Starting with the early microbreweries, East Coast craft brewers have tended to lean more British than American when making ale. NEIPA is just the latest incarnation of East Coast IPA, which used to be a lot closer to British-style IPA. The difference between IPA on the different coasts has a lot to do with Alan Pugsley installing a lot of Peter Austin systems in micro and pub breweries up and down the East Coast in the late eighties through the nineties. The first microbrewery to open since prohibition in Maryland was founded by two brits; namely, Steve Parkes and Craig Stuart-Paul. If one looks at second generation East Coast microbreweries such as Dogfish Head in Delaware, their standard ale styles are more English than American. A lot of American IPAs taste like hop tea to me because most of the hop charges used in making these beers are late additions, not Dogfish Head's 60 and 90-minute IPA. They are both firmly bitter ales.
What is interesting is that the family of ale yeast cultures that we refer to as "American" are pretty much all descendants of Siebel BRY-96 (even Lallemand's BRY-97 is a descendent of BRY-96). For a long time, it was assumed that BRY-96 was Ballantine's culture. Many of us knew that BRY-96 came from Narragansett, but assumed that it originated at Ballantine because Falstaff moved production of Ballantine's products to Narragansett when it shuttured the Ballantine brewing complex in Newark, New Jersey. It was not until research at University of Washington confirmed that BRY-96 is not related to Y-4808 (Ballantine's ale culture) that things clicked with me. The reception date for BRY-96 at Siebel predates Falstaff moving production of Ballantine's ale products to Narragansett, so it appears that the most popular yeast strain in West Coast-style craft ale brewing originated in Rhode Island. I suspect that BRY-96 was used to produce Ballantine's ale products at Narragansett. I know that my father and grandfather both said that Ballantine ale changed after production was moved to Rhode Island. Like most beer drinkers of that time, they assumed the difference in taste was more a function if using a different water source than a different ale yeast. What is interesting about Narragansett is that it was founded by German immigrants, so BRY-96 may have origins in Germany. In many ways, BRY-96 is more like an German ale yeast culture than a British ale culture, but that is just speculation. Rhode Island had a thriving ale brewing scene up until the mid-twentieth century, so the yeast culture could have been passed around the area for a long time before it found its way to the Siebel collection.