The recent explosion of the session IPA style has been remarkable. A couple of years ago the style didn’t even exist and now it seems like every brewery is hopping on the bandwagon and brewing a session IPA. I have had mixed opinions on this particular sub-style from the beginning. On one hand it is kind of a marketing gimmick, brewers have realized that anything labeled “IPA” sells better and there is a demand for lower alcohol beers with big hop character. On the other hand, I am a sucker for beers with high doses of New World hops and there are occasions where I’d much rather drink a couple low ABV beers than a single bottle of boozy DIPA. In the end I am going to follow along with the herd and continue to buy/try session IPAs with the goal of finding a few that will be part of my regular beach/BBQ/I-am-going-to-be-up-all-night-with-a-screaming-infant-so-I-can’t-drink-anything-too-heavy rotation. One of the newest additions to the local session IPA stable is Melt Away from Newburyport Brewing Company. Melt Away is brewed with Citra and Amarillo hops and sold on draft and in 12 oz. cans year-round.
Newburyport Melt Away Session IPA pours a hazy orange with a moderate white head. The scent is a huge burst of hops dominated by citrus and tropical fruit. The flavor is also very hop-forward, notes of lemon, grapefruit, passion fruit and mango. The hops also add some bitterness, you feel it on your tongue but it isn’t overwhelming. There is a mild malt backbone that adds a little balance and a hint of grainy bread to the flavor. The beer is light bodied and crushable, perfect for the outdoor and/or day drinking. At 4.6% ABV it is a session beer by most standards, definitely much lighter than their 7.2% ABV Greenhead IPA. The finish is clean with some crisp bitterness lingering on the tongue. Overall this is a very solid session IPA, plenty of hop flavor and very easy to drink. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Newburyport Reviews: