The New England IPA may not have been invented in Massachusetts, but the Bay State has been a dutiful steward of the style. With brands like Tree House, Trillium, and Backlash pumping out world-class examples of the style, even giants like Sam Adams have failed to crowbar into the market.
But then there’s Lamplighter, a tiny cafe/brewery in an old mechanic’s shop in Cambridge. In a little over two years, Lamplighter has gone from a stopover in America’s brainpower capital to a leader in the Massachusetts brewing scene, and it did it on the back of its NE double IPA Rabbit Rabbit.
Rabbit Rabbit’s consistency is its first remarkable feature. Tangerine orange all the way through, the color is alluring. You get none of that pithy white film you get with some doubly hopped IPAs. Instead, an airy head forms at the top, leaving creamy strands of lace along the glass.
It smells like you could squeeze the air above the glass and rivulets of tangerine juice would stream out of your fist. First you get honeydew and Asian pear, but breathe deeper, and those overwhelming notes of Citra-delicious grapefruit and persimmon emerge.
This is as close to the ideal NE IPA as you can get outside of Vermont.”
Rabbit Rabbit is more nectar than beer. The amount of juice in in the flavor seems impossible. It coats the back of your mouth with a membrane of fresh-squeezed goodness. This is as close to the ideal NE IPA as you can get outside of Vermont.
Lamplighter’s flagship sails on an ocean of juice. Even though its port of call is the NE IPA capital of America, Rabbit Rabbit still manages to stand out among its peers. This double-hopped sprite is worth chasing, and lucky for hopheads, it’s abounding on the East Coast. Lamplighter just started New York distribution, and if this beer multiplies like its namesake, it won’t be long until Rabbit Rabbit is bouncing into your market.