Love for Ipswich Ale Brewery

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by hudsonvalleyslim, Jan 10, 2014.

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  1. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Disciple (366) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    This Massachusetts brewery has been with us now for over 20 years. It was a transitional beer for me. A clear glass growler appeared on the shelf at my local packie many years ago and I was hooked. I'd tasted many imports, and some good craft brews. But this was like fresh draft beer in a bottle. Fresh excellent brew. It was Ipswich Original Ale. Very hoppy for the day as well. Soon after Ipswich IPA and Ipswich Oatmeal Stout appeared. In my opinion both are top shelf beers.

    My big question: Why aren't these staples on draught in New England bars? I seem to see more brews that were contract brewed at Ipswich than actual Ipswich.
    #1 hudsonvalleyslim, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  2. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Defender (671) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    Ipswich Oatmeal Stout gets lots of love from me & others here on the NE forums. Always on tap @ the Yardhouse locations, don't know where else consistently.

    Personally, I also really like the Ale (& the IPA is passable) & would drink them more often if I saw them on tap, but I don't. I dunno...maybe they need a more pushy sales rep? I don't see Ipswich gaining tap lines @ douche-tastic beer bars, but they should certainly be on more @ suburban restos & other bars.
    JrGtr likes this.
  3. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,621) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I too have wondered why Ipswich, a long-standing staple local beer brand, isn't on tap more often. I like all of their beers, some more than others of course, but with a few stellar ones. I hope that with the new brewery and soon to be onsite restaurant, that they give a little more TLC to the Ipswich brand. Mercury seems to have been giving a lot of attention to their client/contracted brands in recent years.
  4. hogansct

    hogansct Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2011 Rhode Island

    Ipswich Oatmeal Stout is my go to beer in that category. Already went through a couple six packs this past fall/winter. I purchased a mix pack last year that included the pale ale, IPA, brown ale and the stout. I found them all to be really enjoyable!
  5. Rekrule

    Rekrule Zealot (594) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    They have some very solid offerings, with the oatmeal stout being the best imo. I see oatmeal stout on tap quite often on tap at a couple places I frequent during the winter months. I've not over seen another on of their beers on tap anywhere. I would imagine it just has to do with how they have focused what is important to them wrt their business.
  6. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (384) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I typically go for a sixer of the Harvest and a sixer of the Winter when they become available, as well as the Oatmeal Stout throughout the colder months.
  7. TWStandley

    TWStandley Crusader (749) Jan 15, 2008 Massachusetts

    I love me some Ipswich. the oatmeal stout and original ale are my favorites.

    we even rented their tap mobile for my brothers wedding rehearsal dinner. would love to see them have more of a presence in local bars.
  8. huuvola

    huuvola Initiate (117) Oct 29, 2005 Massachusetts

    My only complaint about Ipswich is that it can be hard to find their Oatmeal Stout in my local (Cambridge/Somerville) liquor stores. It's such a great beer, I'd love to see it pushed a bit more -- especially in the winter months.

    That being said, while visiting relatives up in the northern 'burbs, I picked up their winter mixed 12-pack at Christmas and quite enjoyed the Rye Porter.
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  9. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Devotee (403) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    I'm especially a fan of the Oatmeal Stout, IPA and the Harvest Ale, among my favorite fall seasonals. I've only ever been able to find them on-tap sporadically at best, but until recently I was able to reliably pick up bottles at some of the bigger liquors stores in the Cambridge area. Lately, even that's been hard to do. Fortunately (for many reasons), a Craft Beer Cellar opened right around the corner from my office and I was able to pick up a six-pack of Harvest Ale this fall. But I'd definitely like to see them around town more often, both on-tap and in bottles. They make some great locally-brewed standby beers that would be a good addition/substitution to many tap lines.
  10. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (279) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    I liked their 5 mile IPA a lot. Bukowksi Back Bay has their stuff on draft or cask often, certainly more than most places around.
  11. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,621) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I love that beer.
  12. pbrian

    pbrian Crusader (752) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    No mention of the Dark Ale yet? That's always been my favorite, well, behind Oatmeal of course.
    MarkD likes this.
  13. HookerBrews

