Love them or hate them the hazy IPA is sweeping the craft brewing world. The brew involves the late addition of hops in the boiling process with more thrown in again early during fermentation. Fruity citrus flavors are amplified, bitterness is subdued and the beer loses clarity resulting in an orange juicy haze.
From humble beginnings such as the Alchemist’s Heady Topper to the Massachusetts hazy specialists of Trillium Brewing and Treehouse the hazy became alternatively known as the New England IPA. The process by which it is brewed and its attributes disqualify it from being called a true IPA. This technicality combined with the style’s trending popularity and the lengths some brewers will go to in making their style as hazy as possible has fueled controversy with some brewers and hopheads crying foul. While some have resisted jumping on the bandwagon the style has spread West with brewers embracing and making the NE Hazy IPA their own. In the spirit of an industry full of collaboration, evolution, and creative innovation here are some of our favorite hazys far removed from the style’s home region:
1. One Trick Pony
Masthead Brewing Co.
One Trick Pony, the cheeky named beer from Cleveland’s Masthead Brewing Co. is huge on tropical flavor. The folks at Masthead have dabbled in the hazy world before but One Trick Pony is our favorite to date. Australian Galaxy and Vic Secret hops come together with fruity notes of passionfruit, guava, and mango. Well balanced and with smooth mouthfeel Masthead also runs several variations including one loaded with pineapple.
2. Rare Trait
Cerebral Brewing Co.
Amongst the shelves of petri dishes, DSM4s and anatomical skeletons Cerebral Brewing Company houses some of the best hazy IPAs in the Mile High City. Amongst their rotating high caliber brews Rare Trait remains a year round flagship, and for good reason. A perfect mingling of powerful aroma and flavorful hops the likes of Columbus, Citra, El Dorado, Mosaic, and Azacca come together beautifully. Tangerine, mango, and peach notes make this one as good to smell as it is to taste.
3. Juice Jr.
Great Notion Brewing Co.
“With a passion for hops, and the patience for sours.” is Great Notion’s motto, nodding to their specialization of hoppy and sour brews. To their credit they do both of these styles exceptionally well, with half of my taster board full of hazy creations and the other half vibrantly colored sours. Juice Jr. is their standout. Touted as the younger brother to their signature Double IPA, Juice Box, this toned down hazy still has juicy hoppy flavor but with a milder ABV making it a perfect all day hazy.
4. Surprise Surprise
Magnify Brewing Co./Civil Society Brewing
Fairfield, New Jersey/Jupiter, Florida
This tasty collaboration comes from two underrated craft beer states. New Jersey’s Magnify Brewing Co and Florida’s Civil Society Brewing came together to combine their hazy brewing expertise. The result is hoppy and hazy surprise, or a Surprise Surprise to be exact. This DIPA combines Idaho 7, Amarillo, Mosaic Powder and Michigan Copper hops to produce an Imperial with a powerful punch and hoppy kick. Citrus and fruit notes give this brew an air of tropical punch, perfect whether you are sipping it on Miami Beach or on the Jersey Shore.
Modern Times Beer
San Diego, California
On the opposite side of the country from the hazy birthplace in sunny San Diego sits Modern Times Beer. A team of folks dedicated to hazy perfection, amongst other things. Orderville is a beer defined by its hop character and “palate crushing” profile. The malt is mild and subdued bringing all the Mosaic hop flavor right to the forefront of your tastebuds. Citrusy with notes of pine Modern Times accurately describes this one as a sledgehammer of dankness wrapped in a velvety peach pillow.
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