East Coast/West Coast IPA – Another Bicoastal Rivalry

on 07/11/10 at 7:37 pm

Beer

East Coast IPA

“Brewers and brewphiles have been clamoring lately about Cascadian Dark Ale, or Black IPA, as a new beer style. In that spirit I offer my proposal for a not-so-new beer style called East Coast IPA. Incidentally, I’m not the first to ponder this question. What is an East Coast IPA and how does it differ from a West Coast version?

In a nutshell, it is a malt-forward, moderately bitter ale, just a tad over average beer strength. Common flavors can include pronounced fruitiness, e.g. apricots, apples, or strawberries. Hop aromas and flavors can be a muddy mix of earthy, musty, or balsamy notes. And diacetyl, that wretched, oily butter flavor and sensation, is far too common. The last bit can be explained by the proliferation of the Ringwood strain of yeast on the oriental side of the continent. But as for the dearth of hops and the banal strength of these beers, the best answer is found by digging deep into the New England psyche and palate.

Now really, I’m a lover not a hater. I’m also a 9th generation New Englander, so bear with me as I make comments that could be viewed as specious.”

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