1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Back Bay IPA - Boston Beer Works - Canal Street

Back Bay IPABack Bay IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

147 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Works - Canal Street visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back Bay IPA Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 69 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smcolw


3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Modest head that leaves some spots after each sip. Golden amber color with a light haze.

Very pleasant citrus hop nose. Semisweet caramel malt in the background.

Very brief pale malt start. The bittering hop completely overwhelmed this brew. Not complex nor balanced, this is still a solid IPA. Moderate body, elevated carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 19:26:18 | More by smcolw
Photo of cbutova


3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Slightly hazy light orange color to the body and a foamy white cap atop the beer. Frothy head reaches about one finger in height and retains decently. Lacing is nice with a few clouds of webbed foam.

S- Citrus zest and a bit of pine but not as much hop influence in the aroma as I would expect. A decent amount of caramel, yeast bread and apple hints as well.

T- A blend of citrus rind (bitter orange), flowery and pine hops lead the way with some herbal and earthy undertones. As with the nose, a decent amount of caramel and yeast flavors back up the hops.

MF- An overly foamy body with massive carbonation stinging the palate. Must be some active yeast in the bottle or something, not infected though. Moderate bitterness in the finish.

Nothing much wrong here but it doesn't jump out from a ton of other IPAs I have had. The body is a bit foamy for me and takes away from the experience but it is decent nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 02:20:06 | More by cbutova
Photo of flagmantho


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I had this on-tap in a big pint glass at the Beer Works in Logan airport.

Appearance: medium orange hue with plenty of haze and a moderate effervescence. The head is a very thin layer of white foam. Not too bad.

Smell: sweet and citrusy hops are strong up front. Very Cascade-smelling; I like it.

Taste: bright and citrusy hops dominate the flavor; there's not much room for anything else. Bitterness is pretty raspy, but this is a pretty serviceable IPA.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation yields a surprisingly large and satisfying creaminess. I sure wasn't expecting that -- Great!

Overall: a bright and bitey IPA with a stylistically weird but personally satisfying creaminess. I'd go for this again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2013 18:00:09 | More by flagmantho
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Clear orange. Two fingers of creamy white head retain extremely well. Lacing forms a thick ring on the glass and also some spotty patches.

S: Grapefruit, passion fruit, melon rind, strawberry, tangerine lemon rind. Ample malt base of toasted grain, bread, and slight caramel and toffee.

T: Lots of pine resin. Leafy tobacco and spicy herbs. Ruby red grapefruit. Touch of lemon rind. Notes of tangerine in the background. Ample bitterness grips the tongue, but is kept in check somewhat by a somewhat robust malt base. Toast, bread, caramel, and toffee provide both a base and a contrast to the hops. Finishes with tastes of toasted grain and a lingering spicy bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a strong malt backbone. Full and creamy in the mouth with a bit of weight and a delightfully creamy and smooth texture. Moderate carbonation supports nicely.

O: Back Bay has more than enough hop bite to keep the hopheads satisfied, but it follows that up with a sturdy malt bill that lends body and balance. It isn't unlike the hallowed Racer 5 in that regard. This is a beer that gets overlooked by many, even in the home market. It's a shame too. This is a great beer, and a real sleeper. Give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 03:37:14 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of Flounder57


3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pale orange color with good clarity and slow moving bubbles moving up through the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Nice citrus hops followed by bready and sweet caramel hops.

Taste: Very clean and straight forward beer. Nice tangerine and orange hops followed by crystal, sweet caramel, and bready hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, crisp, medium carbonation, medium bodied, and a nice treat.

Overall: Pretty solid IPA here and good to see them put some styles in bottles now.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 03:41:08 | More by Flounder57
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid comes out a straw to golden colored yellow with near perfect clarity. It has a huge white head with many different sized bubbles that erupts from a hard pour. There's plenty of glass retention and lacing.

Smell is good. Nice and hoppy like a good West coast ipa (eventhough this is East Coast). Fresh, juicy citrus aromas come up big here, direct and right to the point. A little buiscut/bready at the end, not much else to mention here, smells great though.

