Craft Beer Experts Name The Absolute Best New England IPAs

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It might seem like hazy New England IPAs have been around forever. But this juicy, cloudy, and fruity version of the popular IPA was actually invented in 2004, when famed Vermont-based Alchemist brewmaster John Kimmich first brewed his now-iconic Heady Topper. Back then, the New England IPA sparked plenty of intrigue. In the 18 years since, it has grown into a behemoth — becoming one of the most popular craft beer styles in the country.

Dave Lopez, co-managing partner at Gun Hill Brewing in Bronx, New York has seen so NEIPAs brewed in the past few years, he has trouble picking out his favorite.

“There’s not a specific NEIPA that I want to drink all the time,” he says. “It’s more important to me to have one that is as fresh and local as possible. These beers need to be consumed in a relatively short time frame after packaging, so in many ways, the proximity to the source takes precedence over any specific brand.”

This fresh, floral, juicy, drink-it-right-now nature is why so many drinkers enjoy this hazy beer. To find the best options, we asked a handful of brewers, beer professionals, and craft beer experts to tell us their absolute favorite New England-style IPAs. Check their picks while keeping Lopez’s very insight advice in mind!

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing
Sierra Nevada

Ashley Benson, head brewer at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in Phoenix

ABV: 6.7%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I love to have a six-pack of Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing in my fridge for pool days. It’s on the moderately dry side of where hazies seem to be these days, so it’s super drinkable in the Arizona summer heat or any time of year. Plus, it has a touch of bitterness on the palate, which helps emphasize the citrus-forward hop profile.

New Image Coriolis Effect

New Image Coriolis Effect
New Image

Eric Warner, brewmaster at Karbach Brewing Co. in Houston

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I’m pretty sure “Hazy IPA” was the category with the greatest number of entries at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival, so it’s getting hard to pick a favorite. That said, every time I’m in the Denver area, I make sure to grab some Coriolis Effect from New Image Brewing. The Citrus and Tropical notes in the aroma are incredibly juicy and like any NEIPA worth its salt, the impression on the palate is smooth and creamy with very minimal lingering bitterness.

Keep an eye out for one-offs of this “flagship,” featuring different hops from around the world.

Platform Haze Jude

Platform Haze Jude
Platform

Luis G. Brignoni, founder of Wynwood Brewing Co. in Miami

ABV: 6.8%

Average Price: $11 for a four-pack

Why This Beer?

Haze Jude from Platform Brewing is probably my favorite New England IPA. It has a great haze on the appearance with a nice fluffy white head. The aroma of the beer is beautiful. The hops create a bouquet of tropical fruits and you get notes of pineapple, orange, and mango with hints of some stone fruit like peach and apricot. It’s incredibly smooth with a very nice mouthfeel. It’s not bone dry and not overly sweet. It has a nice silky body with a touch of honey on there that rounds out the aroma and flavor just perfectly.

I drink it whenever I can get my hands on it and it’s usually my drink of choice among the rest. It’s perfectly crafted.

Zero Gravity Conehead

Zero Gravity Conehead
Zero Gravity

Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer Co. in Framingham, Massachusetts

ABV: 5.7%

Average Price: $11 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

I love the IPAs from our friends at Zero Gravity, especially Conehead. It has just the right touch of haze, fruity hop character without ditching the delicious hop bitterness.

WarPigs Foggy Geezer

WarPigs Foggy Geezer
War Pigs

Kelly Laut, brewer at Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis

ABV: 6.8%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Foggy Geezer by WarPigs is a great juicy New England IPA. Foggy Geezer is citrusy with some tropical and resinous aromas. With a little sweetness, a medium-bodied mouthfeel, and a quickly fleeting bitterness. You’ll want to take another sip just to experience the aromas all over again.

North Park Art is Hard

North Park Art is Hard
North Park

John “Magic” Montes De Oca, co-head brewer at Barebottle Brewing Company in San Francisco

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $8 for a 16-ounce can

Why This Beer?

I never thought I’d have one of the best hazy IPAs I’ve ever had out of San Diego. North Park’s Art is Hard takes a style that is all about excess and massages all the rough edges out of it. It’s juicy and smooth with an insane aroma. There is just enough bitterness to make it immensely refreshing.

This is the kind of New England IPA you could actually drink more than one of.

Denver Juicy Freak

Denver Juicy Freak
Denver Beer

Lauren McCaffrey, packaging technician at WeldWerks Brewing Co. in Greeley, Colorado

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I regularly find myself drinking Juicy Freak by Denver Beer Co. It’s such a nice fruity New England-style IPA with just enough hoppy bitter character to keep it interesting. It’s definitely an easy drinker.

Drekker Ectogasm

Drekker Ectogasm
Drekker

Garth E. Beyer, certified Cicerone® and owner and founder of Garth’s Brew Bar in Madison, Wisconsin

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $45 for a six-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Drekker’s Ectogasm is a mainstay at our bar and my hazy New England IPA go-to. The flavor is a berry-medley combination of Mosaic hops and orange citrus from the Citra hops. It’s simple and effective. While brewers add oats for haze, head retention, and body, this is a beer where there’s a present oatmeal grain flavor from the addition. It’s slight but provides a sort of flavor pillow for the papaya and grassy flavor notes to rest on.

Writer’s Pick: Lagunitas Hazy Wonder

Lagunitas Hazy Wonder
Lagunitas

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

This hazy, juicy, tropical fruit-filled beer was brewed with Sabro, Cashmere, and Citra hops. It’s so filled with fruit flavors that it’s the kind of beer that works just as well to refresh you on a hot summer day as a beer to remind you of warmer days ahead in the midst of the dark, cold winter.

Writer’s Pick: Belching Beaver Hazers Gonna Haze

Belching Beaver Hazers Gonna Haze
Belching Beaver

ABV: 6.6%

Average Price: $8 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

This 6.6 percent ABV hazy, juicy, totally crushable New England IPA is well-known for its bold, ripe flavors of guava, mango, passionfruit, tangerine, pineapple, and a nice kick of herbal, piney hops to hold everything together nicely.

Source: https://uproxx.com/life/the-best-new-england-ipa-craft-beers-according-to-experts/