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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: denny on May 20, 2016, 04:02:39 PM

Title: NE IPA reviews
Post by: denny on May 20, 2016, 04:02:39 PM
On the upcoming Episode 15 of Experimental Brewing (5/25/16), we talk NE IPA.  To get you in the mood, here are Denny's reviews of 10 NE style IPAs.  http://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/denny/oh-say-can-you-see-through-your-beer?r=2
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: Stevie on May 20, 2016, 04:26:57 PM
Maybe it's the lighting, but those don't look to be TOO hazy compared to some of the other pics I've seen. I've seen examples that literally look like orange juice or watered down Thai iced tea.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 20, 2016, 04:51:51 PM
Deal breaker on the ones with chunky, gritty mouthfeel. I'm open minded to trying new beers, but for a brewer to let that crap into the can (wouldn't dare put it in a bottle) as part of the 'character' of the beer is just plain lame IMO. To each his own. Thanks for the write up, Denny.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 20, 2016, 05:00:57 PM
Nice write-up.  As far as your being underwhelmed by Heady Topper (I honestly can't recall what I thought when I had it, so probably underwhelmed) I have to say I had the same experience with Pliny.  I just don't think any beer can live up to the hype that some of these beers get.  Soon, I'll find out if Dark Lord can live up to it.  A buddy and I split a 6 bottle vertical series at an auction. My guess: it will be good beer, but not worth the money or the hype.  But it will certainly be enjoyable to check it out.

As far as the haze, if that's what people like and they'll buy it, I say cheers to them.  I don't like fruit beers, but those seem to sell pretty well, too.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: denny on May 20, 2016, 05:03:16 PM
Maybe it's the lighting, but those don't look to be TOO hazy compared to some of the other pics I've seen. I've seen examples that literally look like orange juice or watered down Thai iced tea.

Yeah, lighting and crappy camera.  The hazy ones look pretty like the clear ones.  Al the Treehouse were incredibly thick and hazy, and the others were pretty clear.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: theDarkSide on May 20, 2016, 05:33:39 PM
Nice write-up.  As far as your being underwhelmed by Heady Topper (I honestly can't recall what I thought when I had it, so probably underwhelmed) I have to say I had the same experience with Pliny.  I just don't think any beer can live up to the hype that some of these beers get.  Soon, I'll find out if Dark Lord can live up to it.  A buddy and I split a 6 bottle vertical series at an auction. My guess: it will be good beer, but not worth the money or the hype.  But it will certainly be enjoyable to check it out.

As far as the haze, if that's what people like and they'll buy it, I say cheers to them.  I don't like fruit beers, but those seem to sell pretty well, too.

Heady when it first came out was fantastic.  The good old days when you could drive to the brewery and pick up a case on a Sunday afternoon. 

It has changed over the years, or maybe it's me, but I don't find it as good as I once did.  And now you have to follow the delivery truck around and wait in line at the store most of the time (at least until the new brewery opens).

The Bissell Brothers beers are all great and look like OJ.  They are moving into their new brewery and increasing capacity so they're doing something right.

Pioneer Brewing is getting a lot of flack for their Trailblazer DIPA.  I haven't had it but the pictures being shown look like every one came from the last pull on the keg.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: denny on May 20, 2016, 05:47:17 PM
Nice write-up.  As far as your being underwhelmed by Heady Topper (I honestly can't recall what I thought when I had it, so probably underwhelmed) I have to say I had the same experience with Pliny.  I just don't think any beer can live up to the hype that some of these beers get.  Soon, I'll find out if Dark Lord can live up to it.  A buddy and I split a 6 bottle vertical series at an auction. My guess: it will be good beer, but not worth the money or the hype.  But it will certainly be enjoyable to check it out.

As far as the haze, if that's what people like and they'll buy it, I say cheers to them.  I don't like fruit beers, but those seem to sell pretty well, too.

Heady when it first came out was fantastic.  The good old days when you could drive to the brewery and pick up a case on a Sunday afternoon. 

It has changed over the years, or maybe it's me, but I don't find it as good as I once did.  And now you have to follow the delivery truck around and wait in line at the store most of the time (at least until the new brewery opens).

The Bissell Brothers beers are all great and look like OJ.  They are moving into their new brewery and increasing capacity so they're doing something right.

Pioneer Brewing is getting a lot of flack for their Trailblazer DIPA.  I haven't had it but the pictures being shown look like every one came from the last pull on the keg.

On thing I still don't understand, as hard as I try, is what the haze and thickness add to the beer in a positive way.  What do you, or others, like about it?
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: Delo on May 20, 2016, 05:55:36 PM
I was at the Vermont brewfest and one of the breweries had a “blonde” or at least that was what I was told.  It was probably and NE IPA.   I looked at it and asked him if the keg fell off the truck and rolled down a hill right before they hooked it up.  He said that was the way it was supposed to look.  It tasted ok and since I don’t remember who it was or what the beer was called I wouldn’t say it left a big impression.
 
I was able to try two beers, Alter Ego and Haze from Tree House at a party recently.  I can tell you that both smelled extremely fresh.  It was as if I was drinking straight out of my primary. Both beers were good but I don’t think the cloudiness really adds anything. I dont know if its just a way to stand out.  Maybe I just have to keep sampling some.

