as explored by Retail Manager Steven Taylor
Juicy, hazy, luscious New England style IPAs have exploded onto the beer scene recently and people can’t get enough of them. Find out what all the fuss is about from Steve Taylor, our Retail Manager, with tips on what to try if you’re new to the style.
At BottleShop: Bermondsey, we host impromptu, lively and impassioned customer debates on a daily basis. The first questions are usually around the full-wrap-around or heat-sealed artworks, designed for each new can release. The texture of their paperwork, and laminating processes are often as discussed as the visual effect of the labels. In short, what usually comes first is thought about the look and feel of what the aluminium handful may promise.
The next debates are usually around the taste of the beers: the hop selections, their vibrancy and balance; how high dry hopping rates are; whether canned versions taste different than their draft counterparts; whether hop burn and yogurt character are desirable; how the texture feels and whether there’s enough bitterness in the beer. Customers often research thoroughly before they come in, and are often very well versed in release dates of these limited edition beers. They’re usually aware of the fragility and freshness of the beer and want it as soon as they can get it, in the best shape possible. Equally, for those new to this beer scene, the accessibility of the style and usually soft bitterness often make New England IPAs a big hit for customers taking their first forays into craft beer and its murky world.
Taking vicarious pleasure in customer experiences is hugely gratifying. As a career bartender, I take an enormous amount of pleasure from people’s faces upon seeing the cans, as well as when they realise the quality of what they’re drinking. It’s even better when backed up by the knowledge that, thanks to our ColdChain distribution platform, customers are tasting these hazy beauties as super fresh as the brewer intended. Whether it’s cans from our Bermondsey neighbours Brew By Numbers, or others domestically from Burnt Mill (Suffolk) Northern Monk (Leeds) , Verdant (Cornwall), Track (Manchester) or Cloudwater (Manchester), there are so many incredible options for customers to enjoy. This is a gift that keeps giving.
Back to the brewers of NEIPAs we currently have making their first forays into the style. As I write, both Hackney and Pressure Drop breweries are the latest to join the ranks and 2018 will see many more joining the fun. Then we have a wealth of WorldClass options available from our friends at Amundsen (Norway), Stigbergets (Sweden), Fuerst Wiacek (Berlin) and Modern Times (San Diego). Lastly, it’s important for us to consider the New York breweries that we airfreight within days of being brewed: KCBC, Interboro and Finback. There’s a huuuuge and increasing amount to explore.
While critics of the style may yearn for beers designed to be drunk again and again, consecutively, NEIPAs are often like mother-in-laws, rockstars and fireworks, which are great in smaller doses. This leads us onto ‘sharing’. In my experience, more than any other style, NEIPAs are encouraging people to share and all too often with strangers too.
One thing’s for certain: The New England style has ignited debate and enjoyment that is priceless. I look forward to sharing more of this exciting NEIPA culture with our customers and implore those yet to try it, to jump in and join the fun. Come visit our bars, click and collect at Bermondsey or head straight to our online shop for convenient home delivery.