What are New England IPAs?

New England IPA’s are a new, popular beer style that has finally become mainstream. All thanks to new breweries, like Hill Farmstead Brewery and Tree House Brewing Co., the IPA now outsells other beers in places like Vermont and Maine. What is a New England IPA?

The style represents a combination of modern American IPAs with English IPAs (which are known for using fruit). The result is a fruity ale with floral aroma from hops grown in America. These beers are crisp and very low on bitterness compared to most hoppy ales. The style is one of the most popular new styles in America right now, with more than 30 breweries experimenting with it.

New England IPAs

New England IPAs have a unique citrusy flavor that you won’t find in any other beer type. The strong hoppy flavors are balanced by a smooth yet crisp body, which is often very low on bitterness. The mouthfeel of the beer becomes very creamy as it warms, but the initial flavor contains a lot of fruit from American hops and malts. The aroma is distinctive and super floral.

What are the origins of the New England IPAs

New England IPA’s originate from the Northeast of America, with a few in Canada and Vermont. They are a relatively new style, emerging in the past few years, with some of them now being sold as national brands. Very few breweries were producing these beers until recently, but this is changing rapidly.

Many folks have hopped on the New England IPA train to try something new and different from the usual IPAs you drink every day. You’ll find that many brewers are infusing the beer with various fruits, but you can also get the same flavours from hops. These beers are more innovative styles in the world of IPAs where people like to play around with the ingredients and flavours.

This style of beer started around 2014, with the first brewery making it being The Alchemist. They introduced a beer called Heady Topper, which has a very intense aroma and is loved by many around Vermont. The beer is very popular and many wait in long lines to buy it at the brewery.

New England IPA’s start out tasting light and refreshing but they can also finish off with a bitter aftertaste depending on the style. The bitterness of American hops is much stronger than European varieties like Kent or Goldings.

New England IPA vs Regular IPA

The difference between New England IPA and Regular IPA is the hop varieties. This has to do with the fact that New England IPAs are made by using American hops and not European varieties.

The New England IPAs usually use double ipa or super hop varieties. These hops are strong in aroma and flavour but also a bit bitter. They make them less ‘sweet’ than the regular American beers and more aromatic, which is why they’re termed New England IPAs instead of American Double IPA.

As a result of using American hops, these beers also have less alcohol than some other hoppy styles. They are usually around 6% – 7% ABV but some varieties can be as high as 8%. The flavours can vary a lot from beer to beer, so you can try several and see which ones you like.

You’ll find that New England IPAs are much more aromatic than regular IPAs. This is partly because they use American hops and partly because they’re made with wet hops. In general, the aroma is very strong and fruity. It’s almost like a perfume or strong cologne.

How are New England IPAs made?

This is a term that is applied to the process of making beer, and here’s how you would make your own New England IPA:

Using American hops (i.e. Simcoe, Citra), add them at various stages of brewing to make sure you get the most out of them. You would use them at the end of boiling your wort, as well as adding them at different stages during fermentation.

They are often made in hop back vessels to add extra hop aroma and flavor to the beer. This means that more hops are condensed into the beer (you’ll get stronger hoppy flavors).

If you can, then it’s a good idea to dry hop your beer using American hops. This will give you a very powerful blast of aroma and flavor.


The appearance of New England IPA’s are usually golden to a light amber color, which is similar to some double ipa’s. The head of the beer can be a pale yellow, but it’s usually very thin.


The flavors are very strong and come from the American hops that are used in the beer. You’ll find that they are floral, fruity and aromatic in nature. The flavors are typically citrusy or tropical but might contain other types of fruit as well (e.g. mango).


The aroma of New England IPA’s is very strong, with lots of fruitiness coming through from the hops. There can be a slight haze in the aroma, but it’s usually very floral and sweet.

Mouth Feel

The mouth feel of a New England IPA is usually light, which is because they often are made with American wheat or oats. The beer will be thin and have a golden color when poured into a glass.

It’s not easy to find New England IPAs in cans in some parts of the world but if you like to experiment with different styles, then it’s worth tracking one down and giving it a go. Or you might be lucky to find one or two at your local pub if they’re available in that area.

Popular New England IPAs in Australia

There are lots of New England IPAs available to buy in Australia, and they are often made by the larger breweries such as James Squire, Stone and Little Creatures. The Hop Hog IPA is one of the most popular beers in this style. It’s produced by the Australian brewing company Feral Brewing.

You’ll find that Stone Brewing Company also make their own version, which is called Ruination 2.0 Double IPA. It’s a strong beer, which means you’ll get plenty of flavors and aromas from the hops.

This beer is a little more expensive than some of the other New England IPAs, but if you’re interested in trying one out, then it’s a good idea to see what the fuss is about.

There are also other smaller breweries that make New England IPA’s in Australia, such as Mismatch Brewing Company. Their 3rd Anniversary Milkshake IPA is very popular with beer drinkers and it’s been described as refreshing and tropical in nature.

Final Thoughts

You can get a good idea of whether New England IPA’s are something you’d like to try by reading some reviews online. You’ll find that some beer critics really love these new IPA’s because they are a lot more aromatic than regular varieties. If you really enjoy the American hop varieties then these beers are definitely worth trying.

Similar to regular IPA’s, New England IPA’s have a lot of fruitiness in them. You’ll find lots of citrusy/tropical flavors from the hops and the fruitiness is very strong as well. You can also get some nice floral and earthy notes if you like those flavors. The aromas will be very strong unless you dry hop your beer (which I recommend).

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