Craft Beer: Looking for a New England? Try Foggy Juice
I FOUND myself taking up the opposite position to a line in a Kirsty MacColl hit this week when I was, in fact, looking for a New England – or to be more specific a New England IPA.
It's a style – or perhaps sub-style – that has witnessed an upsurge in demand lately, sparking what has become widely referred to as ‘the Haze Craze'. The haze in question refers to the look of this murky ale, which is just one of the defining qualities which sets it apart from other IPAs.
Of course, with many relatively new styles, some brewers try to take it to extremes and you will see some New England IPAs that look more like a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. That hints at another stand-out feature of a NEIPA – they are phenomenally juicy.
Most are very generously hopped at different stages, with a fair bit of dry hopping going on – that is when hops are added during the fermentation or conditioning stage rather than when boiling. This leads to increased aromas and flavours but little bitterness – another feature of NEIPAs.
The style gets its name from the cluster of breweries in the north-east of the United States which first brewed these murky juice bombs and also from the use of Vermont yeast (NEIPA can sometimes also be referred to us Vermont IPAs).
As with any in-demand style, other breweries got in in the act and Rascals gave a nod to their Dublin roots by calling their NEIPA Foggy Juice. It pours a golden orange colour and is, of course, hazy and murky. You will definitely ‘gaze with deep amaze' at the haze on this beer.
A lot of that is down to the oats and wheat used in the malt bill and those grains also contribute to a creamy mouthfeel. The aromas hit you as soon as the beers chugs out of the can with strong whiffs of mango and peach.
It's crammed tight full of flavour – pineapple, mango, stone fruits and a hint of lemon peel. It has a sweet biscuity malt base and intense but nicely-rounded fresh hop flavours.
At 6.2 per cent, it's full bodied but a lovely refreshing beer and an excellent take on a growing style.