The Hippo


Dec 15, 2019








What’s in My Fridge

Cold Harbor Brewing Co. Mustache Stout: This is everything a stout should be. High praise, I know, but this beer is perfect. It features a rich, chocolatey aroma and the flavor is bursting with delicious coffee notes. Even if a stout is not your first choice, the Mustache is worth seeking out. I’d also add that, for a stout, it’s lighter-bodied than you expect. Cheers! 

It’s all about the hops
IPAs own the beer market and our tastebuds


 I am not going to name names but I know someone (not me) who waited in line for more than three hours a couple Saturday’s ago for the opportunity to purchase India pale ales (IPA) from Treehouse Brewing Co. in central Massachusetts. That is mind-boggling, of course, but certainly indicative of how the IPA style continues to drive the craft beer movement with gusto. 

What is it about this style that just drives people wild? This is obviously an oversimplification, but a great IPA bursts with exciting flavors while boasting a decidedly “fresh” taste. Perhaps no other beer style benefits as greatly from being enjoyed fresh than an IPA. Thankfully, as the craft beer scene expands in New Hampshire, you can go to your local brewery and enjoy IPAs at their absolute freshest. 
With IPAs still on the rise, I asked some New Hampshire brewers what they thought made a great IPA. But really, that was not a fair question. 
“It is sort of a loaded question because I liken the term IPA to what the term craft beer was 10 years ago, because there are so many styles under the umbrella now,” said Paul St. Onge, brewmaster, Backyard Brewery in Manchester. 
If you tried an IPA 10 to 15 years ago, the beer was probably distinctly bitter, golden and a little earthy — more a European-style IPA. You can still find IPAs in that mold today, I think, but the IPAs dominating the craft beer movement are decidedly different beers, many characterized more by their lack of bitterness and exciting hop flavors. As St. Onge noted, the variation within the style is vast. You can have a white, black or red IPA, a New England-style IPA, a West Coast-style IPA, and so on. And what makes a great one might depend on your mood, what you’re eating or the time of year. 
Stoneface Brewing Co. in Newington brews some of the most sought-after IPAs in New Hampshire. Peter Beauregard, co-founder and head brewer at Stoneface, said he likes regional IPA styles, ranging from the hazy fruitiness of the New England-style IPA to the crisp, clean, hoppy boldness of West Coast-style IPAs. 
“I tend to like [IPAs] that have a lot of complexity but where one thing sticks out,” Beauregard said. “I like the fruit-forward flavor and the heavy yeast character of the New England style. Then on the West Coast style, you can put your finger right on the unmistakable hoppiness, where the flavor is clearly derived from the process of hopping beers.”
Despite how far the style has come, IPAs still make many people think bitter. Some beer drinkers still seek out the most bitter beers, but the style is becoming more and more welcoming. 
“I think the gateway has been restrained bitterness, lots of aroma, a little sweetness,” Beauregard said. 
In particular, the New England-style IPA, with its hazy complexion, mild bitterness and its apparent juiciness, is driving the market and appealing to a wider range of beer drinkers. 
While you might have picked up on some very limited citrus character in a traditional European-style IPA from a decade ago, the IPAs of today are bursting with citrus flavors, along with more tropical notes, such as pineapple and mango. If you stick your nose in a New England-style IPA, the aroma is almost certain to be more inviting, St. Onge said. 
“The whole style has opened up an entire avenue and pathway to explore and expand the craft beer enthusiast market,” St. Onge said. 
Jeff Mucciarone is a senior account executive with Montagne Communications, where he provides communications support to the New Hampshire wine and spirits industry. 

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu