New England-Style IPAs Hit Peak Mainstream as Sam Adams Takes the Style National
These juicy, hazy IPAs have been growing in prominence for years.
When the IPA first rose to national prominence more than a decade ago, the trend was largely driven by West Coast-style IPAs, known for their intense piney, pithy bitterness. However, more recently, the IPA tides have turned towards fruitier, juicier and often very hazy New England-style IPAs. At first, the trend was exemplified by small, locally-focused brewers like Massachusetts’s Tree House, Pennsylvania’s Tired Hands and New York’s Other Half, but more recently, breweries from all walks of life – New England-based or not – have embraced the style, bringing these hazy beers to a larger audience. Now, the style has essentially hit peak mainstream – that is, until Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors releases one. Sam Adams, America’s largest legacy craft brewery, has just announced that it’s rolling out its New England IPA nationwide.
Sam Adams first introduced its take on the country’s trendiest style last years, only selling the brew on site and on draft in the Boston area. However, after the beer became the best-selling growler pour at its Boston Brewery taproom, the brand decided it was time to bring this NEIPA to the masses.
”New England IPAs originated in our backyard, but there are still plenty of drinkers across the country who haven’t had a chance to try this unique style yet,” said Sam Adams Founder & Brewer Jim Koch. “Our brewers worked for more than a year to develop a brew with a distinctive set of flavor characteristics that involve unusual and novel brewing practices to give our version of a New England IPA its hazy, juicy and smooth character.”
For its NEIPA version, Sam Adams uses Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy, Simcoe and Cascade hops to create a “fruited pineapple and grapefruit hop character” that is “is neither bitter nor harsh on drinkers’ palates.” The unfiltered, 6.8 percent ABV brew has already been shipping nationally on draft and will arrive in four-packs of 16-ounce cans – the traditional New England-style IPA packaging – in April with the very accessible suggested retail price of $8.99 – $9.99.