Taste is very good, a decent malt backbone, I didn't expect because of how hoppy it smells. After the initial sweetness there is a bitter bite from the hops. Some pine, but primarily citrus bitterness, a little more bitter than I'd prefer, but still very good.

Mouthfeel is on point. Super light, this beer could be absolutely dangerous on a hot summer day, many of these could be crushed! Clean and crisp with a bitter finish, nice, direct and to the point. Really drinkable here, just a solid IPA. Nice job Beer Works, first bottled beer I've had from them and I'm looking forward to more now.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 06:36:08 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of sprucetip


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of a flight delay, I am having the opportunity to try this one at Logan Intl.

It has great clarity and is light golden/amber in color. There was a decent amount of white foam that faded quickly and left no significant lacing. Activity was moderate.

It smells grainy and alcoholic mainly, with a little bit of citric hops underneath. Only occasionally do I sense any malt in the nose. It doesn't smell like much of an IPA to me.

Moderately bitter from the git go and right on through, the grain bill is mostly base malt. There is more hop character in the flavor than in the nose. It is piny and citrusy. The malt supports and balances but doesn't add anything in terms of complexity. It's a basic, clean, straight up, regular old decent IPA. Pretty good for an airport, but nothing to get excited about.

Plenty carbonated, light side of medium body, dry character is present throughout and increases in the finish, which is also bitter.

It's a good beer, but it doesn't excite me enough to commit to another though I've got another hour to kill. I'm thinking of prowling around Terminal C and seeing if there is maybe something interesting from Boston Beer Co at another establishment.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2012 21:35:53 | More by sprucetip
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light apple cider color, light beige head with decent head retention, and great lacing with amazing retention.

S - Green pepper and squash notes are present with a nice bitterness aroma throughout.

T - Herbal hop notes, pine, spruce, slight soapiness.

M - Sharp, nicely carbonated IPA that goes down smoothly. Leaves a very nice and pungent bitter note on the back of the palate.

O - A great hop presence, but not overly bitter. Very smooth and has a nice malty base making it very drinkable.

Serving type: growler

10-23-2011 04:00:55 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Wowcoolman


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Logan airport. Pours a wonderful amber color with ample head. Citrusy aroma. Hops do pack a solid punch with white grapefruit, lemon rind, and pepper. Finishes bitter, maybe a little too much for my tastes but not inappropriate for the style and overall a balanced IPA. Certainly a worthy NewEngland IPA (but maybe not quite the Finest Kind).
I might add that being able to drink this on-tap at an airport is heaven.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 20:37:36 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of womencantsail


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Works Fenway

A: The beer pours a clear, light amber color with a thick white head.

S: Definitely a pungent hop aroma. There is a nice herbal note with some citrus peel and plenty of pine. Quite a bit of grapefruit and a very resinous note to it overall.

T: Moderate bitterness with plenty of pine and herbal hops. Maybe not quite as much in terms of citrus hops, though there is a nice grapefruit and some hints of fruit.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A well done IPA with good hop character all around.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2011 18:21:20 | More by womencantsail
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Canal Street, and served in a pint glass. The beer is a hazy, brown-gold coloring, with a chunky, off-white, big bubbled head. The beer clings thickly to the glass while you drink. Light citrus and floral nose, with grapefruit highlights. The flavor is floral hops first, followed by smooth, buttery sweet, and a tangy, peppery hops again at the end. The aftertaste is supersweet and tangy, with a citrus sweet and astringent finish.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2011 04:07:13 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of mdaschaf


3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at BBW at Fenway.

A: The beer was a clear light copper/amber color with a ene finger, slightly off-white color, with decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Rather floral and grassy with some citrus mixed in. A little bit of light grainy malt and some caramel malt round it out.

T: There is a nice citrus flavor up front with some lemon and a bit of grapefruit leading to a little bit of caramel malt, slightly doughy too. Has a slightly bitter finish.

M: Maybe a touch thin, it does not have a sticky/dry finish that I get out of most IPAs. Moderate carbonation.

