Are New England IPAs overrated?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MerryTapster, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. MerryTapster

    MerryTapster Disciple (349) Mar 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Am I the only person who thinks these beers are good, but not overwhelmingly spectacular? I mean a lot of them taste more like a mimosa than a beer. I just see these as more of a hype type thing and it really seems to be skewing beer rankings.
  2. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Meyvn (1,337) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    You are not the only person who feels this way.
    MrDave, Tdizzle, sulldaddy and 15 others like this.
  3. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,083) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Shitty ones are overrated. Delicious ones are rated just right, youknowwhatimsayin?
    cducap, rozzom, BethanyB and 35 others like this.
  4. MerryTapster

    MerryTapster Disciple (349) Mar 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I just tried a few from Mass (big boys too, but don't like to call out breweries) and while they were good, the OG New England IPA's like Heady I feel are far more superior at least from a complexity stand point. As far as cloudy turbid goes I think trillium is the only brewery on point.
    moose1980, np75rw and Robtobfest like this.
  5. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Devotee (492) Dec 12, 2014 California

    I haven't had many. Some people have described Born Yesterday as New England-like IPA. If they are that way I'm in.

    Having said that I've had (I believe) 3 NEIPAs, all made in California. The first one Modern Times Accumulated Knowledge was super delicious. Then I've had two at Monkish brewery, and they were pretty bad, awesome nose, but very very insipid. So, I'm on the fence.

    Anyways I'm gonna try to find some more...
    thatche2 and The-Adjunct-Hippie like this.
  6. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (747) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    They aren't overrated if you love them. I have enjoyed the ones that I've drank but can't see them becoming one of my favorite styles.
    drtth, tlema1, LuskusDelph and 5 others like this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "I mean a lot of them taste more like a mimosa than a beer." I suspect that the two qualities of:
    • A nice velvety soft mouthfeel
    • A "juicy" quality
    are not qualities that you highly value in a beer?

    I am not a big fan of the turbid/murky/opaque appearance of the so called 'NE' style IPA but the other qualities I mentioned above are highly appreciated by me.

    So, my answer to the question is "No".

  8. YamBag

    YamBag Initiate (180) Feb 2, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I agree 100% I've had NE IPAs from NE that are great, but have been extremely underwhelmed by local offerings. Just because a beer is cloudy doesn't make it good.
    BigMike, Daveshek28, smutty33 and 4 others like this.
  9. skleice

    skleice Aspirant (226) Aug 6, 2015 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    It's all preference. I love NE IPA's (and not just cuz I live here). Everything else tastes grassy, syrupy and thin to me. Not to mention, that they're all fresh for me. I still like a good old school IPA from time to time, but I'm on the NE train for life.
  10. i_run_far

    i_run_far Initiate (54) Aug 11, 2016 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    One could say the same for bourbon barrel aged beers, some of them just taste overwhelmingly like booze, not beer. It's really just personal preference, who cares about rankings, it's just a list of what is currently popular among those who take the time to rate/review beers. I'm just glad there are so many different styles of beer available and that there are innovative breweries out there.
    clay23, pro100, BigMike and 14 others like this.
  11. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Savant (939) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    To me it has less to with the appearance and more to do with the quality and if it's well made. I like the West Coast clean and crisp IPAS and also a well balanced "traditional" style with a nice malt base also. As long is there is all this to choose from I'm fine. So no.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  12. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,970) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I never get that mouthfeel; they are always brittle and chalky to me. Disjointed and disappointing as well. And I can get juicy in plenty of other beers. Personally, if I never have another one of these types of IPA it'll be too soon.
    SunDevilBeer, pat61, Gemini6 and 14 others like this.
  13. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Savant (939) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    And then this opens a whole can of worms as discussed many times: what is considered a New England IPA. Is it just the look, feel and juicyness. Is MBC Lunch considered a NEIPA? How about Lawson's Sip of Sunshine. Both brewed in NE but without those characteristics.
    chipawayboy likes this.
  14. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Disciple (313) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    I don't t know, I quite like mimosas. Maybe I oughta try harder to obtain a couple of these.
  15. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Zealot (527) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    The ester compounds that contribute the bulk of the unique flavor to the most "hyped" NE IPAs can be somewhat of an acquired taste IMO....especially for brewers like Trillium that are really pushing the degree of juiciness/turbidity to absurd levels. The whole experience is just so different from the traditional English IPA norm -- or the other more recent popularized variations starting w/Vinnie C and PtE/PtY -- the root of a large % of the other IPAs on the market. If it doesn't appeal to you -- your conclusion that hype is involved is certainly logical. Most of the big boys that fanned the flames on the hype are still doing it right IMO and their growth/off the charts sales for a few years running says it's here to stay. TH doing about $10M a year in direct sales from their little brewery in the middle of rural central MA w/13 employees -- think about those numbers -- bananas!!! Had this one Thurs night -- and it was spectacular....:slight_smile:
  16. Soneast

