Unlike some of the outspoken beer critics/bloggers/talking heads on twitter I am an unabashed fan of the New England style IPAs. As a point of clarification, New England style IPAs are beers with large doses of fruity hop aroma and flavor, substantial haze and low bitterness. Many IPAs brewed in New England don’t fall into that category, and now many beers of this style are being brewed throughout the US, but the name comes from pioneering breweries like The Alchemist, Trillium and Treehouse. I really don’t understand the vocal criticism of the style. If you don’t like the beers then don’t drink them, it leaves more for me and the other fans of hazy juice-bombs. Are there examples that aren’t good? Of course there are, just like any other style of beer. While I’ve enjoyed many New England style IPAs I have one small quibble, most of them are on the boozy side. I guess I’m getting old, but it would be nice to have a few more examples that had the big hop flavors without pushing past 7% ABV. A good example that falls into this category is Crushendo, a session IPA brewed with pineapple juice from Brewmaster Jack. Crushendo is available on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.
Brewmaster Jack Crushendo pours a hazy light yellow with a solid white head. The scent is mostly fruity hops along with a little pineapple. The hops lead the flavor too, notes of grapefruit, tangerine and papaya with very mild bitterness. The pineapple melds well with the hop profile, I wouldn’t have known that fruit juice was added if it wasn’t printed on the can. A light malt backbone fills out the flavor profile with hints of crackers and cereal. Crushendo lives up to it’s name, it’s light and crushable at 5.0% ABV. The finish is crisp and dry with some lingering juicy hops. This is another quality offering from Brewmaster Jack, using fruit to accentuate the flavors of popular hop varieties. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Brewmaster Jack Reviews: