New England Vacation Vignette 6: A few good beers while we’re at it.

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It’s what everyone does, right? They string together photos of what they’re drinking, and leave it to Pavlov for viewers to drool.

Just this once I will, too. Our week in and around Northampton MA wasn’t designed as a beerdrinking excursion, but of course opportunities arose. We made stops at old favorites Northampton Brewery and Whetstone (in Brattleboro VT), and Diana’s niece’s husband saved a few local beers to sample. They were quite nice.

As an aside, here’s a relevant link.

A Sea of Hoppy Sameness — In Search of New England’s IPA, by Bryan Roth (Good Beer Hunting)

… While Brut IPA’s bone-dry effervescence is something of an of-the-moment anti-New England IPA, there’s no denying the ongoing attachment drinkers have to hazy and juicy beers. In the same way that Dogfish Head is exploring the unclaimed white space of “better for you” beers, Lord Hobo recognizes an opening in the market.

“It’s obviously not as crowded at the 11% range,” Day says. “Which is fantastic.” The expectation for the brewery was to sell as many as 10,000 cases of the beer during its three-month run across Lord Hobo’s entire distribution footprint, the equivalent of 725 BBLs. Museum also fits within a generally accepted idea of what new and on-trend IPA should be in New England.

In short, the evolution of New England IPA now points toward juiciness and high gravity — or, even more numbing chagrin for an ex-brewery owner who now sees that if we’d only done NABC Hoptimus as a New England IPA, then maybe …

Whatever. It wouldn’t have mattered, and so I return to my Wernesgruner.

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