Hazy Days and Brighter Futures: Are New England IPAs More Than a Passing Fad?

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Founders (17,635) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    Harrison8 likes this.
  2. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    If someone can find a way to extend their shelf-life, then they'd be the biggest thing in craft beer since . . . well . . . the IPA.
  3. ShawnBrogan

    ShawnBrogan Initiate (22) Sep 20, 2017 New York

    With writers as opinionated as this, its no wonder Beer Advocate still refuses to make New England IPA an actual style. I guess Sours are a fad too?
  4. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,039) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Well stated summation of how I view the NEIPA trend:

    If you draw issue with NEIPAs being around, then as Beer Advocate's, you should be advocating for other styles at breweries and consumption among friends. Dive into most any thread about someone having a problem with a brewery and one bit of advice will always pop up: talk with your money. Don't buy NEIPAs if you think they're the problem with craft beer.

    Speaking of problems within craft beer, I do have a problem with this line:

    What makes craft brewing so remarkable if creating decadent, citrus-focused beers from hops is a distraction from craft brewing? Perhaps this claim is in relation to the homologous landscape of craft beer, but NEIPAs are not the only style being produced. Regardless, masterful use of water, hops, malt, and yeast to create a desirable beer is not a distraction.

    By the way, how long were West Coast style IPAs "in" before people started getting upset about others drinking them?
  5. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (911) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I disagree with the majority of this op-ed.
  6. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (178) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    " They're a distraction from what makes craft beer so remarkable?" Yikes. And wow. Usually a fan of what he writes, this one not so much. Look at Jacks Abby, Lagers. yes they started Springdale but that's just a sour/barrel project, not what they are known for. Great lagers. Really great lagers. Don't like those Neipa's ? Don't buy them. I'm not so much a fan, so many good, local choices, so many. Vote with your wallet. Hill Farmstead and Alchemist are a fad, hmmm, interesting. I get the hating on the fan boys, hype, social media thing. Just do your own thing. Trying to control a fad or popularity? Best of luck. " Beers for people who don't want to drink beer? " Did he read what he wrote? Maybe less bitter beer? Kind of way off base here( trying to say it politely) We should send him to Notch Brewing, then to Jacks Abby, then to Cambridge Brewing. German, session, lagers, barleywines, barrel projects, wild yeast happiness etc. All embracing " other" kinds of beer. Sure, the New England ipa is in full swing, but don't piss in your own brewing water, it just make you a bitter writer, happy thanksgiving.
    #6 Leebo, Nov 21, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Most craft beer consumers don't. Neither do most IPA consumers. Hazy IPAs are only a thing for a small percentage of the craft beer loving public and they're FAR from a distraction or a problem. If anything, they're helping advance creativity and science as well as providing the next stepping stone in craft beer's evolution.

  8. Mongrel

    Mongrel Crusader (782) Feb 14, 2013 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    God, this type of garbage writing is why I no longer subscribe to the magazine. As others have pointed out above, there is no logic at play in these arguments.

    "Craft brewing once defined itself by wide-ranging innovation. Brewers pushed past previously defined boundaries to explore the outer edges of what constituted beer."

    I'm no fan boy, but are hazy, sometimes triple-hopped, sometimes lactose-infused, exotic hop mélange aroma bombs not exploring the outer edges of what constituted beer? Five years ago this shit was unheard of - but now, we're abandoning innovation?
  9. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,835) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I believe there's room for all and what's currently popular will eventually be eclipsed by something else.
    rrossjets, VABA, Durge and 10 others like this.
  10. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (1,985) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Premium Member

    For those of us who don't live in Oregon, what does the reference to Commons Brewery mean? The link just goes to their BA profile page.
    thebeers, pro100 and braker649er like this.
  11. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,441) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    There's only one constant thing in life.

    And that's change....
  12. Psilocybeer

    Psilocybeer Aspirant (206) Jul 11, 2017 California

    "Consumers used to care how their pints appeared, but no longer."

    But earlier this week there was a many-page thread going because it was said people only care about the Instagrammable appearance.

