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Snowbank Brewing | Northern Lights NE IPA

Snowbank Brewing's Beer Tent Sign
Bryan Oldham

Over the last year, many local watering holes struggled to stay afloat, adapting to the norm of to-go and carry-out beers, which left little time for a wide variety of new releases. Now that there’s seemingly a light at the end of the tunnel, breweries are starting to bring some new offerings to the menus that are sure to see new customers and old friends alike excited and ready to try something different. 

Snowbank Brewing recently made headlines after a snafu in canning one of their flagship beers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t continuing to deliver consistently awesome, tasty and creative drinks. From their peanut butter Stout to a blueberry pie Sour, the variety is wide and appeals to almost everyone who stops in. Recently, Snowbank tapped a variation of their flagship Snow Juice NE IPA and provided another winner.


Snowbank Brewing Northern Lights IPA

Their Northern Lights New England IPA has the look of a half-hazy IPA, like the process may have been stopped on its way to a full-blown west coast IPA. It’s a beautiful, opaque golden color with a sheen that’s exacerbated by the shape of Snowbank’s pint glasses. Even with a foot or two of snow on the ground, looking at a pint of this beer makes you ready to pull out the shorts and think of warmer weather. 


At first smell, this beer smells like beer, and that’s a good thing. There’s nothing on the initial whiff that would try to trick you into thinking you aren’t drinking hops, so you know immediately what to anticipate. On the second go, you get the hoppiness with a fresh pop at the end, almost floral and citrusy, without any one scent becoming too overpowering. Seeing as Citra and El Dorado hops were used in this beer, this makes perfect sense. 


Northern Lights is brewed with fermented Norwegian Voss Kveik yeast. Because of this, the first thing you’ll notice is the absence of a strong bitterness that often comes with IPAs. Instead, the beer finishes dry and smooth. The Voss Kveik yeast gives the beer strong impressions of a Farmhouse Ale with the tangy notes of wheat and slight citrus. However, on the back half of the palate, you get the tinge you’d expect from an IPA without any of the strong bitter hit on the rear of your tongue. 

Snowbank Brewing has a track record for putting out consistently delicious beer while staying innovative and bringing exciting new offerings to the menu. The Northern Lights New England IPA is no exception, providing a unique twist to a flagship beer that many consider a classic in the Fort Collins brewery circuit. Though seating is limited, making the trip to the north side of Choice City is recommended to get a taste of this latest addition to an impressive tap list. 

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