The people at the party enjoy beer but not “I can get lost for hours talking about beer until my wife rescues the other person” kind of enjoying beer..  They were saying what they liked about the beers and how the beers tasted like juice or were “juicy”.  I kind of laughed to myself.   I think it is a combo of extreme fruit flavor and the mouthfeel.   Thanks for the writeup.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: denny on May 20, 2016, 05:58:51 PM

I was able to try two beers, Alter Ego and Haze from Tree House at a party recently.  I can tell you that both smelled extremely fresh.  It was as if I was drinking straight out of my primary. Both beers were good but I don’t think the cloudiness really adds anything. I dont know if its just a way to stand out.  Maybe I just have to keep sampling some.

The people at the party enjoy beer but not “I can get lost for hours talking about beer until my wife rescues the other person” kind of enjoying beer..  They were saying what they liked about the beers and how the beers tasted like juice or were “juicy”.  I kind of laughed to myself.   I think it is a combo of extreme fruit flavor and the mouthfeel.   Thanks for the writeup.

You're welcome! I agree about the Treehouse aroma.  That's one reason I was disappointed when I actually drank them.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: ethinson on May 20, 2016, 06:19:40 PM
We had a couple of these show up in our recent IPA-only competition.  Interestingly enough, that makes it a Northwest interpretation of the Northeast style.  In the case of the homebrewed versions I would guess the haziness was from excessive dry hopping.  They all seemed to be super hoppy to the point of being grassy. 

The "fruitiness" certainly got played up from the hop selection.  Manderina, Hull Melon, Galaxy etc.  Lots of Melon, Pineapple, Citrus in the hop selections. 

They were good but they weren't remarkable.  Not something that sets you on your ear like "WOW!".  I remember the first time I had Boneyard RPM and it blew me away with it's complex and intricate hop schedule but without being 110 IBUs. 

To each their own I suppose.  I prefer citrusy to piney, so to me they were pretty good.  People who like dank, resiny IPAs probably wouldn't like them.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: denny on May 20, 2016, 06:22:23 PM
 It was the mouthfeel more than anything that threw me on the really hazy ones.  There was a thick grittiness to them that I didn't feel enhanced the beers at all.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: Phil_M on May 20, 2016, 08:09:06 PM
I actually tried one of these not too long ago. Sadly I don't know the name of the brewery or the beer, I was given the beer by mistake.

The beer was completely opaque, and I could have sworn that I could see what looked like little flocs of yeast. Everything stayed suspended though, no "dregs" settling to the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was great. To me it was more reminiscent of the smell of hops in the boil, as opposed to hops after fermentation, if that makes sense?

I can report the beer had the same gritty sort of mouthfeel that Denny describes.

Honestly, it was a good beer. I feel it would be a better beer if it were clear. I don't see how the murk can benefit the great aroma the beer had. Based on signs (well, smells) that came later, I'm pretty confident that much of the murk was yeast.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: goschman on May 20, 2016, 08:09:58 PM
So do all of the breweries that make these beers classify them as NE IPAs? It seems that some of them other than the Tree House offerings are just typical examples of AIPAs.

I was at a beerfest here in CO a couple of weeks ago and some of the breweries that were there are starting to brew and classify beers as NE style IPAs. Until recently, the fad hadn't seemed to make it this way.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 20, 2016, 08:37:01 PM
I didn't know that the Be Happy and Saltilli, the two I have had quite a few times, were considered NE IPAs. I do like both of them.
I was going to Treehouse today but I'm going to go tomorrow instead as I'm feeling extremely lazy after and hiking. So I'll see myself. I hope I like them because they are building a bigger facility closer to me next year.
Bonus points if anyone knows why Wormtown Be Hoppy has a happy face on the packaging.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: brewinhard on May 20, 2016, 08:41:49 PM
Deal breaker on the ones with chunky, gritty mouthfeel. I'm open minded to trying new beers, but for a brewer to let that crap into the can (wouldn't dare put it in a bottle) as part of the 'character' of the beer is just plain lame IMO. To each his own. Thanks for the write up, Denny.

+1.  I almost find it unacceptable that a brewery can put out beers like this when I  at home have zero problem producing a crystal clear IPA with massive hop aroma and flavor. Drink it out of the can only, huh? 
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 20, 2016, 09:05:20 PM
Deal breaker on the ones with chunky, gritty mouthfeel. I'm open minded to trying new beers, but for a brewer to let that crap into the can (wouldn't dare put it in a bottle) as part of the 'character' of the beer is just plain lame IMO. To each his own. Thanks for the write up, Denny.

