What brewers are making the best New England IPAs?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by hoptualBrew, Aug 21, 2016.

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  1. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Interested to see what your favorite NEIPA brewers are. With the style exploding across the country, and brewers from New England to California, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, etc.. brewing the style, who are your top NEIPA producers?

    Some names that come to mind for me, in no particular order, are:

    Hill Farmstead - Trillium - Tree House - Tired Hands - Lawson's Finest - The Alchemist - Other Half - Bissell Brothers - The Veil - Aslin - Monkish - Civil Society - Great Notion - Parish - Grimm - Fiddlehead - Hoof Hearted

    So what are your thoughts? Top 5? Etc...
  2. Geuzedad

    Geuzedad Disciple (385) Nov 14, 2010 Arizona

    I have only had NEIPA's from the first three you list here as well as Heady Topper and Focal Banger from The Alchemist but I have found them to be pretty damn good. Julius stood out particularly to me for its cloudy, bright orange appearance, its citrus smell, and the citrusy, zesty, bitter fruit taste reminiscent of fresh squeezed fruit juice. One of the more amazing beers (IMHO) I have had the luck to sample. Modern Times from California's 'Accumulated Knowledge', follows the style and is a very good interpretation of it. While technically a Pale Ale, Drumroll from O'Dell is also a very hazy NE style, but it does not come close to the aforementioned beers IMO. I know it is becoming a hot topic in the brewing world, especially in Colorado and California I expect to see a lot more of it in the near future. Cheers!
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,754) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Of the breweries listed I have only had beers from Hill Farmstead and Tired Hands.

    I absolutely love Hill Farmstead hoppy beers but IMO (my personal definition) the Hill Farmstead hoppy beers are not of the so called "NE" style IPA.

    I have had many brands of Tired Hands hoppy beers and I think they produce high quality so called "NE" style IPAs.

  4. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Poo-Bah (1,862) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    Of those mentioned my favorites have been from Bissell and Other Half. I've enjoyed the few I've had from Tired Hands. Have to agree with Jack in that I love Hill Farmstead but I don't know if it's NE style beer. Meanwhile, Conclave, a small brewery near me, brews a NE style IPA, called Gravitational Waves, that just my be my favorite of all.
  5. TheMeadgician

    TheMeadgician Initiate (0) Apr 24, 2015 California

    Moonraker Brewing in Auburn, California is making some awesome New England Style IPA's. YOJO IPA and DOJO IIPA are both fantastic and after starting off on draft only, just had their first canning run!
  6. CanConPhilly

    CanConPhilly Poo-Bah (2,915) May 17, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    To your already-formidable list I would add a few of my favorites:
    - Sole Artisanal Ales: Juicebox
    - Sloop: Juice Bomb
    - Beer'd

    None of these have reached the quality of Tired Hands though...but always fun to try new ones! I love the style.
  7. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (474) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Modern Times has entered the fray in a big way w this one. Total orange juice bomb. More Trillium/HF than Alchemist/Bissell Bros
  8. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,852) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    Modern Times

    And from what I hear (not personal experience) Monkish.
    nvbrew, atomicpunk5151 and porkinator like this.
  9. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,306) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Gibbs 100 Brewing in Greensboro has had Greensboro Pale Ale for a while. It fits the profile, but I always just thought it to be a really nice ale. A very satisfying beer!
    JimKal likes this.
  10. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,852) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    You need to try MT Blam Blam, My $0.02
    chipawayboy likes this.
  11. Hoppy_Time

    Hoppy_Time Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2016 Maine

    I'd love to try some of the interpretations from "away" but have only had Other Half from outside of NE. I've had a cosinderable portion of the ones brewed within New England. Other Halfs All Citra Everything and Double Mosaic Dream were the closest to many of the New England brews, but lacked the comparatively huge aromas. Great beer no doubt though and I'd drink it any day. I prefer Trillium on the whole over the other hoperations up here, but in the end though I think we have reached the pinnacle, I can drive in any direction and get great beer.
    jimboothdesigns and jakecattleco like this.
  12. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    I have to disagree wholeheartedly. I think HF, along with The Alchemist, were the creators of the style. Perhaps, they are not the "juice" that we see today from Tree Hoyse, Trillium, etc... but they were putting out soft, juicy, hazy IPA before anyone.

