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Belt’s Beer Garden: Hot as Hel(ton)

Helton Brewing’s Northeast IPA - a juicy brew from Phoenix, Arizona

Brian Helton opened up Helton Brewing Company back in 2014 and has now been working in the industry for well over 20 years. The brewery, located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, offers six year round brews, with their Boysenberry Sour being one of their most well-known and sought after beers.

While I couldn’t get my hands on that fruited sour, I was able to find one of their two year round IPAs. Today I have their Northeast IPA. This hazy IPA was brewed with two types of malt (wheat and barley), an English yeast strain, and a pair of hops (Belma and Citra). A pack of four 16-ounce cans costs about $15 and each pint has an ABV of 6.2% and 50 IBU.

Northeast IPA poured a hazy deep orange color with over two fingers of eggshell white head building up. The foam was slow to fade away but, once it did, it left a thick lacing down the entirety of the glass.

The aroma is a muddled blend of grist and hops. The hops give off juicy tropical notes of mango, orange, and pineapple with some strawberry and grapefruit qualities underneath. The malts counter with a lighter, cereal-esque blend of flake wheat.

My first swig began with a light carbonated fizzle before the hops began descending on my taste buds. A dried strawberry flavor hit first, along with some hoppy bitterness. Joining in a few moments later were orange peel and grapefruit rind flavors and just a dash of mango.

The flaked wheat wasn’t nearly as prominent in the taste as it was in the aroma, only adding a hint of light cereal notes that countered the bitter hops nicely.

As everything began to fade away, a lingering pithy bitterness remained giving off more notes of grapefruit and dehydrated strawberry. Otherwise, it was a rather clean finish with no real dryness or strong aftertastes.

Northeast IPA wasn’t nearly as juicy as I was expecting, as the hop profile offered up more bitterness than most NE IPAs. However, it was still a rather easy to drink and pretty tasty beer.

Overall, it was a solid brew and I would definitely love to try it on tap/buy it again. Plus the can art was pretty damn cool…it certainly drew my eyes to the beer to begin with, so props to the marketing team that drew that up. Just would have liked it to be a bit more juicy than it was.

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