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Thursday, May 18, 2017

NEIPA, Wait.....What?

Original photo courtesy of Bearded Iris Brewing.
The New England India Pale Ale has certainly taken the craft beer world by storm. The juicy, delightfully hazy, soft characters of the style send us beer nerds into a frenzy. To beer purists, the style is an abomination but very few of them would denounce its appeal. Personally, I love most examples of the style that I have had the pleasure of drinking. I hate the name though.

New England India Pale Ale, or NEIPA, doesn't make much sense. If you have found this post you probably already know the history of the India Pale Ale. If you aren't in the know read up HERE. NEIPA suggests a variation of a variation of pale ale; don't we already have enough of those without adding two regional descriptors to a style name? If the IPA is a variation of a pale ale wouldn't the New England India Pale Ale just be a New England Pale Ale, or NEPA? Drop the 'India;' these beers aren't brewed for a long trip. The Brewer's Association recently released it's 2017 style guidelines. The NEIPA isn't in there yet.

The trend of making soft, hazy, hop forward beers isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Bearded Iris out of Nashville, TN recently released Light Beam. It is a hoppy pilsner but it drinks like a big juicy pale ale. It's absolutely delicious. The trend has taken the nation by storm. The haze is being brewed all around the country now and as a lover of hops, I'm thrilled.