Little NEIPA bares some teeth as a Mash mid
It is as dense as Dim from A Clockwork Orange, has a head that looks as though it came from an exploded fire extinguisher and carries a name that confuses more than a Donald Trump tweet.
Yet Mash’s new packaged product could be one the beers of the summer.
Little NEIPA has been around the Mash stable for a couple of months. The keg release catered for the growing interest in the style – more on that later.
The 3.5% incarnation was so popular it has been put into cans and will be available in bottle shops from the end of the week.
Now The Sip has to admit it has found more mid-strength beers that the team wouldn’t want to revisit than successes that warrant a return meeting.
For our crew the purpose of consuming a 3.5% brew is the ability to enjoy a handful in one session. However, only a few have presented that long period of enjoyment. A lack of flavour has meant going back for more an exercise in beer lunacy. No matter how many more mids you ingest the same disappointing lack of taste results.
So after Mash decided to stretch Little NEIPA to more in the marketplace The Sip decided to give the beer a thorough road test. That was after the brew was deemed the 6PR Beer of the Month.
And if this was qualifying for the great beer race of the party season then Little NEIPA would be on the first line of the grid.
Don’t let the foam that resembles a white afro put you off. In our view the head protection preserved the flavour of the brew.
And remember that the thickness of the beer befits the recently-devised style. Don't let the sight put you off. You'll regret it.
Little NEIPA is extraordinarily fruity and that is why it rates so highly for a 3.5% example. Passionfruit underpins the bowl of flavours that includes peach and a little citrus late in the tasting.
While Little NEIPA was the creation of recently departed brewer Charlie Hodgson (now Helios), the current version is the work of the new Mash beer-making team of Damian Bussemaker (ex-Elmar’s) and Brett Paton (formerly Homestead).
The beer will be noticeable from the label that is an homage to Stanley Kubrick's sensory masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange. And it's title might prompt some questions from the uninitiated about what NEIPA stands for.
Is it North East India Pale Ale? Or could it be New England IPA? When said phonetically it sounds like Any IPA. Some call it a Vermont.
Whatever its definition, Little NEIPA has some bite. More will certainly catch on over the next few month.