Garrett Oliver: New England IPA is ‘based around instagram culture'

I see this being discussed everywhere. Why not here.


Sorry no one wants your shitty IPA anymore, Garrett.




i know where he’s comming from. its a new fad possible a totally new culture of beer only gonna last a week or two. next week a new one that’s gonna be almost exactly the same.

none bad. all great if that’s your thing, but heavily based round people wanting to show they have that latest one. or that imperial stout homerism on a weekly scale.

i dont think he meant they are bad just that your always chassing your tail. needing just one more face lift to have you the prettiest boy in town.

its Instagrams version of homerism. it doesn’t mean the beer not good… just that there are other factors in play

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I think he has a strong point. If you look on instagram, that’s what almost all fancy pics of beer are, topped up pours of juice-looking beer with no head and completely turbid. They make cool pictures. He also makes a valid point regarding the shelf life of these beers. It’s largely due to unsophisticated packagers, I think. That being said, the style does have legs and it’s more than just trendy. Black IPAs were novel, I feel like NEIPA has transcended that and actually presents some neat hop expressions and very drinkable beer, when done right. Eventually I see Low Oxygen brewing techniques giving this style more shelf life. And to everyone above, I’d agree that they are not doing anything interesting and their beer leaves a lot to be desired, but there’s some substance here.

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Well, he kinda has a point but it’s a bit weak. Yes fads come and go in beer, but NEIPAs have transcended that. Breweries are still pumping them out left right and centre. They don’t seem to be losing any traction whatsoever compared to say Black IPAs, to which I mostly agree with him on. I do have one from time to time but they are much rarer now. Still love them though, I kinda miss them now.

Oh but they need a head! I knock a point off a beer’s appearance score if it doesn’t retain its head. To be fair I think the majority of bottled NEIPAs I’ve had in the UK have had at least an average head. I’m too impatient to try an “iceman” pour anyway, but I honestly think it makes the beer look worse, no Instagram filter improves it. I do like the turbidity though.

I’m conflicted about the shelf life point. Seen one brewer go with as little as a month which I don’t like, Cloudwater go with 3-4 months which is ok I guess, but plenty of others put much longer on. I had a couple recently that had a BBD of a whole year after bottling. Not sure how much of this is marketing and how much of it is how the beer is made. I don’t know enough about that aspect of it.

I think the problem is some brewers bbf a date regardless os style

the brewer of Heady Topper claims it’s still great after a year. But then again, Heady Topper is not nearly as hazy as other Hazy IPAs nowadays.

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I find a lot of Oliver’s statements annoyingly contrarian. Years ago he came out with that anti-growler article - misrepresenting growlers with poor examples of how people use clear growlers (which virtually no one has ever used in the history of using growlers), and so the beer gets light-struck the moment it leaves the premises.

If someone gets a growler, they may not open it for a few days, even after warnings about how the beer needs to be consumed fresh, etc. They can presumably have 100% control over canned or bottled beers, even kegs and so on. Beyond that, his reasoning was absurd and he used some extreme circumstances that are very unlikely, like having a beer skunk in the growler skunk (and therefore be potentially undrinkable) because it was exposed to light from the walk from the brewery to the car. Never mind that millions of people drink beers exposed to direct sunlight every day and the beer doesn’t magically become undrinkable in the 20-40 minutes a beer might be consumed.

So here with the NEIPA discussion, I see a lot of what he’s saying here in the same vein of “some truth behind the troll”, there’s definitely a BRO CULTURE behind the hype. I don’t think NEIPAs are in the casual beer drinker’s consciousness, not like other styles anyway. And that may be his point. But he’s obviously a few years late to the party because that style is here to stay.

If he doesn’t want to brew one, he should just keep his mouth shut like every other brewer who doesn’t want to brew a style they don’t like.


Who? And why should I care what this old man yelling at a cloud thinks?


Show me a brewer saying someone else’s beer isn’t beer and I’ll show you someone who’s soon to eat their humble pie.