O: A decent IPA, would have liked it a bit bolder. Look forward to going back and sampling some of the other offerings at BBW.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 19:58:30 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of BennyL1


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Back Bay IPA pours a nice copper color with a small white head. Very nice lacing is left along the glass as the beer is enjoyed.

S - Smell is mostly made up if the citrus and pine aromas you would expect from an IPA. A bit of the malt backbone is also noticeable in the nose.

T - The hops up front make for a really nice flavor. The malt balances it out very nice. Crisp finish with a nice hop bitterness.

M - Medium body with carbonation on the lower side. Very smooth throughout.

D - If I had more time I would have ordered another one of these for sure. Really solid offering all around.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2011 18:27:41 | More by BennyL1
Photo of Gehrig


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Logan International Airport Beer Works.

Two lush fingers of white foam top a clear amber-golden body. Dense lacing and good head duration get things kicked off quite well. Big, beefy nose filled with citrus and no shortage of biscuit malt with some caramel. Lots of grapefruit, orange, and some lemon in the aromas.

The taste is excellent--very hoppy and citrusy, but also well balanced by loads of caramel malt and strong biscuit flavor, with a hint of chocolate. This is really, REALLY good IPA, and hop lovers should really be fond of Back Bay. I am not sure which hops they used, but my hunch is that is loaded with the C's--Chinook, Centennial, Cascade (not Celtics).

A dense coating of hops coats the tongue, just what every hops fan should love. Easy on the palate, Back Bay came right out of the Green Monster in Fenway at me--left field and then some. Nothing short of outstanding, I'd highly recommend Back Bay to IPA lovers everywhere.


Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2011 05:31:35 | More by Gehrig
Photo of Haybeerman


3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, bright orange/amber color. Poured a 2 finger rocky off-white head with good retention. Decanted lightly. LAced in wide rings.

S: Citrus and floral hops; also topical fruit and pine. Pale anad crystal malt in the foundation.

T: Crystal malt more prominent in the flavor. Hops come through as more of a resiny feel, rather than flavor, in the middle. Flavor a little disappointing after the nose.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and little resiny.

D: Fair IPA, just no holding power in the taste; finishes wanting.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2010 21:44:40 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of ddean


3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Boston Beer Works, Logan Airport.

A pleasant, clear, orange/amber brew with very little foam but high retention. Get a little straw/grassy hops at the beginning of each whiff, but not strong enough for my nose. Taste is a dry IPA. Not bad, just not exciting or intriguing in any way. Smooth with no strong aftertaste, so it is certainly drinkable. I just don't think it's has a memorable taste, and I agree with argock that it doesn't leave that sticky coating in your mouth that many good IPAs do. If you like big, complex beers like I do, take or leave it, but I'm thinking if you like Anchor Steam Pale Ale or their IPA, this is a good beer for you.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2010 20:39:45 | More by ddean
Photo of ChugsMugs


4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was one of the smoothest IPA's I've ever put my lips on. Poured a nice golden brown with generous sticky head. After having the Double Pale I expected an onslaught of hop, but was left pleasantly surprised to find a more mellow citrus/floral blend. Outstanding in terms of refreshment and smoothness. It was hard to keep this brew on the tongue. I highly recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2010 22:16:57 | More by ChugsMugs
Photo of argock


3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a slender tapered glass at Beer Works - Canal Street (Boston, MA).

A: Clear lightly amber golden with tight 1-2 finger nearly white head with good retention and decent lacing.

S: Floral and citrus hops greet the noe with a soft pale malt backbone. Hops definitely win out.

T: The flavor is good but the weight of flavor is a little watery and doesn't pack the punch of a more stnadard high tier IPA. I think this is mainly due to undermalting mainly which leaves the flavor without much staying power. The hops flavor is citrusy and floral and a little one-dimensional but still enjoyable overall.

M: Mouthfeel is also a tad thin. THis beer misses the sticky, coating feel most very good IPAs have. The carbonation is midrange and dpesn't sway the feel either way. The aftertaste is floral, citrus hops.

