Pukwudgie Session IPA

If you’ve been following us from the beginning, you know how far Down The Road has come in these few short years, and one little guy has been there for every step of the journey: the Pukwudgie. The entire company started with that fuzzball back in 2015, but as we have evolved, so has our cherished Puk. Most noticeable is the fact that we recently relabeled our popular American Pale Ale as a Session IPA. Keep reading to find out why.

What’s In A Name?

Everything and nothing. This is the same beer you’ve grown to love over the past three years. In terms of the recipe, nothing has changed. We’re still brewing Puk with our signature blend of Mosaic, Chinook and Cascade hops on a base of pure and simple pale 2-row malt. However, now that all of our beer is coming out of our own brewhouse and getting packaged on our state-of-the-art Palmer canning line, we’ve noticed a distinct spike in freshness and hop presence.

This got us thinking, is this really a pale ale anymore? Sure, pale ales have a strong hop profile, but nothing near what you expect from an IPA, and as we solicited more feedback, many tasters commented that it felt more like an IPA than a pale.

Expectations and New Markets

We didn’t see any shame in embracing this perceived change. We want people to know our Pukwudgie is hoppy! We want hop hunters to seek it out, and we want folk who prefer malt-forward pales to keep browsing. To date, our tenacious DTR sales team has done a great job managing the expectations of newcomers to our beers. They can tell corporate buyers and folk at tastings that our Puk is “like a session IPA,” but now that our reach has grown, our labels need to be more straightforward in managing customer expectations. We believe that the pivot from American Pale to Session IPA accomplishes that goal nicely.

Pukwudgie Evolution

Although the new name is the most recent evolution of our Pukwudgie, it is almost certainly not the last. Down The Road is savvy to the scene, and as beer in New England changes, so will we. We leave you with this: a quick reminder of how much Puk has changed over the years and where it is now!

Brendan Van Voris