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Bartenders Tell Us The Best New England-Style IPAs For The Holidays


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Now that winter is just about here, we’re about to inundated with dark beers. From stouts to porters to winter ales to spiced Christmas ales — the changing weather and impending holidays mean a change in drinking habits. Statistically speaking, you’ll probably be pairing your Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams with dark, higher-than-average ABV brews.

Since we like to stay up on that “not follow the crowd” tip, we decided to take your holiday imbibing in a whole new direction. That direction is the IPA. Now, we aren’t talking about the bitter, hop-fueled West Coast IPAs that are prevalent during the steamy summer months. We’re talking about it’s younger, fuller, fruitier cousin — the renowned New England-style IPA. These bold, well-balanced, hazy, juice bombs pair well with the rich foods commonly associated with the holidays.

We asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us which New England-Style IPAs we should stock our fridge with for the holidays. They came up with some absolute gems!

Epic Brewing Citralush

Brad Manske, beverage director at ViewHouse in Denver

“Citralush by Epic Brewing, a favorite brew from Utah with a hazy gold color and lush, fruity taste with a bitter finish. Overall, a pleasant brew for the fall.”

Heady Topper

Rebecca Muraski, general manager at SolToro in Uncasville, Connecticut

“I have to stand by an all-around favorite, Heady Topper, from the Alchemist Brewery in VT. My favorite part of this hazy, hoppy NEIPA is the citrus finish. And you have to drink it from the can; the carbonation lends to the profile.”

Hill Farmstead — Susan

Ian Browning, Bartender at The Ides in New York City

“What’s my favorite New England-style IPA? Susan from Hill Farmstead from Vermont. Grapefruit with a pine backbone. It’s refreshing and dry enough to drink a few.”

Red Hare Soft J Juicy IPA

Ben Rouse, bar lead at Henley in Nashville

“There’s a delicious hazy IPA from Red Hare Brewing out of Marietta, GA called Soft J Juicy IPA (pronounced You-See IPA) I prefer this style to the west coast IPA, as they tend to be more fruit forward and less bitter on the finish.”

El Segundo Hop Tanker

Andrew Harbour, bartender at FARMHOUSE in Los Angeles

“What’s my favorite New England-style IPA? I like to keep things local. El Segundo Brewing Co. focuses on hop heavy beers and I think their Hop Tanker takes it on this one.”

Exhibit A Cat’s Meow

Will Piquette, principal bartender at Alcove in Boston

“What’s my favorite New England-style IPA? Exhibit A Cat’s Meow. Great Local brewery that make a fantastic IPA. I’ve been digging on their beers since they started brewing.”

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

Adam Koelb, beverage director at The Rickey at Dream Midtown in New York City

“What’s my favorite New England-style IPA? My favorite New England style IPA is Sierra Nevada’s “Hazy Little Thing.” It is one of my go-tos because it certainly leads the charge on hop-driven IPA’s.”

Tree House Julius

Jules Elkovich, sommelier at Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Uncasville, Connecticut

“What’s my favorite New England-style IPA? I’m admittedly not a huge IPA drinker, but I do enjoy Julius from Tree House Brewing Co. It’s chock full of juicy tropical fruit flavors, and is delightfully crisp on the palate.”

Modern Times BLAM BLAM

Nick Barlow, bartender at Momofuku Las Vegas

“Out here on the west coast (San Diego), I always look forward to anything from Modern Times Brewery. They are employee owned and make possibly my favorite juicy New England style IPA called BLAM BLAM. When in Las Vegas and on the hunt for good local beer, make your way to the Arts District and try Hop Nuts Brewery. Right now, they have a few good New England Ipas on draft. My favorite on tap currently is Misbehazin’ double IPA.”

Maine Beer Dinner

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Lou DiNunzio, beverage manager of REX 1516 in Philadelphia

“What’s my favorite New England-style IPA? Maine Beer Company’s Dinner. They just make amazing beer and it is worth the cost.”

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

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Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA | American India Pale Ale | 6% ABV | 60 IBU | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery | Milton (DE), USA One of the perfect examples of America IPA according to the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program), it has bright orange and half translucent liquid with compact foam of good persistence. Delicious hopping aroma, passion fruit scent. In the flavor, intense bitter with soft notes of malt, citrus and some bread, great balance. Light to medium body, bitter and slightly dry finish, very refreshing. Wonderful! 🔝🇺🇸🍺🌳🍊🌾💧🌲🌿🌱🍞💦👏🏼🙌🏼🍻 Um dos exemplares perfeitos do estilo America IPA segundo o BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program), apresenta líquido laranja brilhante e meio translúcido com espuma compacta de boa persistência. Delicioso aroma lupulado, perfume de maracujá. No sabor, início amargo intenso com suaves notas de malte, cítrico e algum pão, ótimo equilíbrio. Corpo leve para médio, final amargo e levemente seco, muito refrescante. Maravilha! 🔝🇺🇸🍺🌳🍊🌾💧🌲🌿🌱🍞💦👏🏼🙌🏼🍻 #DogfishHead60MinuteIPA #DogfishHead #60MinuteIPA #DogfishHeadCraftBrewery #DogfishHeadBrewery #americanipa #ipa #ale #craftbeer #americanbeer #beer #bier #birra #biere #cerveza #cerveja #piwo #pivo #øl #öl #olut #alus #sör #ビール #啤酒 #맥주 #пиво #جعة #onebeerperday #fridaybeer

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Chris Gere, manager at Brennan’s of Houston

“Favorite New England Style IPA: For me it begins and ends with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. They were the first to mass market that style in the US and the first I was exposed to. Back then we didn’t have many options for New England IPAs.”

Tree House King Julius

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Don Hernandez, beverage director at Holston House Nashville

“Hail the crown, King Julius from Tree House brewing is my favorite. It is a big 8.3% American Double IPA that is backed with a ton of flavor. Huge notes of tropical fruit and orange creamsicle which makes this beer extremely juicy and flavorful.”

Coronado North Island IPA

Ross Lewis, bar manager at Mahina & Sun’s at the The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Honolulu, Hawaii

“My favorite NEIPA is the Coronado North Island IPA. It is a wonderfully complex beer that only improves as long as the tasting experience lasts. Great mouthfeel brings out all of the right aspects of the hops and highlights the fruity notes of candied oranges, pineapples, over-ripened mangoes, and papayas. Very enjoyable and dangerously drinkable.

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

Peter Szekely, beverage operation manager at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas

“Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA. I would not consider myself as a great beer drinker, but this beer caught my attention for the first time due to the packaging and bottle. It’s a rare blend and what really impressed me is that when you see the beer it has a beautiful white foam and a light gold appearance.”

Blue Point Hazy Bastard

Danwel Olivo, bartender at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach

One of my favorites for fall is the Blue Point Hazy Bastard. The juicy, unfiltered North Eastern-style India Pale Ale is packed with bright citrusy flavors and an herbal aroma.

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