D: A pretty good IPA which could be elevated with a heavier hand with the malts to leave the flavor with more oomph. All in all, though, still I enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2010 02:45:11 | More by argock
Photo of ExtraStout


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour produced a clean, clear, medium copper-colored bier, with a creamy, albeit short, head. The foam was white, with a fine bead, and left nice lacework.
Aroma was a full, fairly strong whiff of Cascades (or a reasonable facsimile thereof!).
Body was a respectable medium, and the "feel" was just a bit prickly on the tongue. Nothing to make it less than "good", though.
Flavor started with a mild maltiness, slightly toasty, just enough to keep things honest. Then the flavor went into hop overdrive, with a great grapefruity hop essence. The hop flavor really sticks in the throat, giving a super, longlasting rich aftertaste!
A tasty rendition of an IPA. One to savor and enjoy!

Serving type: on-tap
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

10-10-2010 00:16:53 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of jlindros


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A light creamy head fades slowly over a hazy orange amber beer.

The nose has some light Belgian malts and fruity Belgian yeast, some nice spicy and fruity American hops, a nice combination.

Taste starts with spicy and bitter American hops. Some light citrus and fresh hop musty resinous flavors. More Belgian malts, slight creamy and fruity Belgian yeast.

Mouth is slightly creamy medium body with lower but decent carbonation.

Finishes slightly astringent and pretty bitter win lingering resinous musty fresh wet hop flavors as well as a slight dry Belgian yeast finish.

Serving type: growler
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

08-22-2010 18:38:12 | More by jlindros
Photo of TommyW


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear, golden body with a tall, sticky, white head.

S- Faint floral hop aroma with notes of pine and citrus.

T- Faint malt backbone with some fresh hop flavors jumping out on top. Nice crisp and bitter finish.

M- Medium body with a medium carbonation.

D- A pretty standard American IPA.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

06-29-2010 16:10:17 | More by TommyW
Photo of EPICAC


3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Beer Works restaurant in Logan Airport.

This IPA pours a hazed copper, and is topped by a white head that fades to film leaving good lace. The aroma has notes of raw sugar, and toasty malts. There's also a good amount of herbal, resiny hops.

Sweet, toasty, and bready malts upfront move into a citric center with notes of raw sugar and then into an herbal, piney, hop bitterness. This beer is smooth and medium-bodied with moderate carbonation

I though this beer was pretty well balanced, and overall was a decent IPA

Serving type: on-tap
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

05-06-2010 20:16:51 | More by EPICAC
Photo of nelnutter


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler into SA pint glass.

A: Pours a relatively clear copper, with small head that leaves little lacing.

S: Very inviting hoppy aroma; mostly grapefruit and pine, but a nice caramel malt is noticeable.

T: As tasty as the smell suggests; nice sweet caramel malt, followed by strong grapefruit and piney hops.

M: Medium-bodied overall; carbonation was ample.

D: One of my favorite IPA's. Never lets me down. Very tasty and drinkable, and definitely the most consistently tasty Beerworks Brew.

Serving type: growler
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

04-18-2010 02:19:07 | More by nelnutter
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light orange/amber color with a decent sized head, leaves some lacing along the glass.

Smell is adequately hoppy for an IPA but has some malt backing to mellow things, nothing extraordinary but more than enough to please.

Taste has a good citrus/hop kick but fades fast in the mouth, decent bitterness, easy to drink and is a solid beer in Beer Works regular line-up.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

03-21-2010 19:29:11 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of jnezda


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wanted to enjoy a cask beer while I was visiting Fenway so off to the beer works to try the Back Bay Cask IPA. Copper, light amber color with a thin but solid tan/off white head. The cloudiness of this beer did not ever settle except for the bottom inch of the 22oz Becker glass, in which it was served. Bar man had a nice pull out of the cask for this beer. The smell wafted up as both slightly yeasty as well as malty. This was hop mild as far as IPA's go but the hop character tends to come out more in the after taste of this beer making it a real pleasure to taste. This was the first beer I ever had at Beer Works and is one I will definitely try again. Good showing for a cask conditioned IPA even if a bit short on the hops.

Serving type: cask
@ Boston Beer Works - Fenway, 61 Brookline Avenue, Boston

09-10-2009 04:01:02 | More by jnezda
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Back Bay IPA from Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
85 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.