    HookerBrews Initiate (0) Sep 24, 2013 Oregon

    Although I don't drink it much these days, Ipswich Ale got me into beer. My Dad gave me one on Easter a number of years ago and explained some of the nuances of good beer. I distinctly remember getting thirsty the day after and craving another brew. Ipswich Ale, or maybe the IPA, literally changed my palate and made me crave good brews from then on.
    Rekrule likes this.
  14. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Ipswich used to be able to found here in the Roch. NY area also. I havent seen any in years..
    Terrible shame I think.
  15. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Cambridge Wine and Spirits in Fresh Pond always has Oatmeal Stout in the cooler. Hope I don't regret saying that.
    huuvola likes this.
  16. dhlipke

    dhlipke Initiate (129) Jun 4, 2005 Massachusetts

    Hey all,
    Thanks for the love!
    I wish we were on draft more too. It's a tough market and only getting tougher. Now that we are finally in our new brewery we hope to refocus on our sales a bit more. We have been a bit distracted building the new brewery whilst trying to keep up with production demands for the last couple of years.
    We also have added capacity so we shouldn't be bottle necked in the brew house. The new brew house has been cranking out great tasting brews since late September and we only got the new 12oz line up and running two weeks ago. You will notice the new 12ozers have a neck label. The new brew house is all steam which is making for a cleaner tasting brew, I'll be tweaking the recipes til we get them where they should be. Let me know what you think of them!
    Hoping to add at least one new beer to the Ipswich line this year, probably something dry hopped with uber-american hops.
    Thank you for supporting the Ipswich Brewery over the years, hope to see some of you here when we get the brewpub up and running this summer.

    Dan Lipke
    Head Brewer
    Ipswich Ale Brewery
    SlyDog, koflaherty, Dools9 and 7 others like this.
  17. Rekrule

    Rekrule Zealot (594) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    How about 12 packs of the oatmeal stout?
    franklinn likes this.
  18. TheMagnanimous

    TheMagnanimous Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2011 Vermont

    I think the Dark Ale is best, Followed by the Oatmeal Stout, but the IPA is pretty solid as well. I'd take their IPA over harpoon all day.
  19. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Disciple (366) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    I'm glad we've got your attention, 'cause Ipswich surely should be a staple in New England pubs. And strictly because of quality, not advertising dollars.
    WassailWilly likes this.
  20. huuvola

    huuvola Initiate (117) Oct 29, 2005 Massachusetts

    Speaking of local bars pouring Ipswich on draft...
    It looks like the new Alden & Harlow restaurant (opening tonight in Harvard Square, in the old Casablanca space), will be pouring Ipswich Oatmeal Stout on draft. Scroll down and click on "Drinks" to see the full lineup:

    Not sure if this will be featured regularly on the draft list, but it's a nice start.
  21. franklinn

    franklinn Initiate (0) May 29, 2012 Vermont

    I grew up in Gloucester and Ipswitch was one of the first craft beers I ever had, along with #9

    I still stop by the local store and pick up a 6er every time I visit the folks :slight_smile:
    WassailWilly likes this.
  22. emannths

    emannths Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    Wasn't Ipswich a pretty common sight on the Russell House Tavern draft list? If so, it would make sense to see it pop up at Alden & Harlow given the chef is ex-RHT.
  23. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (473) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I've been drinking the Oatmeal Stout on and off for years - sadly, it is one of those that I will pass up fairly often because there are so many other new beers around, and Ipswich will always be there...
    I do need to pick it up again on a regular basis.
    And the Dark Ale (hah! The first time I saw a growler, was one a coworker of my dad's had gotten him full of this as a secret Santa or some such, this would have been mid 90's somewhere... I think we still have that growler somewhere around.)
  24. huuvola

    huuvola Initiate (117) Oct 29, 2005 Massachusetts

    I don't remember seeing Ipswich regularly at the Russell House. The Herald has an article today noting that the beer list is "curated by beverage manager Seth Freidus, who honed his craft at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square."
  25. MarkD

    MarkD Initiate (191) Feb 25, 2002 Massachusetts

    Love just about everything from Ipswich, especially Dark Ale and Oatmeal Stout. Just hope the new brewery and bottling lines will include a "bottled on" date or a "best by" date. One of my pet peeves about them for awhile.
  26. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,621) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    They have a bottled on date.
  27. Rekrule

    Rekrule Zealot (594) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    They certainly do.

    Protip:It's on the neck.
  28. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Can't wait until the new brewpub is up and running - gives me an excuse to visit Ipswich for fried clams more often.
  29. SixBitsKyle

    SixBitsKyle Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2013 Massachusetts

    This! I work 10 minutes from the place and it looks impressive from the outside....
  30. Flashy

    Flashy Devotee (493) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    Always one of my favorites since back in the day.
  31. DrinkingIPA

    DrinkingIPA Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2011 Massachusetts

    Ipswich, Pete's and SA were gateway drugs for me. Then came Catamount, then Gritty's and finally the Maple Leaf Brewery in Wilmington VT blended my love of beer and downhill mountain biking at Snow. Those were great years....then it was gone and I found it hard to go back to my old girlfriends.

    There was a long affair with Harpoon IPA, for many years, and Smuttynose was a solid choice too. Then I went to Brattleboro Brew Fest about 4.5 years ago and tasted a beer from Hill Farmstead and Lawson's. Well....that's been it for me.

    That said Ipswich contract brews and one of my favs is Eagle Brook Saloon. Every time I taste their beer, there's just a slight hint of Ipswich and I always smile and ask for another.
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