    Soneast Crusader (744) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I'm in the same boat as a lot of you. I think some brewers focus too much on the appearance of the beer trying to make them look like a milkshake. The best brewers of this style realize it's more about the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. The appearance is just a by-product of the specific hops and specific yeast strain used. Honestly the appearance is a bit of a turn off for me, but I can look past that to enjoy the unique flavors and velvety mouthfeel without the face pinching bitterness that has always been associated with IPAs in the past (which I also enjoy, mind you).
  17. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Zealot (527) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    agree -- the ingredients and techniques being used at MBCO to brew Lunch are way more Vinnie C inspired than Shawn H/JCT inspired IMO. Still a great brew -- just not cloudy and orange juicy.
    tasterschoice62 likes this.
  18. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (4,980) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I had a Double Galaxy DIPA from Hill Farmstead a few years back, awesome brew.

    Casterbridge likes this.
  19. Lazhal

    Lazhal Aspirant (275) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Couple things to point out to anyone that had a less than favorable experience with their first or first few NE IPAs
    • Verify the beer was within one month old when you drank it
    • Don't judge the style until you've had a reasonable sample size, and at least one beer from a top brewery known for the style (Treehouse, Trillium, etc)
    There are plenty of sub-par NE IPAs these days along with the greats. If you've given it a fair shot, then go ahead and bash. We don't all like the same things, and that is a good thing.
  20. colts9016

    colts9016 Poo-Bah (1,613) Jul 2, 2007 Idaho
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I feel that east and west coast IPA's are completely different yet they are the same style. I remember a few years back about hopslam being debated and compared to other IPAs. That said both west or east coast have there ups and downs, some are good some are bad.
    Sheppard likes this.
  21. dcotom

    dcotom Meyvn (1,277) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Send me a bunch of 'em and I'll get back to you. :wink:
    Wasatch, Im4jojo and matcris like this.
  22. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (477) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I have been enjoying "better" beer since before it was called "craft." I have seen fads come and go, and seen beers that were considered world class that are now considered ordinary by many.

    I have never been a trend chaser, but in the past I would get caught up in the hype over certain beers and go out of my way sometimes to obtain them. On most of these occasions my reaction was anywhere from underwhelmed to moderately satisfied.

    For the last six years or so I have totally given up on following hype. I appreciate variety and will try something new, but I don't chase it. I have also become more reflective on my own personal likes and realize now that I tend to prefer traditional styles that have qualities that are seldom hyped.

    I have not had a NE IPA yet. They are still hard to come by in Ohio without chasing them. I'm going to homebrew one soon, mainly to use up some hops that I have been sitting on. I'll buy one as soon as I see one as well. Maybe I'll like the style, maybe not.

    So I'm not going to say that NE IPAS are overrated or not. They are definitely hyped, so that means a lot of better beer lovers like them. Experience tells me that some will stick around in the long run, but a few years from now the hype will be focused on something else.