“Their art isn’t art at all!” Who can take anyone like this seriously? What sort of glass house have we built for ourselves?


Typically the words fad, fashion and trend are used for short, medium, and long-lasting changes to group behavior. After checking the database a few months ago for evidence of the growth of hazy IPAs, this NEIPA “trend” is at least ten years old. Considering modern craft beer is about as old when you consider most of today’s breweries didn’t even exist when the first NEIPAs were being made, we are well past a reasonable definition of “fad” or even “fashion”.

I remember the first time I took American hoppy IPAs to Italy and England (some examples were by the same brewers complaining “NEIPA isn’t IPA”) and one of the reactions I got was “this isn’t beer!” This creativity was an affront, an insult to some people and their ideas about what beer should rightly be.

These reactions are so tired and stupid to me. How many times have I heard some idiot hear some award-winning metal or hip hop or experimental music and say, “that’s not music!” or object to people taking drugs or having gay sex, and with some similar knee jerk reaction and in abusive or at least inflammatory language.

The bird flies very easily in their direction.


A huge source of the popularity of New England IPAs is that, with their juicy-sweetness (as opposed to dryness and/or bitterness, traditional aspects of IPAs that NEIPA-makers intentionally minimize), “pillowy” palate effects, and eye-catching appearance, they are extremely approachable and appealing to people who are averse to the more challenging flavors that tend to be found in craft beers. That’s a big part of the explanation for their disproportionate popularity among young, inexperienced drinkers (who are more likely to use Instagram, not incidentally) and in immature craft beer markets within the United States. They seem to be starting to displace witbiers, golden ales, etc. as friendly options for people who tend not to seek craft beer. “Moms and Massholes IPAs,” an impolitic observer might call them.

I’ve also noticed that, in addition to becoming an entry point into the world of hops for many, they’re also becoming an exit point. I know some long-time IPA fans who have jumped on the NEIPA bandwagon and now find non-New-England IPAs too bitter for their lupulin-shifted palates. I think that approachability, widespread appeal, and conversion effect away from other IPAs will keep NEIPAs a presence in the craft beer world for a long time.

For the moment, at least, in the popular mindset, NEIPAs get to retain the IPA’s cachet as a palate-challenger (despite eschewing the aspects of the IPA that built that prestige) and reputation as the epitome of craft beer. I do wonder if, however, as the more plugged-in beer enthusiasts catch on to the primary source of the style’s appeal (accessible beer for the sweet-toothed masses), the cool factor will reverse in direction, turning enjoyment of New England IPAs into a guilty pleasure instead of an Instagrammable point of pride.


I think the biggest difference between the Hazy IPA fad and the Black IPA fad is that a lot of Hazy IPAs actually taste good.


Instagram does have way too many pictures of hazy IPAs.

Get a clue

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Garret Oliver is a bombastic blowhard with an almost deliberately obtuse, uneducated opinion, who made yet another mildly controversial statement in an attempt to stay relevant in the media spotlight.


I can haz joose? Big thanks to the @cloudwaterbrew crew for an awesome evening throwing down nine @brooklynbrewery Ghost Bottles and drinking some of that tasty haze and eating Serrano ham. We had a blast. I blame Instagram. #newpals #manchester #ipa #instagramculture

A post shared by Garrett Oliver (@igarrettoliver) on Nov 17, 2017 at 6:20am PST

This Garrett Oliver, who is here seen holding a chalice of haze?

I think this was maybe taken out of context, or him simply just babbling about something he didnt care about.


Either that or it was some carefully trollish but actually innocuous comments designed to stir people up.

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Thank you for posting this. I could have sworn I saw Cloudwater posting stuff about this and wanted to add it to my reply but couldn’t be bothered to find it.

Bit of both I reckon. If he is just being a master trole it seems to be working given the amount of discussion around it. If they were innocuous then that’s too bad, hardly anyone is on his side.

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