New England IPA
1 draught pint, $3.75, 6.9% ABV
Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub, Granby
The beauty of running a brew pub and having a very capable brewer is that you can sort of make it up as you go. Sure, CBH has it’s standbys (Kolsch, Oktoberfest, the ESB) but even with it’s IPA, they appear to create slightly different versions on a whim.
Don’t get me wrong; this is a good thing. I love the whole IPA/EPA/DIPA family and the more the merrier. I’ve had the Abijah Rowe IPA at CBH before and I’m not really sure if that’s different than this IPA. CBH also brews several different “single hop” IPA’s throughout year – some probably one-offs. They have their Hi-Fi RyePA (CTMQ Review here) and other sort of variations.
I just don’t know how much of those variations are in name only. I DO know that you don’t care though so I’ll shut up and Iet CBH explain THIS particular – rather excellent – IPA:
New England style IPA brewed with all English malt and hopped with a blend of English and American hops. high in strength, bitterness and aroma.
I chose to call it the New England IPA because of their chalkboard explanation. Since I’m lazy and feel like making stuff up, I’m going to guess they call this a “New England IPA because of the mix of England and American. Clever.
So can we assume an English IPA uses all English malts and hops and an American IPA uses all American? Sure, why not. Not sure what an Abijah Rowe IPA uses, but perhaps someday we’ll find out. (I have a hunch that this is the Abijah Rowe.)
I suppose I could ask them. But that would make too much sense.
All this talk of countries (England, India, America) and nonsense made me think about a group of Germans I met out at Lime Rock race track a few weeks ago. They were straight out of a Saturday Night Live sketch about clueless Europeans dropped into a stereotypical American scene. Dressed in way too much black tight stuff and carrying themselves with an air of awkward coolness, these guys drew me in.
I never would have said anything to them, as I was sober and alone and had zero knowledge of the car racing goings on. I just watched them from my aloof perch… silently… Until I saw the one guy with the windblown hair nursing a Bud Light Lime.
This, in a place with almost equally priced Harpoon IPA and UFO. I had to know why this German guy was opting for Bud Light Lime. I struck up a conversation – “Heyyyyyyy guyyyyyyyyys, where are y’all from?” Dusseldorf and somewhere in Austria.
“Cool, cool. Hey, how ‘bout those Porsches, huh? I love them!”
“Vee are BMW fahnzz.”
“Cool, cool. Hey, I was wonderin,’ Have you ever had the Harpoon IPA?”
“Nein! Vee Germans hate zee IPA’s. So bittah! In fahkt, zey don’t even zell zee IPA in Dusseldorf.”
“But they sell Bud Light Lime?”
“Nein! But zey should! Zees is vunderbar!”
With then they tight-jean sashayed away from me and went to go fix their scarves in the shine of a BMW hood.
Back to Granby and the New England IPA. It’s really, really good. I’ve read online that their CBH IPA and the NEBCO Sea Hag IPA are Connecticut’s best. I’m inclined to agree at this point.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A-