    And if you disagree, please show me where I'm wrong good sir!
  13. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,533) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    OP did a nice job capturing the current top ones that are out there. I had a beer or 2 from few of them. Here is my rank order from the OP's list:
    Tier 1: HF, Alchemist, Aslin
    Tier 2: Fiddlehead, The Veil, Trillium, Lawson's Finest

    Splitting hairs amongst many so I thought more fair to group in tiers.
  14. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (474) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Sweet fancy Moses Jack....they must lose their NE style over the roads from Greensboro Bend to PA....:grinning:
    edward_boumil likes this.
  15. SMason

    SMason Initiate (189) Feb 6, 2009 New Jersey

    My picks -
    Hill Farmstead
    Tree House
    Other Half

    Honorable Mention - Hoof Hearted, Veil, Monkish, Bissel
  16. MA_hops

    MA_hops Initiate (0) May 18, 2015 Vermont

    A few new breweries to seek out if you're ever in VT: Foam Brewers in Burlington VT, Frost Beer Works in Hinesburg VT, River Roost Brewing in White River Junction VT - all of them make NE IPA's among other styles of beer and all of them are very good.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,754) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    No real need for me to respond since you already addressed this.

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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,754) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have absolutely no idea what you are communicating here but a :grinning: right back achacha!!

  19. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Meyvn (1,255) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I've been meaning to inquire since I tried it a week ago but really didn't want to make a whole thread for a possibly easy answered question -

    Is enjoy by unfiltered comparable in flavor and style to "neipas"? I've never had ANY of the ones mentioned in this thread. Enjoy by unfiltered blew me away and was unlike any other ipa/dipa I've ever had. It certainly fits the bill for appearance right? Is it similar to the heavy hitters mentioned in this thread? If so I may rethink my stance on not being a "hophead" if similar taste is found in these beers...
  20. JimBrody

    JimBrody Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2015 Maryland

    I'd recommend checking it out for yourself. Where are you in Pennsylvania? If you're in the western half, hit The Brew Gentlemen in Pittsburgh. If you're in the eastern half, hit Tired Hands outside of Philly. Either of those would give you a great experience for the NE IPA.
  21. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Meyvn (1,255) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to make it a point to try some brew gentlemen. Still curious if enjoy by unfiltered is similar to neipas? Any insight?
  22. JimBrody

    JimBrody Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2015 Maryland

    Awesome! I actually haven't had the Unfiltered Enjoy By yet, so I'm not a good person to ask. Regular Enjoy By is not very similar to the IPAs mentioned in the original post, so unless Unfiltered is wildly different from regular Enjoy By (totally possible), I would guess that it's quite a bit different than the NE IPAs mentioned here.
    Fordcoyote15 likes this.
  23. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Aspirant (293) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    I am going to go out on a very shaky wind blown limb here and call the New England IPAs "modern" and not modern as in Modern Times Brewery, just an evolution of the IPA style. I don't think it is a fad like other do-I expect a whole lot more in this style all the way up to the macro brewery level. It is not a matter of if, but when. But if we take a snapshot of the current landscape, I can offer the following; I have had several beers from the breweries that you have mentioned and here are my thoughts---in particular order... I will make some enemies with this one, but for the style, Tree House is in a league of their own- Julius, Haze, Alter Ego, Green, Lights On, not to mention the imperial options are the definition of hop juice. Sure Trillium makes some great NE IPAs, but not at the consistently juiced out level of Tree House. Hill Farmstead takes the cake for balanced juiced IPAs and if It were a ranking of overall quality of beer, It would be hard to top Edward or Susan for nuance, balance , and restraint. Tired Hands Alien Church tends toward Tree House offerings. Bissell Substance and Lux are extremely muddled, more so than Tree House offerings, but still pleasant for the style. Other Half and Lawson's fits this bill as well. And that leaves me with the Alchemist brews that I have had had-Focal and Heady. Both are more complex and balanced than Tree House or Trillium, but don't have that juicy velvety mouthfeel of TR or Trillium. Here is my allstar list: (not included the big limited beers like VG or VH)
    Tree House- Green
    Tree House-Alter Ego
    Tree House -Julius
    Alchemist- Focal
    Trillium-Congress Street (and double dry hopped versions)
    Sip of Sunshine-Lawsons
    Hill Farmstead-Susan
    Other half-baby diamonds
    Wild card-Jacks Abbey Excess
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  24. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,852) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    It's getting to be more and more of a 'pissing contest' at this point.

