Another case for why "Northeast-style IPA" (or whatever you want to call it) should be a style

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Damian, Aug 3, 2016.

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  1. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I recently got back from an amazing trip to the PNW (Portland, Seattle and Vancouver) where, in addition to the fantastic cultural attractions, I enjoyed some terrific food and drink.

    Being a resident of Cambridge, MA, I consider myself to be spoiled by the outstanding quality of beers (particularly hoppy beers) available in my area. I've rarely had a Trillium, TH, HF, etc. offering that I considered to be anything less than stellar. However, drinking beer in the "land of hops" was an interesting experience. I enjoyed some great beers in Seattle (killer Brett-infused saisons at Holy Mountain Brewing) and in Portland (an amazing blueberry muffin wild ale at Great Notion), as well as some other impressive stuff. However, with the exception of some of the hoppy offerings at Great Notion, none of the IPAs/DIPAs blew me away. I was looking for those citra and mosaic juice bombs that I was used to from back home. The stuff I was drinking, such as Boneyard's Hop Venom and Melvin's 2X4, tasted cloying sweet on the front end and punishly bitter on the finish. Stuff I might have liked more in 2008, but not today.

    That said, with East Coast and West Coast hoppy beer styles being so dramatically different from each other, shouldn't a separate style category exist for each? I found myself slamming a lot of these PNW hoppy beers simply because they didn't exhibit the characteristics I (and many others) now look for in the style. If there was a different category for each however, I feel like my scoring (at least here on BA) would be much more fair to these West Coast offerings.

  2. zid

    zid Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Why aren't you arguing for a blueberry muffin wild ale category instead? :slight_smile:
    ovaltine, 5thOhio, eppCOS and 32 others like this.
  3. ecpho

    ecpho Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I'd welcome adding this as an official style so its easy to avoid these malt beverages that are labeled as beer but taste nothing remotely like it. :astonished:
  4. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    FFS. Stop. It's just obnoxious at this point.
    ovaltine, vicbrews, 5thOhio and 21 others like this.
  5. Sponan

    Sponan Jan 20, 2008 Tennessee

    I don't think what basically amounts to a different hop profile and a turbid appearance amounts to a "dramatically different" beer. ABV, IBU, etc. are typically within the style range. Same discussion used to be had about East/West Coast IPA's prior to this new breed. Didn't need it then, don't need it now.
  6. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    So because there wasn't a clear guideline you couldn't enjoy the beers? Sounds like a personal issue.
    ovaltine, 5thOhio, Badfish and 7 others like this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    @Damian, do you have a draft write-up of the style description for the so-called "Northeast" style IPA? I would be willing to consider it. Maybe with this information in hand this thread might have a more 'focused' discussion?

    BBThunderbolt and Sponan like this.
  8. TongoRad

    TongoRad Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Not till you kiss the ring, man :wink::grinning:.
  9. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    It's not a matter of enjoying vs. not enjoying but rather respecting a certain style of beer simply for what it is.

    PNW hoppy beers have been around for a while. A number of New England breweries have taken hoppy beer styles and, in my opinion, improved them by late hopping/dry hopping, using a specific yeast strain, adding flaked wheat etc. to create a more juicy and pure hop flavor with less bitterness and better mouthfeel.

    For a while, New England breweries were looking to the West Coast for inspiration. Now it seems that the opposite is true. Look at the top rated breweries in Portland, San Francisco, etc. and you'll see that they're the ones making these "New England-style" hoppy beers. That said, I don't think that West Coast hoppy beers should be regarded as "old hat." To prevent this mindset however, it might be helpful to simply denote them as different styles.
    DJturnstile likes this.
  10. Invinciblejets

    Invinciblejets Sep 29, 2014 South Carolina

    People get so butthurt on this site if anyone mentions "NE style ipas"
    People saying it not beer? What? It's not like treehouse or trillium uses Artifical flavoring or somthing. Those are flavors of hops. A flavor we should be embracing.
    People just don't wanna like these IPAs because they are popular. We get it your so edgy and cool you don't like things everyone else likes
  11. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    No specific draft write up but here goes. Late hopping/post boil hoping to reduce bitterness and create a more juicy, pure hop flavor. Use of specific English ale yeast strains (London ale III, etc). Hazy body and soft, creamy mouthfeel from the addition of flaked wheat.

