your glass back to an upright position
- Continue pouring your NEIPA until there are about 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60 ml) left in the can
- Swirl the can to collect all the sediment in the can
- Make your final pour onto the glass
- Drink your NEIPA and enjoy!
What Food Goes With a New England IPA?
A ton of food. Asian dishes, cheesy dishes, grilled meat, or even Mexican dishes are all great food pairings.
Ever try oysters with mignonette sauce? Mignonette is a mixture of shallots and vinegar, almost like lemon juice. Pair it with your Hazy IPA any time of the day. The restrained bitterness in a NEIPA goes well with the acidity of a mignonette sauce.
Oysters were just the appetizer. What about the main course? Grab a Pad Thai from your favorite Thai restaurant or a Banh Mi.
If you lean more to the carnivorous side, a juicy burger will do the trick. In fact, Sierra Nevada has a beef sliders recipe that’s the perfect match for a NEIPA.
If you prefer something light, go with a Mexican tilapia or seared white fish topped with cilantro, cumin, mango salsa, and green chilies. Hungry yet?
You can even grill a few vegetables like asparagus, mushrooms, and artichokes to compliment your meat. And finally, for cheese lovers, go with goat cheese.
But if you prefer your cheese spicy, go with cheddar cheese and green chilies. You won’t regret it!
Who Made the First New England IPA?
The first New England IPA is credited to John Kimmich who made it a year after he opened The Alchemist Pub & Brewery.
As the story goes, Kimmich learned all about commercial brewing from Greg Noonan in 1994. This was already years after Noonan opened Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington, Vermont.
Kimmich eventually became the head brewer at Vermont Pub where he experimented with hop varieties in IPAs. In November 2003, Kimmich opened The Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury.
By January 2004, Kimmich brewed the first or original New England IPA.
What Was the First New England IPA?
The first New England IPA is Heady Topper. It had an ABV of 8%, 75 IBU, and was surprisingly not a bitter palate wrecker.
NEIPAs usually have low IBUs, and 75 IBU is already in the West Coast IPA category. However, Heady Topper imparted flavors and aromas similar to a NEIPA today.
The hops that Kimmich used to brew Heady Topper were:
Take note, though, that this was Kimmich’s first version of Heady Topper. Eventually, Heady Topper slowly spread throughout Vermont. Soon after, breweries started brewing their own NEIPA versions.
Today, you’ll find a lot of breweries that make New England IPAs. But which ones are worth trying? That’s what the next section is all about.
Who Makes the Best New England IPAs?
Below is a list of breweries and NEIPAs that stand as some of the best NEIPAs in the world:
|List of Breweries||NEIPAs|
|Trailway Brewing Co.||Hu Jon Hops|
|Tree House Brewing||Julius|
|Trillium Brewing Company||Congress Street|
|Green Cheek Beer Company||Taste the Ceiling|
|Hill Farmstead Brewery||Hill Farmstead Brewery|
|The Alchemist||The Alchemist Focal Banger|
|Tired Hands Extra Knuckle||Tired Hands Brewing Company|
|Hop Butcher For The World||Run To Daylight|
|Great Notion Brewing||Over Ripe IPA|
|WeldWerks Brewing Co.||DDH Juicy Bits|
|Breaded Iris Brewing||Homestyle|
|Trillium Brewing Company||Scaled|
|Monkish Brewing Co.||Spock It|
|Bissell Brothers Brewing Company||Reciprocal|
|Other Half Brewing Co.||Double Dry Hopped Oh…Dream|
Is Sam Adams New England IPA Seasonal?
Sam Adams New England IPA is available nationwide on draft. If you want to find a Sam Adams NEIPA, you can use their “Find A Sam” tool on their website.
However, it’s worth noting that NEIPAs aren’t technically available all year round. Not to mention, NEIPAs have a short shelf life and if it’s not stored properly, this could last about 2 months only.
There isn’t a NEIPA in the world that would last you longer than 3 months and taste as fresh as day 1.
Why Are New England IPAs So Expensive?
Are NEIPAs simply overpriced? Or do their prices do them justice? Think back carefully to the hops, malts, and yeast used to brew a NEIPA.
And then take into account its short shelf-life. To make a well-done NEIPA, you need fresh and quality ingredients, right? Not to mention, a higher dose of each of those ingredients.
NEIPAs use double the amount of hops as regular IPAs. That alone should tell you you’re spending a lot more to brew a NEIPA than say, a regular IPA.
Aside from hop quantity, hop variety is well…costly. If you’re using expensive varietals like Nelson Sauvin or Galaxy, expect to spend around $20 to $30 per pound.
The more juiciness and fruitiness you want in your NEIPA, the higher the cost of raw materials. Take note, though. That’s just your hops.
What about your yeast? NEIPAs require a specific type of yeast. As mentioned earlier, this yeast is low flocculating, has low attenuation, and has fruity esters.
However, this specific yeast is a single-use strain. That means you can’t harvest it again after, unlike other yeasts, to save on costs.
Why is it not possible to harvest this special yeast strain used in NEIPAs? Because of 2 reasons:
- Most yeast strains will settle to the bottom of your fermenter. This way, you can easily harvest it for future homebrewing experiments. The special yeast strain used in NEIPAs settles at the top of your fermenter. Because fermenters have closed tops, brewers can’t pop open the top to harvest them again.
- Even if brewers could harvest the yeast, it’s unlikely that they would want to. They could grow their own yeast, but propagators cost around $8,000 alone.
The third reason why NEIPAs are so expensive is the malts. Your adjuncts – flaked oats and wheat – make up a huge portion of your grain bill.
Some will say that they only use 10% of flaked oats and wheat, but what that does is create a weak or nonexistent haze. If you learned this the hard way, you’d understand why 10% doesn’t cut it for a hazy appearance.
Supposedly, your flaked oats and wheat should account for about 20% to 25% of your total grain bill. And that’s only the minimum. Some shoot as high as 40%!
How Does Shelf Life Affect the Costs of Brewing a New England IPA?
Finally, the shelf-life. Now, this doesn’t have a direct impact on the costs of a NEIPA. However, it’s more of a soft cost.
What does that mean? If you’re buying a 6-pack of NEIPA and shortly discover the haze is gone or it wasn’t as fresh, well …
Do you think you’d spend another $12 for another 6-pack? And that’s only for 12-oz. (355 ml) cans. If it’s a 16-oz. (473 ml) can, a 6-pack can cost you roughly $22.
If the quality is bad or the haziness didn’t live up to your expectations, it puts breweries at risk. Why? Because now there’s a chance a customer won’t buy that beer again.
Losing a customer is losing profit.
Is a NEIPA Worth Buying?
NEIPAs are definitely higher-priced than your average 6-pack of Corona beer. However, price isn’t the only thing consumers account for.
Value is more important. It’s not that NEIPAs are too expensive you can’t afford them. It’s about the quality of what you’re buying.
If you’re getting a beautiful haze, silky, pillowy mouthfeel, and a burst of tropical juicy flavors in a can, who’s to say it’s not worth buying?