    If you enjoy chasing beers, do so. If you enjoy being in on whatever the latest fad is, that's fine. If you only want to have a few old classics, that's fine too. We're dealing with a hobby here where there is no right or wrong approach since taste is subjective. Thanks only thing I do not have much patience for are individuals who think their likes and opinions are right and others are wrong.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Is it safe to say that your answer to the question is “Yes”?:astonished:

    thatche2, DrStiffington and TongoRad like this.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Last spring I homebrewed my version of a Trillium Galaxy Fort Point beer based on Dave Green's recipe in the September 2015 issue of BYO. I was very pleased with how that beer turned out. Maybe you would enjoy this beer too?



    P.S. Save up some money. The hop costs for these sort of beers is not insignificant.
    thatche2 likes this.
  25. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (477) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I have worked up a recipe mainly based on the Averagely Perfect recipe on the homebrewing forum. The main difference will be the hop bill, Centennial, Citra, and Galaxy in descending order with Centennial comprising about 2/3 of the hop bill. Hopefully the hop profile is appropriate since Centennial is not a preferred hop for the style, but I have a lot of Centennial that needs to go.

    I'm planning on using reused S-04 yeast. Any thoughts on whether that will be appropriate?
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Based upon my readings I agree with you here; Centennial does not seem to be a popular choice for the so called 'NE' style IPA. I am uncertain whether featuring Centennial will be an 'issue' or not.
    I used a fresh packet of S-04 for my beer and that yeast worked fine for me. Reusing this yeast strain should work for you.

    OK, now is time for me the 'theorize' about what it takes to create a beer of the so called 'NE' IPA style. My theory is that three things are needed:
    • A protein rich wort. I used 1.5 lbs. of wheat malt in my beer to 'enrich' the protein content but there are other sources of grains to achieve a protein rich wort.
    • Lots (and I do mean lots) of hops for late hopping and dry hopping. I solely have experience with Galaxy hops but I have read where Citra and Mosaic 'work' here as well. Maybe Centennial would 'work' too?
    • Specific English yeast strains. The two strains that I would suggest are Boddingtons (e.g., WY1318) and Whitbread (WY1098, WLP007, S-04). I have seen the Conan yeast strain mentioned but every can of Heady Topper that I have had was a bit hazy (i.e., not murky/turbid/opaque) so I personally would not suggest the Conan strain for a so called 'NE'IPA
    Take my three bullets above with a grain of salt since I have no 'science' to corroborate it.

    Best of luck with your homebrewed beer.

    thatche2, dcotom and scottakelly like this.
  27. dwagner003

    dwagner003 Poo-Bah (1,676) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    They are certainly becoming a bit too common and are therefore getting less and less interesting. Many of them taste exactly the same now.
  28. OrangeMen

    OrangeMen Disciple (370) Jan 26, 2014 New York

    Part of it is the availability....scarcity will always drive hype and perception. A beer will probably be rated better if the consumer feels like they have accomplished something before the beer is even opened.

    That said, i think the style is different and very good. I enjoy it.
    B-Stad and skiking70 like this.
  29. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,539) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Most definitely not. I remember when people thought that West Coast IPAs were a fad and they never went away. The IPAs coming out of the NE are some of the best I've ever had.
  30. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (3,417) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I think I might understand that chalky feel, though I don't get it as much with the Aslin (mainly) and Tired Hands (thanks, @CanConPhilly) - though I tend to get it with many an oatmeal stout.

    Anyhow, I think I've called what I have gotten as "chewing on a rubber band" - where the thicker feel of the opening of the beer meets the bitterness of the hops bubbling through it. I don't get it with all NE IPAs, though.

    I enjoy the sneaky level of bitterness in these beers that also highlight the juicy aspects. The combination overall feels less bitter, but the bitter hop notes are still recognizable. I still mostly prefer West Coast IPAs, but there's place in my/the world for both.

