Green Head IPA (Newburyport Brewing Company)

Style: American West Coast IPA

7.2% ABV

Hops: Topaz, Columbus, Centennial, Simcoe

From: Newburyport, MA

Brewer’s Note: “An assertive and hoppy west coast-style India Pale Ale. Bright hop aromas and flavors fade to a brief, smooth malt undertone and a clean, crisp, slightly bitter finish. This beer is brewed to bite you back!”


The beer’s can is similar in style to the Plum Island Belgian White but has a funky green coloring and a cool green fly with a hopcone butt.  The background seems to be of giant fat trees, though I can’t quite tell if that’s what it is or not.  Again, I like this can, it’s got a funky design and is different enough from Newburyport’s other can’s that I can distinguish it, while still clearly being from the Newburyport Brewing Company.  This can is worthy of the shelf!


The beer pours a syrupy orange, almost amber, with a huge sticky, cream white head that seems to be yellowing and is made up of different sized bubbles.  The head leaves a sticky, fat, web-like lacing of fluffy bubbles.  In body, the beer is clear but darker and slightly murky.  On the nose, the beer smells resinous, like a big ass, wet pine cone shoved into a light caramel bread.  The pine is resinous and sticky on the nose, and very inviting.  From the can, the smell is a little crisper with a touch of citrus.  On the tongue the beer tastes bitter and dry with some nice bitter hoppy acids and a very faint touch of malt sweetness.  In flavor, the beer begins as slightly sweet bread and then explodes into ruinous, bitter pine that bites crisply across the palate moving from pine needles to pine cone with a touch of caramel.  An earthy, herbal bitter also travels in the mouth and rounds out the bitter flavors, providing some nice balance to the bitters.  The finish is bitter pine with a touch of medicinal flavors, which continues into the aftertaste and becomes slightly more medicinal, but in a nice and linger way.  From the can, the beer carries more citric flavors that add grapefruit flavors to the mouth and actually make the beer even better in my opinion.  In the mouth, the beer feels medium in body with a syrupy finish on the throat and a creamy carbonation that does nothing to mellow the bitter bite of the beer.  The mouth is left dry and sticky, screaming for another sip.  Overall, this is a drink that bites back.  It’s not the hoppiest thing in all creation, but it has some beautiful west coast, American hoppy bitters.  If you like pine in your beer then you will love this beer, for it is a hopheads beer for sure!  Newburyport Brewing has some damn good beers in its repertoire already, and I cannot wait to see what else the cook up.  Try this beer.  It’s even better from the can! Yeat!



6 thoughts on “Green Head IPA (Newburyport Brewing Company)

  1. I had their Pale Ale recently (6 pack of cans) and am just trying their IPA tonight (cans not tap). I’m finding that the hop aroma and flavor is exactly as I remember the Pale Ale. I was surprised to find it so amber in color as well, given the “West Coast style” description on the can. Same metallic hop bite as the Pale Ale as well. I guess I was hoping it would differ more from their Pale Ale given they are only marketing the IPA, Pale, and a white ale.

    1. Interesting. I tried them side by side at a tasting, and i have to agree that the pale ale and the IPA taste very similar. I liked the IPA far more, and saw it as just an amped up version of the Pale Ale with better hop bitters…

  2. Ok, good. I’m not losing my mind then. I thought they were very similar, with the IPA just being a bit bigger and more bitter. The pale ale was pretty bitter for a pale, and the IPA reminded me very much of the pale in hop flavor and aroma. Seems odd to make two of your three brews so similar.

    1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the owner that was there even said that the pale ale and IPA have similar recipes. Honestly, I’m not that worried about it though. They say the Pale Ale is their flagship, but I see it as there weakest beer, the other two are amazing though, and even the pale isn’t bad, it just doesn’t measure up to the other two.

  3. Had 3 of the IPAs over the past two nights, and there’s just something about it I’m not digging. But obviously that’s based on my preferences for the style. I do find that both the Pale and IPA’s carbonation, head, and mouthfeel are a bit funky, though. I got fairly small amount of head even when pouring with a fair amount of splashing. Does make me wonder if they are still working through things with the canning process and how it effects the product. Will be interesting to see how things go with this brewery. There was mention of doing smaller batches eventually, of one-offs or seasonals.

    1. Interesting to hear. When I talked with the owner he did say they were tampering with the amount of beer that was filled into the cans. The first few batches were filled right to the top and exploded out a bit when cracked. I didn’t notice any problem in mouthfeel or carbonation in these cans though… Mine also poured with a rather large head of bubbles. I suppose they’re still working out the kinks, but I would love to see some one off cans.

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