When it comes to IPAs, the New England style has finally broken the stranglehold of the typical West Coast style that dominated the craft beer scene for so long. NE-style IPAs tend to be juicier, less bitter (though not always) and generally more approachable, even for people who don’t normally like IPAs. The Alchemist popularized this style with classic offerings like Heady Topper and Focal Banger, but newer breweries like Trillium and The Veil are taking the style to new heights (and The Veil is no slouch when it comes to flavorful, high-ABV imperial stouts, either–see below). However, despite the fawning praise beer lovers have heaped upon them, many of these brewers don’t distribute their potent potables outside of their immediate surroundings. That’s where we come in, good citizens of Philadelphia–this year we rounded up some of the hardest-to-get sweet, sweet nectar of the gods that the East Coast has to offer, and we’re giving you a chance to win a private tasting of them for you and a guest. What are you waiting for? Sign up now (complete details at the link)
HEADY TOPPER (Double IPA – 8%) – We love hops – that’s why our flagship Double IPA, Heady Topper, is packed full of them. Heady Topper was designed to showcase the complex flavors and aromas these flowers produce. The Alchemist has been brewing Heady Topper since 2003. This Double IPA is not intended to be the strongest or most bitter DIPA. It is brewed to give you wave after wave of hop flavor without any astringent bitterness. We brew Heady Topper with a proprietary blend of six hops – each imparting its own unique flavor and aroma. Take a big sip of Heady and see what hop flavors you can pick out. Orange? Tropical Fruit? Pink Grapefruit? Pine? Spice? There is just enough malt to give this beer some backbone, but not enough to take the hops away from the center stage.
For eight years, Heady Topper was served on tap exclusively at our seven barrel brewpub in downtown Waterbury. In early 2011 we built the Alchemist Cannery, a 15 barrel brewery and canning line, for the production of our flagship IPA. The first cans of Heady Topper rolled off the line just two days after Tropical Storm Irene demolished The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. Today we brew 180 barrels per week in twelve 15 barrel batches. We never hold back inventory, and we move all of our beer weekly in a concerted effort to provide the freshest, hoppiest packaged IPA on the market.
FOCAL BANGER (IPA – 7%) – “Hiding in the shadow of Heady Topper — possibly the world’s most sought-after beer — is Focal Banger. If the Alchemist had launched it’s canning line with this 7.5 percent IPA instead of the slightly stronger Heady, we have no doubt beer lovers would still be driving for hours and days to stalk delivery trucks in hope of buying a case.” – Men’s Journal
Trillium Brewing Company
The Veil Brewing Company
WHITEFERRARI (Double IPA – 8%) – whiteferrari is a beer that has been a long time in the making. We’ve been experimenting with different malt and hop combinations through other recipes, trying to find what we believe is the best of both worlds rolled into one DIPA. Clocking in at 8%, this luxuriously soft DIPA is hopped intensely with 50/50 Citra and Galaxy(and a ton of it!). We used the freshest crop available of each hop to give this DIPA the most expressive hop character possible.
DIRT NAP (Double IPA – 8.8%) – Dirt Nap is our 8.8% DIPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, and Nelson.
CRUCIAL CRUCIAL AUNT AUNT (Double IPA – 8.4%) – Crucial Crucial Aunt Aunt is the double mango double dry-hopped version of our flagship double IPA Crucial Taunt. We actually used about 2.5 times the amount of mango purée in this batch, but who’s counting! This one is cray cray fo’ sho.
SLEEPING FOREVER (Imperial Stout – 12%) – Anniversary imperial stout with a small portion of 2016 bourbon barrel aged Sleeping Forever blended in.