If you’re a Bent Water enthusiast or even a dabbler in our beers (we should talk about that), you’d be hard-pressed to find a beer in our portfolio that is more recognized – or, for that matter, purchased – than our original, tried and true, New England IPA: Sluice Juice.
Besides being a great beer with a cool-sounding name, what’s the story?
Well, for starters, as many residents of Boston’s North Shore can probably guess, the name is a nod to Sluice Pond, a local reservoir in our native city of Lynn, Massachusetts. Sluice was one of the first beers our co-founder and homebrew enthusiast, Aaron Reames, ever made, and originally was shared with close family and friends.
Based on feedback – and during a time when Aaron was already working towards opening the brewery – he knew he was onto something and decided to continue testing and trialing the original batches of Sluice Juice until he landed on a beer that he felt would adequately encapsulate what he most wanted Bent Water Brewing to stand for: hard work, perseverance, and high quality.
Fast forward eight years and Sluice Juice is the number one best-selling beer in Bent Water’s portfolio, spanning nine states and continuing to garner praise (in 2022, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine ranked it a 92 in a blind tasting panel, which categorizes it as exceptional per their ranking system).
So, Sluice has carved out its niche on the increasingly-crowded shelves. People love it and buy it. It is, for many, the go-to New England IPA they place in their fridges. But we started to notice what was becoming a bit of a surprising (at least, to us – at first) trend among craft beer drinkers: many of them wanted something bigger. We’d already dabbled in imperial style stouts and our first Double IPA, Double Thunder Funk (you can read a bit more about that one in this recent blog).
But it wasn’t until 2021 that we finally pulled the trigger on something we thought would make a lot of people happy. After a year of pondering, testing, tasting, and innovating, we were thrilled to announce to a world that, at the time especially, was very interested in new things: Super Sluice, the big sibling of our award-winning flagship NEIPA, was ready for the world.
As the name suggests, Super Sluice – owing to the fact that it’s a Double IPA – has a higher ABV than the original Sluice Juice. The can design is similar, which is intentional, but the primary colors are orange and gold (keeping the gold from the original Sluice while subbing green for orange as a nod to the one of Super Sluice’s primary hops, Mandarina Bavaria).
While it would be easy to assume it’s a ‘punched up version of Sluice Juice,’ we actually think it provides a different drinking experience, with a higher emphasis on tangerine and citrus notes and a fuller body with a creamier finish. It’s deceptively smooth for an imperial style beer, but packs enough punch to ride right alongside any fireside stout sessions you have planned for the winter months. For IPA drinkers – especially during this season of ‘plenty’- it’s a must-grab for the fridge.
The new year is knocking, and we have big plans for 2024. But as we continue to grow and expand our offerings, beers like Sluice Juice and Super Sluice will always be ready to grab from the shelves.Back to News