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First Posted: 7/28/2014

Brewer- New Holland Brewing Company

Beer- Mad Hatter IPA

Style- American IPA

ABV- 5.80%

Description – Mad Hatter pours a deep golden copper with a foamy white head that lingers long and leaves behind a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is a hop bouquet with strong notes of citrus, pine, floral, and herbal hops with hints of toasted sweet caramel malts in the background. The taste follows the nose with hops up front imparting flavors of grapefruit, floral hops, and hints of pine before the sweet caramel malts wash over the palate leave behind a semi-dry finish. Mad Hatter is perfectly balanced with a medium body and moderate carbonation to cleanse the palate and leave the semi-dry finish behind. New Holland has had a great deal of success with their Hatter series of IPA’s with every one of them having a unique take on an IPA style ranging from Black IPA’s to White IPA’s to Imperial IPA’s, all are standouts in their style category and the Mad Hatter is the standard American IPA and is also a standout within the style.

Food pairing – Mad Hatter is another IPA that cries out to be paired with spicy dishes. The hop presence balanced with the sweet malts makes it ideal for Mexican dishes, regardless if it is simple or complicated, extremely spicy or just a mild kick, this is the beer to pair with them all. The hops grab onto the spices and never let go and the malt will come through on the back end to give the palate a break and the carbonation will leave the palate cleaned, refreshed, and invigorated. Some specific Mexican dishes to try are: chicken tostadas, enchiladas, and chiles rellenos; are all fantastic pairings. Also try pairing with Thai or Indian dishes with a spicier profile for a similar and wonderful experience. If you are a fan of cheese pairings with your beer there are many great pairings available, the key is to find a cheese that is creamy but also aged. Some great cheeses to pair with this beer are: Humboldt Fog from Cypress Grove Chevre, Fiscalini Bandage-Wrapped Cheddar, Bellweather Farms Pepato, or Vella Dry Monterey Jack.

The Final Word – New Holland is a brewery that many craft beer lovers in NEPA know quite well especially with their much sought after Dragons Milk stout or beefed up DIPA Imperial Hatter. However, their lighter beers are just as enjoyable and this is very true with Mad Hatter. Hop heads will still find this a highly enjoyable beer while craft beer newbies will also gravitate toward this beer due to the malt presences softening the hop punch just enough to not overwhelm the palate with bitterness. The sessionable ABV also makes this a great craft beer to have while enjoying a night out with friends. New Holland has been producing craft spirits since 2005 and hop heads should also be on the lookout for their wonderful Hatter Royale, a delicious hop whiskey! No matter what your favorite style of beer is New Holland has an offering that is world class and Mad Hatter is proof positive of this fact and is an absolute must try IPA!

Rating – WWWWW

Where can I get it? – Currently available in 12 oz bottles at: Joe’s Six Packs to Go- Dunmore; Wegmans- Dickson City and Wilkes Barre; Goldstein’s Deli- Kingston; Sabatini’s Pizza- Exeter. Currently available on draft at: Arena Bar and Grill- Wilkes Barre

Remember, enjoy responsibly. Cheers!

Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays @ 10 AM and his beer blog found @ IdTapThat.org