    Can anyone from the Philly area tell me where I can find Singlecut beers with less than 60 days on them? Wanted to take some back to CA for friends to try, but all the ones I've found are sadly collecting dust at room temperature. :slight_frown:
  25. Kaz_DemonKnight

    Kaz_DemonKnight Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2014 Illinois

    The other day I had Mikerphone Special Sauce #6 and I was blown away. One go the best midwest double IPA's I have ever had. You gotta love that Haze!

    But of course nothing comes close to Hill Farmstead or Heady Topper. That was the best imitator I have ever had
    #25 Kaz_DemonKnight, Aug 22, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2016
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  26. nolinenowait

    nolinenowait Initiate (0) Mar 9, 2013 Vermont

    My favorites in order - Hill Farmstead, Alchemist, Tree House , Fiddlehead, Lawson's (unless we're talking Double Sunshine which earns a spot at the top), Trillium, Bissel Brothers.
    edward_boumil and hoptualBrew like this.
  27. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    A lot of folks really showing out for HF. It's good to see. While I think HF isn't the juice-like stuff elsewhere, I think they were never trying to be. From interviews I've seen of Shaun Hill, he is all about balance, nuance, elegance, and not one character dominating another.
    I do think his beers, as well as Alchemist were the inspiration for breweries like Tree House, Trillium, Tired Hands, etc.
  28. JoshVelez

    JoshVelez Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2015 New York

    being from nyc and having access to other half all the time i believe they have only made 3 beers in the "NE" style and two of those were collabs with trillium and tired hands
    they are very straight forward about their west coast inspiration
  29. JoshVelez

    JoshVelez Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2015 New York

    Trilliums - double dry hopped beers are among the best in the style.
    Bissell's - swish
    Tired Hands - Alien Church, Punge, Hop Hands
    Singlecut - Softly Spoken
    Grimm - Tesseract
  30. DWheeler379

    DWheeler379 Initiate (180) Jun 15, 2012 Colorado

    Odd13 is making the best NE-style IPAs in Colorado IMO. Haven't tried a few of the other breweries in CO, but Odd13 is really good!

    Shout out to Heist Brewery in Charlotte, NC - they were one of the first in NC to do it and are doing it well.
  31. ELS

    ELS Devotee (460) Apr 22, 2012 Florida

    I think the best NE IPAs I've had are from Other Half, Trillium and Tree House. I think these three breweries stand alone in the top tier. The key though is to get very fresh cans. More than a couple weeks old and most lose their big aromas and even some flavor.

    The second tier in my opinion include Singlecut, Grimm and Civil Society. I haven't had any IPAs from Veil or Tired Hands but look forward to what I hear are excellent IPAs. Also, a special mention to Fiddlehead's Second Fiddle.

    I don't consider the Alchemist, Lawsons or Hill Farmstead IPAs to be typical NE IPAs. Yes, they may be hazy and hop forward but don't drink like beers from the other breweries I mentioned. No slight, they are great breweries (especially HF!) and may have influenced and even originated the New England Style, they're just not the same.