    And how is BA coming out against a style?
  13. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,337) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    They are becoming a huge product to the point in which start up brewers are doing single and double neipas right off the bat and its getting to the point that every time i see a new NJ brewer on the shelf, its a NEIPA. It would suck for me and idc thats its selfish, it works both ways for ipa fans too......if all nj does is that. I can see the appeal but not at $16- 4pks and thats all the state seems to be doing. It gets boring
  14. Beer_Line

    Beer_Line Aspirant (282) May 29, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    NEIPA is one of craft brewing's greatest successes IMO. Yes it has taken the market by storm, but no one is forcing these other breweries to change the beers they are brewing...that's just greed making them change their ways (yes they may have to adapt to what people want to drink and THAT IS why they are a business, not a home brewer).
  15. devilmakesthree

    devilmakesthree Disciple (346) Nov 27, 2013 Oregon

    The Commons just closed a little over a week ago due to demand not meeting the reality of costs. What was written in the article about The Commons is a warped view for the sake of argument. The Commons shunned all IPAs, focusing primarily on low alcohol-by-volume beers with subtle, yet complex flavors. As you can imagine this is a bit of a niche market. Furthermore, they expanded quite rapidly, and they just couldn't keep up. It's a shame, they were one of my favorites in town, but their lack of IPAs, let alone NEIPAs, was not necessarily a major part of their downfall.

    Edit: They were also fairly cost prohibitive. $9-$10 for a 750 ml bottle of a 5% abv Saison is not what anyone calls an easy sale.
  16. vurt

    vurt Savant (941) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Premium Member

    The Commons is a popular Portland brewery which recently shut their doors because of lagging sales and cash-flow issues. They focused primarily on farmhouse ales and German beer styles. Modern Times will be moving into the property next year.

    Here's an article which goes into more detail.

    I guess when the writer says "Just ask The Commons Brewery about the viability of shunning IPAs," he's suggesting that they would still be in business if they brewed more IPAs.

    I'm not convinced their situation was so simple. I'm also not convinced that a lack of IPAs is a death sentence for a brewery, to say nothing of NEIPAs.

    Maybe the author of that article should ask De Garde about the viability of shunning IPAs.
  17. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (456) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I love the simplistic opening — yesterday was all innovation and endless possibility — but today — w/ the NEIPA - all hope is lost and we are living in a boring and lazy world w/just one dimension. Total troll article....
  18. DrumKid003

    DrumKid003 Initiate (194) Aug 10, 2013 Oklahoma

    I'll continue to stick with West Coast IPAs, English IPAs, and Belgian IPAs. Out of the half dozen, or so, NEIPAs that I have drank, none of them are worth a repeat visit. I wish the breweries around here would stop trying to produce them every once in a while and spend that time on something else.
    rypkr and Brolo75 like this.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,447) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Recently there was a thread about Garret Oliver (Brooklyn Brewing) thoughts on the NEIPA beer style and now we get to hear Andy Crouch's thoughts. A backlash from the 'establishment' of craft brewing?:thinking_face:

    CaptainPiret, Durge, meefmoff and 5 others like this.
  20. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (790) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    Fixed it!
  21. randjuke

    randjuke Aspirant (200) Feb 13, 2010 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    I doubt NEIPA's are going to ruin the beer world any more than other style that has been popular. When they're done well they're great, but often they're done poorly just like any other style. Kind of an odd article.
    OrestesMethuon, Durge and Benighted88 like this.
  22. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (790) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    Never heard of the article’s author before. Read some of his twitter feed. Wow. So, he’s like a craft beer Stephen A. Smith?

    “Hazy beer is BLASPHEMOUS!!”

  23. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (580) Mar 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    That hazy beer is the drink of the devil!! Now get off my lawn.
  24. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,139) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Where do you get off comparing a burgeoning style like "NEIPA", something that isn't a recognized style by most, to a beer style that's been around for hundreds of years?
    festizio and AlcahueteJ like this.
  25. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (1,662) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Premium Member

    Enjoy them at times, too many new (poorly done) ones to try, shelf stability is my biggest complaint.
    Stockatron likes this.
  26. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (271) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Not so sure about the consternation in the opinion piece. I think the reason that the movement has been so popular (relatively so amongst beer hobbyists) is that the best examples taste really, really (nearly objectively) good.

    My only issue with the style is that, in my experience, good examples are maybe 10% (generous) of beers marketed as NEIPAs. Some may have the haze and/or mouthfeel, but come across as harsh, yeasty, or acrid. Frankly, some of these are among the worst beers/drinks I've ever tried.

    Other bad examples are merely labeled as NEIPA on the can/bottle, but present as a rather standard (good or bad) IPA.

