The great East Coast IPA Road Trip
26 July 2016, By Jonny Garrett
We take our beer research seriously at Beer Merchants. We don't just wait for other importers to bring beer to the country and drop it in our laps – we get out there to find the next big thing. Even if they aren't ready to sell to us, we want to meet them, show them our support and get on that all important "maybe one day" list.
We've done it with loads of brands from Cantillon over a decade ago, right up to what we think is the world's best Belgian strong, Goedendag, in May this year. We've got loads more exciting discoveries to be brought to the site, but few of them excite us as much as the prospect of an East Coast IPA brewery starting to export.
Back in May we went to the Craft Beer Conference in Philadephia. After all the seminars and Fresh Price references were done with we decided to make the 350 mile road trip past New York and up into New Hampshire and New England, where a few brewers have been reinventing the IPA. They've been doing it by using a special bastardised British yeast that kicks out loads of fruity aromas (much like a Belgian yeast), as well as by using lots of wheat and oats to make for a soft, cloud-like beer and dry hopping early with a metric ton of modern American hops.
These amazing beers are as close to fruit juice as they are to beer, with lots of citric acidity and perceived sweetness from the incredible aromas. We honestly believe this is the future of IPA, and indeed craft beer, as the low bitterness and approachable aromas will bring in more and more beer sceptics.
See if you believe the hype with our roadtrip video, courtesy of the Craft Beer Channel.