    You can do a Google search to find out more specific info. This page should be helpful too.
    HuskyHawk likes this.
  12. Jaycase

    Jaycase Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Society Trader

    So the style could then be written off as "old hat"? :wink: Perhaps the brewers who make West Coast IPAs are stuck in the past? An IPA which time has passed?
    Damian likes this.
  13. MNAle

    MNAle Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Strong citrus aroma. Flavor dominated by citrus / fruits flavor from the hops (typically achieved with dry hopping). Unfiltered for a hazy appearance. Medium to high IBU with low perceived bitterness, especially in the finish.
  14. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I disagree. Have you had multiple examples of Northeast-style IPAs? (Tree House, Trillium, Hill Farmstead, Heady, etc.)? Personally, I think they differ significantly in appearance, taste AND mouthfeel from traditional WC beers. It's perplexing to me when people who have sampled both EC and WC styles say that these beers aren't really aren't all that different.
  15. montman

    montman Mar 10, 2009 Virginia

    Oh good, we needed two separate threads at the top of beer talk on this.
  16. GuyFawkes

    GuyFawkes Apr 7, 2011 Illinois
    Society Trader

    There's a lot of varation in stouts, but we don't make new categories for them all. I think it should be the same for IPAs. I like New England IPAs but I don't think they are that revolutionary that they need a new category.
    ovaltine, 5thOhio, Badfish and 4 others like this.
  17. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    That's kind of how it seems now with EC and WC hoppy beers falling under the same category. I don't think this should be true however.
  18. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    We have a lot of categories for stouts (RIS, double stout, American stout, FES, sweet stout, etc.) and a lot of categories for hoppy beers (APA, EPA, AIPA, EIPA, IIPA, etc.) Many of these styles (within each category) have much more in common to me than a WCIPA and an ECIPA.
  19. CreekOfTheDead

    CreekOfTheDead Jul 18, 2016 Texas

    You could of posted this in the thread talking about this exact subject. With that said, regional variations are bound to pop up and none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. I just had a can of Julius yesterday and while yes it is definitely different then what is normally considered an IPA, it's still an IPA at the end of the day. If the regional name where it came from is irking people so much then I really don't understand those people.

    Julius fucking rocked by the way.
    Badfish, changdulla and Damian like this.
  20. GuyFawkes

    GuyFawkes Apr 7, 2011 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Guess I disagree, I don't think the New England style tastes THAT far apart from the average US IPA. Whereas a sweet stout & a RIS are worlds apart.

    Just a newb's opinion!
  21. riegler

    riegler Apr 30, 2015 Iowa

    Where do the "no coast" IPA's fall in these new categories? Should all of our offerings be known as FOIPAs? (Fly Over India Pale Ale)
  22. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    People who entirely dismiss the NE IPA "style" as non-beer-like juice and inferior to West Coast style IPAs are really annoying.

    However, the people who think NE "style" IPAs are the end-all-be-all of beer are also super annoying.

    I guess I should maybe stay away from these threads.
    Minipork, 5thOhio, mmoriarty and 22 others like this.
  23. HopBomb515

    HopBomb515 Jun 15, 2013 New Jersey

    Both North East and West Coast are brewing to a style we know as IPA and DIPA. They both use water, malt, hops and yeast last I checked. Stylistic differences within that category don't warrant a whole new classification. If the majority prefer the way a particular region does it over another, well, you'll have to get over that.
  24. HopBomb515

    HopBomb515 Jun 15, 2013 New Jersey

    I hear ya man. I'm trading my North East stuff for Bodhi. I love it all.
    riegler likes this.
  25. Hanglow

    Hanglow Feb 18, 2012 Scotland

    Why aren't you all arguing about Black Country bitters, Yorkshire bitters, Southern bitters, Welsh bitters, Manchester pales....surely they should all be in separate categories?

