The New England IPA, also referred to in short form as NEIPA, is a craft beer style that has become a beer enthusiast’s top choice in the past decade. With many craft breweries releasing creative and inventive New England IPA styles of beer, lovers of this beer style are never in a shortage of new flavour profiles to try.
What sets this beer style apart from all the others is its opaque haze. This can be attributed to the new world origin oats and wheat as well as the suspended hop oils. Some New England IPAs are also brewed with wildflowers, which is a known controversy in the beer world. When pouring yourself a glass of New England IPA you can expect to see a dense, creamy, cloud-like head. Its body may be orange or yellow with the classic carbonated bubbles floating to the top.
Taking a long whiff of this beer and you will notice hints of fruity or tropical aromatics. When you take a sip, you will understand the fruity and tropical smell. The hops are on the fruitier side, connected with ripe or overripe tropical fruits like passionfruit, guava, papaya, mango and pineapple. If you find one with a more citrus taste, do not be alarmed by that either as that is also a possibility. The bitterness of this IPA is more on the moderate side.
The Origin of the New England IPA Style Craft Beer
As the name suggests, New England IPA is an American IPA brewed out of Vermont. It started to gain popularity in North America around 2011. When the 2015 Beer Judge Certification Program Style guidelines were introduced, that is really when this beer style became one of the most thirsted styles from beer enthusiasts everywhere.
This popular IPA is thought to begin with the Heady Topper. The Alchemist brewer John Kimmich was playing around with an IPA recipe and decided not to filter or pasteurize the beer. This resulted in a thicker IPA with tiny compounds and enzymes that created the hazy look. Since there was a limited number of Heady Toppers being brewed at the time, other breweries decided to make their own. New England IPA style was most popular on the East Coast when it first hit the scene, but after a while the West Coast came on board.
Enjoy a New England IPA
The best way to enjoy this IPA is to either drink it without the intention of trying to pair it with something. Typically their flavor profiles are so strong, they take over no matter what you pair it with. If you insist on pairing it with something though, you want to start with complementing the hops. You want to highlight flavors that already exist within the beverage and the food you are pairing. This tip alone will help you pair this IPA with anything.
Pairing it with fatty, creamy, rich dishes is also a good pairing strategy because the moderate carbonation found in the NEIPA helps to reset your palate in between taking tasty bites. Another good food pairing is spicy foods, though this may be surprising.
Why try a New England IPA?
Lover’s of IPA style beers need no incentive to try out a New England IPA, but if you’re not a lover of strong-flavored beer, experiencing a NEIPA might just be something to do to cross off your “I’ve Tried It” beer list. You might be surprised, with so many unique flavour profiles being released from craft breweries, you might just find a new brew that you love.