Brewers Share Their Favorite New England-Style IPAs For Summer Sipping

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The West Coast IPA, known for its powerful, often bitter hop presence has been king of the IPAs for decades. But in recent years, brewers and drinkers have turned their attention to a new breed of IPA. Unless you’ve been sitting in a pitch-black room sipping on Natty Light tallboys for the past few years, you probably know that we’re talking about the New England-style IPA.

This hazy, juicy, much-less-bitter version of the classic IPA seems to be on every brewery menu from Bangor to Bakersfield these days. Whether you like the style or not, it’s everywhere. Brewers have taken notice as well. That’s why we asked some of our favorites to tell us their go-to New England-Style IPAs.

Bissell Brothers Substance

Jason Santamaria, co-founder and brewmaster at Second Self Brewing Co.

I travel to Maine each year to see my in-laws and always stop by Bissell Brothers to get my fix. Substance was my introduction to this style a few years ago and I really haven’t had one that is better. It’s clean, hoppy, and always so fresh.

Tired Hands Alien Church

Matt McCall, brewmaster at Coney Island Brewing

I like Alien Church from Tired Hands in Ardmore, PA. Growing up less than an hour away, it was one of the first experiences with a NEIPA I ever had, and it still remains one of the best I’ve had to date.

Long Trail VT IPA

Steven Pauwels, brewmaster at Boulevard Brewing

This is not the favorite style of our brew team and a lot of times we don’t know the names because they are just one-offs, but we like VT IPA from Long Trail Brewing Co. It’s hazy, refreshing, and very memorable.

Karbach Light Circus Hazy IPA

Rhett Dougherty, head brewer at Veza Sur Brewing Co.

I recently had the pleasure of trying Light Circus Hazy IPA from Karbach Brewing Co. and I was thoroughly impressed with the vibrant citrusy and resinous hop aroma and flavor without intrusive bitterness. This beer showcases one of my favorite hop combinations ever — Citra and Mosaic. Lots of folks are making beers with these hops but very few are executing them on the elite level that Eric Warner and his talented team at Karbach are.

Cheers to Texas beers!

Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine

Mike Stoneburg, brewmaster at Blue Point Brewing Company

Lawson’s Finest Sip of Sunshine was one of the first of this style to really blow me away, it’s still one of my favorites to this day. The regular availability without waiting on a long line is a big plus too.

Weldwerks Juicy Bits

Tim Matthews, head of brewing operations at Oskar Blues Brewery

I have to say anything in the Juicy Bits or DDH Juicy Bits realm from Weldwerks in Greeley, Colorado. I’ve never been a fan of lactose, but I love the insane dry hop loads that have developed with the New England IPA emergence. They always offer a great expression from the individual hops used too, which is awesome since I love tasting new varieties.

Dewey Beer Company Swishy Pants

Dan Weber, head innovation brewer at Dogfish Head

As most folks know, freshness is key when it comes to juicy IPAs, so I prefer to stay local in this department if possible. Have to give Dewey Beer Company in Dewey Beach, Delaware, a shout out for something I would gladly venture out for a four-pack of.

Swishy Pants immediately comes to mind for me as one of their best.

Zero Gravity Conehead

Chris Rockwood, head brewer at Magic Hat

Zero Gravity Conehead. Truth be told, New England Style IPA’s are not exactly something I reach for often. Though here in Vermont, one would be hard pressed to find an IPA that doesn’t fit this category. Conehead delivers on hop flavor and a great body, while being a bit restrained in a style that too often favors an over the top approach.

Alchemist Heady Topper

Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer

I have to make the case for Heady Topper. I still get excited by that beer, and while haze purists might find it too “bright” I think it was pioneering as a beer that sacrificed clarity for the intensity of flavor and pure hop loveliness.