It’s not easy being the new guy. New Guy IPA, from Atlantic Brewing Company of Bar Harbor, Maine (pronounced “Bah Hahbah”), has been brewed since 2010 so it’s not so much “new” as it is “new to me.” I picked up a six-pack at a corner packie in Somerville on my way home to watch the Bruins game, because I needed Miller Lite from my buddy, Greatness, and something new for myself.
Atlantic says of their IPA:
NEW GUY IPA
With the recent explosion of over-the-top hopped IPAs, we wanted to return to an India Pale Ale that was well-hopped, but still balanced and smooth. Our brewers wanted to name it after one of our hardworking staffers, so we decided to name it after Dave—the new guy. This beer is made with one hundred percent Columbus hops and only one malt, yielding a nice earthy tone and spicy flavors. Columbus hops have a citrusy profile, which is more subtle than that found in most IPAs.
- Brewed Since: 2010
- Yeast: Nottingham
- Hops: Columbus
- Malts: Pale
- ABV: 6.0%
Beer Advocate gives it a solid 80. And I think that’s right about where this beer falls. BeerGraphs is on a mission to define a beer metric for “Beers Above Replacement” which requires finding a “replacement level” beer. If I were picking one for an IPA, New Guy would fall right around what I would consider replacement level. That is to say that there is nothing “bad,” or “wrong” with New Guy, but there’s also not much to it, either. It works well as an introduction to IPAs as a style and is quaffable enough if you’re interested in having a few IPAs with scorching your tongue off.
Appearance: Orange to amber in the range of what you’d expect for a typical IPA. The head is white and dissipates quickly.
Smell: Honestly, not too much. Everything I’m getting is faint. There’s some of the biscuity pale malt and the floral/citrusy smell of Columbus hops.
Taste: Someone referred to this as a “New England-style IPA,” and I think that’s a decent description. The malts are there, but not too impactful. There’s hop bitterness, but not what you would expect from a modern IPA. It’s not quite up to the bitterness of a Harpoon IPA. Decidedly non-descript without being bad.
Mouthfeel: Oily, but again not as much as you get from what’s today’s standard IPA. Medium-to-light bodied with medium-to-low carbonation.
Final Verdict: 3 out of 5. Taste it.
I don’t want to rag on this beer too much because there really is nothing particularly bad about it, but there’s also nothing that stands out. This would be the kind of IPA my dad might drink if he found it in the back of the fridge. New Guy would do well to add more aroma hops to get more of the impression of an IPA without necessarily changing the taste. The beer is well-balanced, but I feel like it comes off less so because there’s nothing going on aroma-wise. I’d recommend getting a taste of this beer, if possible, or buying a sixer or a pint. It won’t let you down, but you’re not going to be blown away by it either.