When it comes to marquee producers of New England IPAs, Connecticut is often overshadowed by its neighbors. Since 2003, Connecticut’s New England Brewing Company has been steadily brewing up local favorites. But its first beer to become a local legend was Fuzzy Baby Ducks, a New England-style IPA made with all Citra hops. Initially, it was only available on draft, so “duck hunters” would swarm local bars and drain the keg within hours. At one point, there was even a Twitter account solely dedicated to tracking bars and restaurants that had just tapped it. To satiate the masses, the brewery began canning the cult favorite in 2017.
One of the more notable things about NEBCO cans, other than the beer, is their brilliant designs. With a name like Fuzzy Baby Ducks, one expects a little whimsy, and the design delivers big time. True to the name, the label has cute yellow ducklings sliding down a rainbow flowing out of a unicorn’s rear. It seems like something out of a children’s TV show created by someone who took too many psychedelics.
Out of that trippy can, the beer pours a slightly hazy orange out of the can with a medium-sized, white head. The aroma is citrus and some soft tropical fruit aromas with an underlying toasty biscuit. The first sip delivers on the citrus with some pineapple and mango notes. There’s some grassiness underneath. One of the things that stands out about it is the contrast between the soft fruit notes and the piney bite of the hops, giving it a nice, delicate balance.
Fuzzy Baby Ducks is a seriously great NEIPA with a very unserious name. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t hunt down this classic.