    Biggest disappointment was Bissell Brothers Substance. Muddled is the perfect word to describe this beer.
  32. JoshVelez

    JoshVelez Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2015 New York

    Swish is heaven in a can try it
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  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,105) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    The first four I tried that were super hazy, soft mouth, amazingly dry hopped, and made me think, 'wow, this is a different take on the style'. They may or may not make everyone's list of what a NEIPA should be, but they certainly opened that door.
    Alchemist Heady Topper
    Alchemist Ouroboros
    Hill Farmstead Ephraim
    Hill Farmstead Abner
  34. KMitch

    KMitch Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Alabama

    I've had them from HF, Trillium, Tree House, Fiddlehead, Alchemist, and Bissel just to name the ones originally listed. I have had some equally as good from The Brew Gentlemen and Frost Beer Works. The double dry hopped pseudoSue's fall in this category to me and I actually liked the Galaxy Dry Hopped pseudoSue just as much as the Galaxy Dry Hopped Fort Point.
  35. Hwk-I-St8

    Hwk-I-St8 Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2016 Iowa

    The two best in that style that I've had are Scorpius Morchella from TG and Loopy Lynn from Pulpit Rock. Part of that may be freshness, since they're local.

    I also thought Trillium, Tree House and Hill Farmstead were supremely good (esp. Trillium). My best friend has a steady stream of Trillium and Tree House so I've been able to try most of them. Only a few Hill Farmstead.

    I've had Heady and was not impressed at all. I suspect it was pretty special when it first came out, but there are a boatload of better beers out there now (IMO obviously).
  36. KevinRoyea

    KevinRoyea Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2014 Connecticut

    I used to think NEBCO was the best ever (ghandi bot, fuzzy, coriolos) but bissel, trillium, single cut and treehouse have proven to make some serious swill. Doppleganger from treehouse is to die for. Everything I cold ask for in a NE IPA.
    edward_boumil and emount91 like this.
  37. SDRedDevil

    SDRedDevil Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2011 California

    I wouldn't really put HF, Lawsons, or Alchemist in the juice bomb conversation, they clearly inspired it but others have really ran with it. I would rate each brewery into 4 tiers based on overall consistency and quality (aka 1 great beer doesn't make you a Tier 1 brewery)

    Tier 1: Tree House (winner), Trillium, Veil
    Tier 2: Answer, Tired Hands, Other Half, Heist
    Tier 3: Aslin, Modern Times, Monkish, Grimm, Odd13
    Tier 4: Cellarmaker, Hoof Hearted, Fiddlehead, Bissell (except Swish which is world class)

    Haven't Had: Great Notion, Civil Society, Sloop, Beer'd, Brew Gentlemen (if anyone wants to trade me some let me know haha)
    Sanacja2635 likes this.
  38. lanciloti

    lanciloti Initiate (0) Nov 10, 2013 Illinois

    Juicy - RAM Brewery

    There on the rise and definitely one to watch out for.
  39. Jerk_Store

    Jerk_Store Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2015 Canada (QC)

    If I were to rank the ones I've had, I'd go*:

    Lawson's Triple Sunshine
    Foam Brewers Pavement
    Treehouse Green
    Frost Lush Double IPA
    Lawson's Sip of Sunshine
    Alchemist Focal Banger
    Treehouse Alter Ego
    Treehouse Julius
    Alchemist Heady Topper
    Foam Built to Spill
    Alchemist Crusher
    Treehouse Haze

    So I guess I'd say Lawson's, but having had more of the others might skew it. They're all fantastic. The brewery I'm most excited about is Foam. They just came out the gate with absolute bombs.

    *My ratings may differ from these rankings :wink:
  40. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Crusader (788) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Singlecut Softly Spoken Magic Spells..great example of a non NE brewery nailing the "style". What's great about Singlecut is that brew all kinds of IPAs, not just the hazy juice bombs. Love Trillium/Treehouse but I wish they were a little more diverse.
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