New England-ish Bitter • Illustration by Jeff Nelson

New England-ish Bitter • Illustration by Jeff Nelson

I hate to call this a session IPA, but you could if you had to. It’s a sub-five percent ABV, glucan-rich, non-“C” hop juice bomb. But it’s really got the soul (or at any rate, the malt, yeast, and ABV percentage) of a lovely imperial pint–sloshing bitter.

Here’s the plan: flavorful pale ale malt base (we’re calling for Golden Promise, but Maris Otter would be great too) with a lauter-tun punishing load of malted oats. Nothing but whirlpool and fermentor additions of extremely fruit-forward hop varieties, ones that bring the melon, berry, and tropical flavors (versus something more strongly citrus/pine). Ferment with an estery yeast strain that makes a home in both UK and VT.

This recipe is just one of 64 witty and detailed homebrew recipes originally published in Michael Dawson’s debut book, Mashmaker: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Great Beer at Home. The e-book version is available here.

Note: These steps are general guidelines and assume you’re already familiar with the all-grain brewing process—refer to the instructions for your brew system, and adjust as needed based on experience with your own particular equipment.

Except where noted, the recipes in this book are formulated for 5-gallon (19-liter) all-grain batches, calculated at 75% mash efficiency.

Targets: OG: 1.044, IBU: 30–35 (nominal), SRM: 3.5, ABV: 4.7%



  • 5.5 lbs. Simpsons Golden Promise
  • 2.75 lbs. Crisp Malted Oats
  • Rice hulls


  • 3 oz. El Dorado
  • 3 oz. Mosaic


  • Wyeast 1318 London Ale III or Yeast Bay Vermont Ale


Rice/oat hulls are your friend: If you do brew-in-a-bag (BIAB) mashing, you can skip ahead—no stuck mash for you. For my fellow fly-sparging Luddites, add a couple of handfuls of preventative mash filtration aid at dough-in.

Bitterness vs. flavor/aroma: This is designed for maximum hop flavor and aroma, with bitterness as a side effect. We’ll get some amount of utilization/isomerization from the hop stand, but don’t worry overmuch about calculating it.

Can’t find malted oats? White wheat malt would be a good stand-in.

Other hops: Citra, Hüll Melon, Galaxy, or Vic Secret would mix in nicely at a 1:1 substitution rate.

Yeast: Strains of choice add complementary esters and texture to New England-style hop delivery systems: “Conan” and Wyeast 1318 are a couple of options used by pros that are readily available to homebrewers.



  • Make a yeast starter prior to brew day. Mill the grains. Heat strike water to approximately 166°F.


  • Mash Resh: Add all grains to strike water, mix to 153–154°F, and rest for 60–90 minutes. Collect and heat sparge water.
  • Mashout: Heat to 170°F for 5 minutes.
  • Sparge and collect the wort in the boil kettle.

BOIL (60 minutes)

  • T-0: Turn off the heat and add 1.5 oz. El Dorado and 1.5 oz. Mosaic, and let steep.
  • T+20: Cool it, transfer to a sanitized fermentor, aerate well, and pitch yeast.


  • Depending on the yeast strain being used, aim for a fermentation temperature in the mid-60s.
  • When fermentation activity begins to slow, add the remaining 1.5 oz. El Dorado and 1.5 oz. Mosaic to the fermentor as a dry hop addition.
  • After 3–7 days contact with the dry hops, rack or package the green beer—New England IPA brewers don’t shy away from a little (or a lot) of turbidity in the presentation, so don’t worry about finings or a secondary unless you’re so inclined.
  • This beer will drink best fresh when the hop character is at its most pronounced—don’t delay gratification.