Hazy IPAs Go Mainstream

Born in New England, American brewers now craft hazy IPAs because they're ideal for those wanting a flavorful beer with minimum bitterness.
Photo by Meg Baggott

Hazy IPAs are beer’s most delicious phenom. These fruity, fragrant brews have won fans by maximizing aroma and flavor, while they minimize bitterness.

“The softness of hazy IPAs makes them appeal to those who may want a sweeter, softer, yet flavorful beer,” says Veronica Vega, brewmaster at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon.

Born in New England about a decade ago, the style first gained buzz for its relative scarcity and fragility. The unfiltered IPA’s cloudy looks and intense scents of berries, tropical fruit and citrus are short-lived. Its suspended yeast and vegetal matter, which amplify flavor, diminish its shelf stability, so to ensure freshness, breweries have historically sold these so-called New England IPAs on-premise, where customers queue for cans.

Increasingly, however, you can skip the lines. A wave of national breweries crafts these new-breed IPAs with protein-rich grains like oats and unmalted wheat that make them more durable.

Rethinking American IPAs

Hazy Little Thing IPA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

This is a terrific introduction to the style. It pours a cloudy gold, topped by fat white foam and reels in drinkers with aromas of mango, grapefruit and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

New Belgium Brewing Company

Unlike many in this style, the medium-bodied Voodoo Ranger balances sweetness with bitterness on the back end, which provides structure to each citrusy, tropical sip.

Hazy Jane

BrewDog

The Scottish brewery opened in Ohio in early 2017, in part to supply American drinkers with super-fresh beers like this Northeast-inspired IPA. Jane tastes like lush juice made from mango and pineapples, tempered by lime peel-like bitterness.

New England IPA

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams tested dozens of different recipes at its experimental Boston brewery. It settled on one with white wheat and golden naked oats as a silky base for the fruity aromatics of Galaxy, Simcoe and Mosaic hops.

Fresh Haze IPA

Deschutes Brewery

Last fall, Deschutes entered the foggy fray with this citrus-charged IPA loaded with flaked barley and both malted and unmalted wheat. If you like oranges or tangerines, you’ll like  this beer.

Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA

Stone Brewing

San Diego might be the West Coast IPA’s bitter birthplace, but the area’s breweries have also embraced haze. Here, moderate bitterness sings in tandem with floral, citric Loral and berry-like Mosaic hops.

Published on January 15, 2019
Topics: Beer


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