We cracked open a can of Corridor Brewery’s SqueezIt, a nice, hazy, juicy DDHIPA. Not from New England…but don’t tell anyone.
“Visually they are a nightmare… Musically they are a near disaster… Their lyrics are a catastrophe, a preposterous farrago of Valentine-card romantic sentiments….”
That’s what Newsweek wrote in the weeks following the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan. This quote and others like it are a perfect representation of someone who couldn’t see that the world had moved on — old gatekeepers and guardians who just didn’t catch was occurring in society, who couldn’t recognize the wave because it was already towering over them.
And that’s what I’m afraid I’m going to sound like every time I sit down to write about any beer that is approximating the New England, New Era, Double Dry Hopped (DDH) hazy-IPA madness that’s taken over the craft beer world in the last 6-8 months. Some mid-30’s dipshit who doesn’t get the hip new wave of what’s-cool-and-what’s-next.
But here I go anyways.
NEIPA is the most divisive style of beer I’ve seen emerge for as long as I’ve been covering the beer world. Moreso than black IPAs, than fruited pales, than kettle sours and pastry stouts. Nothing separates beer geeks into two camps more distinctly than NEIPAs, love ’em or hate ’em.
I have tried to get into them. Really, I do want to find my way into these beers if I can, but for someone whose IPA preferences lean heavily towards the Two Hearted spectrum of the scale instead of the Heady Topper side of things, it’s been hard to wrap my head around the low-bitterness, zero-malt-profile preferences that The Kids These Days Go Crazy For.
At some times, I feel like sticking my head up out of the beer-writer trenches with a helmet on my head, an unfiltered cigarette between my teeth grumbling, “Is this what we fought the Great IBU Wars of 2008-2012 over?”
But I digress. You’re here to read about Corridor Brewery and their push into hazy IPAs, and I have nice things to say about it. Their reinvention from a farmhouse- and saison-focused brewery to a full-on, none-more-hazy brewery has been most impressive and proves that you’re not beholden to your past (short though theirs may be). If you look at a brewery like it’s an art studio, they’ve transformed from a landscapes-and-still-life Thomas Kinkade type of place to an Andy Warhol pop-art juggernaut.
Their recent SqueezIt release is pretty much everything a DDH beer should be – bright, creamy, awash with orange and pineapple and grapefruit juiciness, a little grassiness and honey-biscuit floating along and at the end of it there’s not a zing of citric acid but a snap of hop crispness. I feel like if you brush your teeth right after drinking this beer you’d regret it.
The flavor is great, the aroma is a party of citrus and flowers, it hides the 8% ABV quite well and it’s got body to back it up. The only things I don’t love are the same things that I don’t love about most other NEIPA style beers – the yellowish-tan color, the plop of particulate you get at the end of a pour if you’ve let the can or package sit for a while and settle out. Those things aren’t the end of the world.
Am I a DDH IPA convert? Not quite, but if more beers were like SqueezIt, I’d be much further down the road — as of right now, I’ve still been burned too many times by too many bandwagon jumpers. Were it readily available, I’d happily drink it again.
And I’ll have the chance, should I care to stand in line for the next release – Corridor has another round of canned Squeezit coming out this Friday, November 17. Four cans for $18, there will be 100 four-packs available and the last round of their cans sold out in less than an hour, so plan ahead.