Although my preferred taste for modern IPAs sits firmly in the West Coast camp, I am still a huge fan of the softer, juicier – and of course, hazier – iterations of the style with their origins in the north east of the United States. (Although, those who, like me, remember the days of “London Murky” back in 2012, could argue that their origins are equally rooted in Bermondsey, South London.)
Done well, a New England IPA is a thing of beauty. The mouthfeel should be pillowy and full, while the flavours should be bright and juicy, the tiniest smattering of pale malt making way for bold flavours of stone, citrus and/or tropical fruit. The finish should be dry, with perhaps the merest wisp of bitterness – the latter should never be the hallmark of this particular style, as it would clash with the juicy fruit flavours.
What they should not be is cloying, or laced with such a ferocious amount of hop particles that the beer leaves a burning sensation at the back of the throat. Sadly, many attempts I’ve tried have borne one or both of these characteristics. What I tend to find is that the ones that really capture my imagination (and have me ordering a second glass) are those which are more restrained.
This is probably why I’m such a huge fan of Steady Rolling Man, the core pale ale from Cheltenham’s DEYA Brewing Company. So much so, in fact, that it’s a must order for me whenever I see it on the bar, which, thankfully, is becoming more commonplace. Today, however, I’m faced with a can of something that ups the hop-ante somewhat. Dust My Broom is hazier, juicier and decidedly more intense than Steady.
I know this before I’ve even had a taste, as aromas of mango and orange peel jump from the glass towards my face as if they were a face-hugger from Alien searching for a host.
To taste this is as vibrant and intense as its aromas would suggest. It packs an immense punch of tropical fruit, white peach and a resinous, piney note that reminds me a little of my favoured West Coast IPAs. But this is for the most fleeting of moments, as I’m soon back in juicetown.
I’ve previously griped in this very column about how the sameyness of the New England style can get me down – there are only so many super-hazy, Citra and Mosaic-hopped beers I have time for. However, as similar as this effort from DEYA is to so many of those, I’ve all the time in the world for it, such is this hazy pale’s inherent quality.
Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Be first to read Matt’s columns when you sign up to our All Killer No Filler beer subscription box - along with Claire Bullen’s recipe and pairings, plus in-depth tasting notes, they’re included in every box…