    I'm not going to rest until we have at least 1000 beer styles.
    joe1510, Badfish, JLaw55 and 13 others like this.
  26. papposilenus

    papposilenus Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire

    They're different. I'm sorry, but they just are. I couldn't give a rat's ass if there's an official categorical distinction for the one from the other. And, as God is my witness, I will never reply to one of these threads again.
    fscottkey, cl3, VABA and 1 other person like this.
  27. nachos

    nachos Jun 4, 2012 Michigan

    You North east folks wouldn't meet with such resistance if you would stop harping about the term/"style" so much and if you'd stop shamelessly, self-congratulating yourselves on how its the best all the time.

    And also if you'd all stop being such insufferable, loud-mouthed, d-bags in the first place :wink:
    SeanBond, Sponan, 3SH33TS and 5 others like this.
  28. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I'm going to from now on. It's become the "cool thing" to dislike these kinds of beers.
  29. Realsambo

    Realsambo Apr 15, 2016 Texas

    That hazy shit is good though, really good.
    Badfish and Damian like this.
  30. ndepriest

    ndepriest Feb 21, 2012 Georgia

    Since Tree House as 50 different IPAs that basically all taste the same, maybe we should go ahead and make THIPA a style too. :wink:
  31. raynmoon

    raynmoon Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    Ipa's are supposed to be bitter. Come on, guys.
    maltmaster420 likes this.
  32. moonbrews

    moonbrews Aug 11, 2010 Virginia

    ... so is your point that these are not IPAs but... a different style?
    Invinciblejets likes this.
  33. lic217

    lic217 Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut

    I like Heady Topper
    I like Pliney The Elder
    I like SN Celebration
    I like Julius
    I like Sculipn
    I like G-Bot
    I like Double Sunshine
    I like Jai Alai

    They all are unique and all are delicious. Which are New England Style? Which are west coast? Which are east coast? I do not know and do not care. They are all delicious and all very different.
    shnsajax, SeanBond, Badfish and 6 others like this.
  34. raynmoon

    raynmoon Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    I'm just shedding light on these folks claiming that these newer IPAs are "superior" because they are more "fruity" and "less bitter."

    Well, fruity and not bitter doesn't sound like IPA to me, really.

    So yeah I suppose so.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  35. edward_boumil

    edward_boumil Jun 28, 2015 New York

    Lol, the level of butthurt and pretentiousness in this thread is rediculous.

    As soon as you add NE to the front of IPA packs of wild haters can smell it. Some say from many miles away, flock to the area and begin the hunt.

    Its like this with music too, arguments over genres and the like. To me personally, they taste vastly different from WC IPAs. That alone constitutes some sort of distinction, what's the fuss over whether its halal/kosher/officially notarized by the great Beer Gods/whatever. Back in the day there was really just beer, and distinct classes and styles were generated to differentiated between the different beers. IF distinction aids in conversation or selection of a specific flavor profile/mouthfeel and everything else, why fight it?
  36. Damian

    Damian Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    If you think Tree House hoppy beers all taste the same, then you haven't tried Trillium yet. Don't get me wrong, I think they're incredible, but also quite similar in look/taste/feel.
    edward_boumil likes this.
  37. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I actually think this is a respectable opinion and debate worth discussing. After all American pale ales and IPAs split from English versions, and one could argue that the West Coast IPA could have more similarities to an English IPA than to a New England IPA.
  38. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Dec 7, 2014 New York

    With a statement like that I wouldn't think he has tried Treehouse yet either :grinning:
  39. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    The difference i see with east coast west coast ipas is that west coast seem to be lighter in color and more pungent citrus tropical like hop and east coast is more malty and orange rind like flavors instead of tropical. Should i think they should be their own style? No. It will just over complicate things. And ipa is an ipa. If someone wants to know what "type" of ipa, thry can read the package notes like 90% of brewers have either on package or beer itself.
    Sponan likes this.
  40. jacksdad

    jacksdad Dec 7, 2014 Maryland

    PNW IPA = Lo-Fi, NE IPA = Math Rock
    Different culture, different tastes, all good.
    Damian likes this.
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