    And I agree with many - just calling it a NE IPA doesn't mean it's a good beer.
  31. CanConPhilly

    CanConPhilly Defender (636) May 17, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    This. The rapid fall-off of NE IPAs has been discussed quite a bit in the Tired Hands thread. Drinking a 2 week old Milkshake IPA is a completely different experience than drinking a 2 month old one. Appearance, Taste, Smell...everything changes (for the worse, usually).
    cjgiant likes this.
  32. MerryTapster

    MerryTapster Disciple (349) Mar 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    So Maine, Alchemist, Lawsons amongst a few others are probably the true NE IPA's because they are all true IPA's.

    These new NE IPA's have low IBU's, very low carbonation and some have barley any hop bite. When I see someone calling a beer with 35 IBU's a Double/Imperial IPA I don't get it.

    Again there are a few exceptions but few is the keyword.
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Have you tried this with a non-Milkshake beer? I once stored a Tired Hands hoppy IPA (my apologies for not remembering the brand name now) in my refrigerator for 2 months and it was still tasty to my palate. I would not state that there was no hop fade but the beer had the three qualities of:
    • turbid/murky/opaque
    • a nice soft velvety mouthfeel
    • a quality that people like to describe as "juicy"
    I am by no means encouraging folks to purposefully age their Tired Hands beers but based upon this one data point I am not going to state that consuming within 1 month is an absolute must for non-Milkshake Tired Hands hoppy beers.

  34. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,438) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Ah, no.

    They hit on a combo that's easy on the palate, you get great hop flavor without the stunning bitterness that makes some IPAs a one and done. Nicely balanced IMO is their secret.
    Tamarack, DJturnstile, dcotom and 2 others like this.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Welcome to the new world of the "crhazies"!!:wink:

    zid, dcotom and beertunes like this.
  36. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,970) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Depends on if I've been drinking or not :sunglasses::wink:.

    Since I'm sober now I suppose I'll just say that I'm sure others are truly getting something out of these that I am not, and vive le diference. :slight_smile: My only concern is with the general dynamic of hype, and how for a period of time the subject in question tends to steal the oxygen from the room; that's independent of this particular substyle, though.
    dcotom, ceeg and cjgiant like this.
  37. MerryTapster

    MerryTapster Disciple (349) Mar 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I guess I'm basing my tastes off a time when Pliney was king. When you could only get alpine in So Cal and not the entire country. When goose island was actually goose island and not Budweiser. When DFH 90 was considered a good East Coast style IPA. Before Heady Topper was canned. Before Sip of Sunshine even probably existed. Back when women where women and IPA's where well IPA's.

    Sorry had to throw out some nostalgia.
  38. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,970) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I think it's a combination of the excessive proteins, dryness and suspended yeast in this case. With the oatmeal stouts I can see what you're getting if it's too dry and maybe overdoes it on the roast malts (iow, not a very good one :wink:).
    cjgiant likes this.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,975) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    What!?! It is 11:40 in the morning and you are sober!?!:rolling_eyes:
    Michael, you may have posted on this in the past but let me ask anyway: have you had the 'popular' beers from Trillium or Tree House? The 'closest' I have come to drinking a Trillium beer is my homebrewed version. I have had innumerable Tired Hands beers at the brewpubs (and a few cans) but it does not appear to me that on BA Tired Hands gets the same reverence as the Massachusetts guys get.
    Do you have any predictions on what the new hyped beer style will be? Do you think it will be Pilsners (make sure you read NBS tomorrow).:slight_smile:

    TongoRad likes this.
  40. azurel

    azurel Disciple (347) May 27, 2016 Michigan
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I don't think the main contributors of the style are over hyped. I am always curious about styles I haven't had. I like to try them myself outside of the hype and form my own opinion.

    I was able to pick up some Tree House to see what the hype was about. When I opened my first can of Julius I knew it was something special.

    The taste was impressive and the hop flavor and balanced bitterness was mind blowing.

    I haven't had any other breweries that produce them to compare but I can say Tree House has a fan in me....

    We plan to brew one here when spring hits and will be trying an experiment and try brewing one that hits on all the characteristics without being hazy.

    I wouldn't say they are over hyped...They are hyped for sure....In my opinion atleast the brand I have had it is with good reason.
    7irondave and skleice like this.
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