It’s not too often that you run across a beer brewed by a former hip-hop record label manager. Unless, of course, that beer is from Interboro Spirits & Ales. Then you wouldn’t be surprised to learn it is named after a lyric straight off Blahzay Blahzay ‘90s hip-hop hit “Danger.” When the East Is in the House is a special double IPA created in collaboration with the NYC Brewers Guild to celebrate the kick off of the 2019 NYC Beer Week. In total, over 36 breweries from across the city participated in creating this beer.
Aside from the usual beer facts, the only extras on the bright pink label are the names of the breweries involved. Packaged in 16-ounce cans, When the East Is in the House pours a hazy tangerine color. It reminds me of orange juice. An off-white, soft head forms and dissipates shortly after pouring, leaving a white lacing that hugs the rim of the glass.
While it isn’t clearly defined as a hazy IPA, that’s what I would call When the East Is in the House, and it’s quite an enjoyable one at that.”
Swirling the beer in my glass, all I get are hops. In its description, Interboro touts a new hop hop, Strata. Strata is best described by brewers as “passionfruit meets pot” and that sentiment comes through in this beer. Strong notes of mango, passionfruit, and tangerine are present, and some cannabis-like dankness comes through on the end.
The flavor of When the East Is in the House is best described as “juicy.” Unlike the more tropical fruit-forward nose, citrus is prominent on the palate. Orange, grapefruit, and a hint of pineapple are backed up by sweet, bready malt. As the beer warms, a soft yet bitter hop character becomes more noticeable. The beer finishes relatively dry and, despite being 8% ABV, has no noticeable boozy heat.
While it isn’t clearly defined as a hazy IPA, that’s what I would call When the East Is in the House, and it’s quite an enjoyable one at that. It hits all the boxes for the style, and the addition of a new hop makes for a fun flavor-and-aroma combo.