Wait, didn’t Sam Adams just launch a New England Pale Ale a few months ago? You can be forgiven any confusion: That 2018 launch was a New England IPA, and this is a New England Pale Ale. Both are juicy/hazy brews, but they’re surprisingly different in construction.
Says the brewery: “New England Pale Ale was born in the Sam Adams Nanobrewery in Boston, but unlike most New England style beers, it is brewed with hops sourced all the way from the Hallertaü region of Germany, known for being one of the premier hop growing regions in the world. While most brewers who have tackled this style before use all American hops, Sam Adams brewers searched the globe to find hops with the right citrus profile to amplify the beer. This medium-bodied, smooth brew boasts fruit-forward notes of peach and mango thanks to the five different hops used in the brewing process, including recently developed German hops like Hallertau Mandarina Bavaria, Hallertau Blanc and Huell Melon combined with Mosaic and Citra. At just 30 IBUs, New England Pale Ale is slightly less bitter than its IPA counterpart, making its rich flavor.”
Also worth noting, it’s quite a bit lower in alcohol than the IPA version.
I like this version just as much as its ancestor. There’s plenty of citrus here — more orange and lemon than pineapple and mango — but none of this is overwhelming. The bitterness is modest as promised, lightly earthy and gently piney, playing the foil to the fresh fruit. The finish is easygoing and approachable, lightly nutty at times. All told, New England Pale Ale doesn’t reinvent the style, but it does do a credible job of recreating it at a welcome, moderated alcohol level.
A- / $9 per six-pack / samueladams.com