+1.  I almost find it unacceptable that a brewery can put out beers like this when I  at home have zero problem producing a crystal clear IPA with massive hop aroma and flavor. Drink it out of the can only, huh?
I'm wondering, when people say "gritty", I are we talking actual pieces of stuff? I guess I'll find out tomorrow.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: denny on May 20, 2016, 09:37:25 PM
I'm wondering, when people say "gritty", I are we talking actual pieces of stuff? I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Not pieces big enough to see, but a mouthfeel almost as if there was fine sand in it.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 20, 2016, 09:46:26 PM
I'm wondering, when people say "gritty", I are we talking actual pieces of stuff? I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Not pieces big enough to see, but a mouthfeel almost as if there was fine sand in it.
That certainly is not appealing.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: thcipriani on May 20, 2016, 10:40:14 PM
On thing I still don't understand, as hard as I try, is what the haze and thickness add to the beer in a positive way.  What do you, or others, like about it?

Just to play devil's advocate here: what does it add to a German Hefe other than: that's what's expected of the style?

I'm definitely interested in this style of IPA. I live far enough away from the epicenter of this style that I haven't had any opportunity to try it first hand. Would be interested in brewing Michael Tonsmeire's version at some point: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2015/06/hop-juice-north-east-ipa-recipe.html

I'm also curious as to how expectations are affected by the appearance of this style. Is the drinking experience changed by the fact that you're expecting a hoppy milkshake? Probably so.

Thanks for the write-up denny :)
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: narvin on May 21, 2016, 12:45:07 AM
On thing I still don't understand, as hard as I try, is what the haze and thickness add to the beer in a positive way.  What do you, or others, like about it?

Just to play devil's advocate here: what does it add to a German Hefe other than: that's what's expected of the style?


It adds...hefe. It's yeast.  Hefeweizen is brewed with malted wheat and is not cloudy due to that.  I find that the hefe flavor drops out with the yeast, so thats why you keep it in suspension.

Ipa is not getting its flavor from the yeast,  When dry hopping with yeast in suspension, there are some interactions between the two.  I don't think I like that better.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: klickitat jim on May 21, 2016, 01:07:07 AM
Isn't it cool though, to have an East Coast-West Coast rivalry going on in craft beer? I think it might catch on. Next thing you know rappers and reality shows will copy us with their own EC-WC rivalries. But we will know who did it first!
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 21, 2016, 01:10:11 AM
Hopefully no drive-bys in the IPA war.   :)
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 21, 2016, 01:11:03 AM
Garret Oliver is going to put out a hit on Denny.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: heavydeadlifts on May 21, 2016, 02:17:25 AM
NE IPA review = yeasty s***

That is all
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: erockrph on May 21, 2016, 05:03:26 AM
Bonus points if anyone knows why Wormtown Be Hoppy has a happy face on the packaging.
Harvey Ball:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5e/Authentic_Worcester-made_smiley_face%2C_Harvey_Ball.jpg)
(I admit, I had some Google assistance on that one)
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 21, 2016, 11:44:08 AM
Bonus points if anyone knows why Wormtown Be Hoppy has a happy face on the packaging.
Harvey Ball:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5e/Authentic_Worcester-made_smiley_face%2C_Harvey_Ball.jpg)
(I admit, I had some Google assistance on that one)
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: erockrph on May 22, 2016, 06:46:49 PM
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: chumley on May 23, 2016, 03:25:29 PM
I personally find the thick grittiness enhances the juiciness of an IPA.  But maybe that's just me.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: narvin on May 23, 2016, 03:40:24 PM
I personally find the thick grittiness enhances the juiciness of an IPA.  But maybe that's just me.

Fake pulp for a fake glass of orange juice?
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 23, 2016, 08:45:10 PM
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.
Did you put the flaked grain in the boil or the mash?
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: erockrph on May 24, 2016, 08:05:05 AM
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.
Did you put the flaked grain in the boil or the mash?
Mash. Protein haze is OK, starch haze not so much, AFAIC.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 24, 2016, 11:53:28 AM
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.
Did you put the flaked grain in the boil or the mash?
Mash. Protein haze is OK, starch haze not so much, AFAIC.
I have an IPA in the fermenter right now with a half pound each of flaked oats and flaked rye.
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: brewinhard on May 24, 2016, 12:41:31 PM
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.
Did you put the flaked grain in the boil or the mash?
Mash. Protein haze is OK, starch haze not so much, AFAIC.
I have an IPA in the fermenter right now with a half pound each of flaked oats and flaked rye.

You better get yourself a spoon for that one.  ;)
Title: Re: NE IPA reviews
Post by: pete b on May 24, 2016, 03:11:49 PM
I knew it would be unlikely that the winner would go unassisted.
Is your NE IPA ready yet?
Sort of. I used a massive dry hop with pellets only and there's still a raw hop flavor and bitterness that hasn't finished dropping out yet. I don't really get any of the grittiness that Denny picked up on. Since I bittered it like a normal IPA rather than a light APA and used my normal sulfate adjustment, I think it holds up to the extra body just fine. It's really more of an IPA with flaked grain than a full-on NE IPA. I'm hoping I can give a more thorough evaluation soon as the raw hop character falls out.
Did you put the flaked grain in the boil or the mash?
Mash. Protein haze is OK, starch haze not so much, AFAIC.
I have an IPA in the fermenter right now with a half pound each of flaked oats and flaked rye.

You better get yourself a spoon for that one.  ;)
I have a history of not going far enough when experimenting and don't have time to do more than a couple iterations of something so I went for it on this one. The wort was tasty.