    I'm just about done taking a flyer on a beer labeled as a NEIPA, but those I've had that are legit are personal favorites and will always have a place in my fridge.
    ryan1788a5, Durge and Newport_beerguy like this.
  27. PA-Michigander

    PA-Michigander Meyvn (1,441) Nov 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This is a bad look on BA if you ask me.
  28. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,279) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Coming from someone who has become more critical of NEIPAs lately, this articles still comes across as nothing but fearmongering and hatemongering. No, NEIPAs aren't killing beer, they're not killing innovation, they're not just for people who don't even like beer, etc. It sounds like the author hates NEIPAs and is mad that a lot of other people like them.
  29. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,279) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Those are my issues with a lot of NEIPAs. There are a lot of poorly made ones with regard to off-flavors from the yeast and hops. The style shouldn't be universally accepted as good just because it meets certain specific criteria. However, having said that, it's by and large a fantastic style with tons of stellar examples.
    OrestesMethuon and yossle like this.
  30. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (189) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Definitely gonna agree with a lot of people about this article being astoundingly biased.

    And I am no true fan of NEIPAs, but what other style has achieved satisfaction across so many different palates, possibly a new gateway to craft beer for some people. Finally an IPA is tasting...accessible?

    It’s almost taking to the effect of your favorite underground band. Their sound used to be raw, unrefined, beautifully harsh and took a certain type to love such an austere sound.

    Once they softened up and brightened up their style, they start really taking off. And some people will start to resent that. They’ll scoff at all the newbs clamoring over their beloved once-beautifully-raw band.

    As long as it’s getting people to drink more local beer, that’s all that really matters.
  31. Keene

    Keene Editorial Director (818) Sep 11, 2009 Washington

    First of all, we're always glad when our articles generate a robust discussion and/or a thoughtful exchange. Really, we are. And while some of you might label this piece "garbage writing" (@Mongrel), find it to be a "total troll article" (@chipawayboy), or simply think it's "a bad look on BA" (@PA-Michigander), I'd ask you to remember a few things about Mr. Crouch's column. Number one, Unfiltered is a monthly op-ed, a commentary piece that expresses the opinion of the author. Everything that appears on the site or in the magazine doesn't necessarily represent the views of BeerAdvocate. Number two, this article, like much of the writing Mr. Crouch has contributed to us over the past decade, is intended to challenge popular opinion and spark debate about a timely topic. Mission accomplished. And number three, we think a bit of introspection and a healthy dose of constructive criticism is ultimately good for beer. I hardly think this piece approaches the realm of "fearmongering and hatemongering" (@HorseheadsHophead). But hey, everyone's entitled to an opinion.
  32. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,049) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Not even close, they don't have to tell people what they want to hear. This article is par for the course.

    @Keene not sure its timely maybe rather late but it is very relevant. We are in pretty deep into the NEIPA fad.

    And to everyone saying they need to improve shelf life the hell they don't. If you guys brew a NEIPA and it doesn't sell out fast then the beer is average or sucks. :wink:
  33. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (307) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I don't think the article is really sparking any debate, pretty much everyone in this thread is commenting on how ridiculous it is. The author is challenging popular opinion, but he would have to make some good points to spark a real debate. Posting an article like this, op-ed or not, just reinforces BA's image of a grumpy old dinosaur.
  34. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,835) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    And taxes . . .
  35. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Poo-Bah (1,526) Dec 7, 2014 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    "Let's pick something new and extremely popular, then talk about how it's crushing innovation and ruining craft beer. Rabble, rabble, rabble."

    If it looks like a troll and acts like a troll....
  36. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (456) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Regarding the fear/hatemongoribg comment — you must admit, Andy is also prone to exaggeration as his basic “editorial” style. In his recent piece on craft pricing — he talks about the “beer pricing apocalypse”. All seriousness — this is the kind of fluff journalism that I hope the new incarnation of BA Mag avoids.
  37. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (456) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    And death
    JayWhitson likes this.
  38. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    One guy on the internet says it's a fad. Another guy on the internet states that it is here to stay. What's a guy to think?
  39. PrestigeWorldwide

    PrestigeWorldwide Devotee (496) Sep 22, 2015 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    This is an important point to me. Whenever I've consumed something form BA, I've always considered it to have the BA "stamp of approval".

    Maybe there should be a bolder disclaimer for these types of articles. Because when I read them, it sounds very "holier than thou", as in, this is how true beer advocates should think and feel.
  40. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,835) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    After death there are still taxes.