One of the new trends in the Craft Brewing world lately is a new style of beer called New England India Pale Ale. These beers originated in the northeast and are being brewed in many parts of the United States and even here on the west coast! They are a style that is a bit controversial and has brought about quite a bit of debate in the brewing community. New England-style IPA’s are hazy but the differences do not end there. They are specifically brewed to be hazy and cloudy which goes against the traditional IPA’s clarity.
New England-style IPA’s are cloudy with a creamy mouthfeel, have big fruity hop flavors but little bitterness, and huge hop aroma. The hop flavors are usually very tropical (from specific varieties of hops) and give these hazy IPA’s a very juicy fruit flavor. A large amount of hops are used in the brewing process in a way that a lot of hop flavor is extracted into the brew but very little bitterness. Dry-hopping is also done (adding hops post fermentation) which adds aroma but no bitterness. The creaminess comes from using additional grains in the recipe along with barley malt such as wheat, oats, and even flaked corn. These add a full, creamy mouthfeel and also make New England IPA’s very cloudy and hazy. This is similar to Bavarian Hefeweizens which use about 50% wheat malt in their recipes. Often they look like a glass of orange juice!
Will this new type of IPA be a short trend or actually become a recognized style? Only time will tell but if you get a chance try one and judge for yourself! Cheers!