Last weekend I stopped at Craft Beer Cellar in West Hartford, Connecticut on my way home from a business trip and grabbed a number of local beers that are not distributed to Massachusetts yet. One of the beers I was most excited to try was Sea Hag, an IPA from New England Brewing Company in Woodbridge, CT. I have heard rave reviews about a number of beers from New England Brewing Co. (often called NEBCO for short), but had not tried any of their releases outside of maybe a taste at a festival of two. NEBCO produces a wide variety of ales and lagers ranging from traditional takes on styles to unique and innovative offerings. Sea Hag is one of their flagship beers, an American style IPA brewed with 3 varieties of malt and a generous dose of hops. Named after a sea monster from children’s stories told by the brewer’s grandfather, Sea Hag was one of the first American IPAs to be distributed in cans. You can find NEBCO Sea Hag on draft and in 12 oz. cans if you make the trip to Connecticut.
New England Brewing Company Sea Hag pours a clear burnt orange with a monstrous off-white head. The scent is full of bold and juicy hops, citrus fruit and resin. The taste is very hop-forward, notes of grapefruit, pine, grass, papaya and tangerine. This is accompanied by a pleasant but moderate bitterness. This is complemented by a solid malt backbone, touches of caramel and cracked grain. Sea Hag is medium bodied and drinks very smooth for an IPA, and at 6.2% ABV it is moderately alcoholic for the style. The finish is crisp with just a little hop bitterness lingering on the tongue. Overall this is a very good IPA, tons of hop flavor and aroma but still incredibly easy to drink. I will make a point of seeking out some more of New England Brewing’s offerings, and I hope they start to expand distribution in the near future! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.