What Is A Hazy IPA?

The ever-enjoyed hazy IPA has recently taken the beer world by storm, but where did it come from? Is a New England-style IPA the same as a hazy IPA? Why are they hazy?

Hazy IPAs, also known as New England IPAs because of their Northeastern origins, strike a middle ground between easy-to-drink summer lagers and heavy imperial stouts.

The hazy IPA has a cloudy appearance that makes it more difficult to see through than other beer styles (hence the name). But hazy IPAs are more than just how hazy they look. Their foggy appearance is indicative of a fullness of flavor through careful planning of malt and hops. 

India Pale Ales, also known as IPAs, are among the most popular beer styles today, but there is a debate raging between which is better: West Coast or hazy.

Frankly, it all depends on what type of flavor and bitterness level you are looking for in your beer. To fully understand what a hazy IPA is and why it’s different from others like a West Coast variety, you must understand everything there is to know about the style.

History of Hazy IPA

An IPA focuses on unique flavors by utilizing hops more than most beer styles do. IPAs have an ancient history. In the beginning, English brewers focused more on the malt, keeping the hops much more subtle. However, Americans have gone full steam ahead with the hops. 

Hazy IPAs specifically have their origin story begin in 2003 when John Kimmich of “The Alchemist” created the “Heady Topper,” which is the first true hazy IPA. 

The beer became popular very quickly, and the style was called the New England IPA, which was known for being a fuller, maltier, English-style ale.

Since then, hazy IPAs have become one of the most widely enjoyed styles of beer, with craft brew connoisseurs across the world sipping on them year-round.

Why Does a Hazy IPA Look Like That?

The famous opaque golden color of hazy IPAs comes from certain yeast strains, which induce a rich and juicy mouthfeel. These yeast strains don’t sink to the bottom and instead float within the glass. 

These safe-to-drink yeast strains are left floating in the beer while also featuring massive amounts of hops that are added to the beer after initial fermentation. This process is commonly known as “double dry-hopping,” which removes bitterness. This process also adds certain aromas to the beer, like fruitiness and citrus zest.

During the brewing process, brewers add in hops later, which, along with wheat and oats, creates the signature golden hue. 

Hazy IPAs vs. IPAs

Today, IPA as a term casts a wide net, with so many different styles and subgenres pushing the boundaries of alcohol content, ingredients, and the process.

West Coast IPAs are usually known for their strong, hop-focused aroma, high bitterness, and citrusy or piney aroma. These beers are typically brewed with higher amounts of hops, which leads to the high bitterness. Hops are still added post-fermentation to add more aroma as well.

Hazy IPAs, on the other hand, tend to have more hops added post-fermentation and little or none in the kettle, and an even smaller amount in the whirlpool. This kind of beer will be less bitter overall but still retains the same trademark elements of IPAs. More hops also lead to a higher ABV, so it’s important to savor hazy IPAs and pair them with relaxation and good conversation.

The allure of the hazy IPA is the balance between piney hops and the rich malt as they work together. While it might not offer the intense flavor from the hops that West Coast IPA beer offers, hazy IPAs allow the malt and wheat to share the stage. 

Popular Hazy IPAs

The best hazy IPAs are fruit-forward, juicy, and have a rich mouthfeel. They use enough hopped-up body to shake up your palate without the bitterness you might expect from similar beers.

Here are some of the most popular hazy IPAs on the market!

Curb Your Ego

This beer is a juicy, hazy, New England style hazy IPA created by the Iconyc Brewing Company of Queens, New York.

Curb Your Ego is dry-hopped with El Dorado, Waimea, and Vic Secret for tropical fruit notes of pineapple, passionfruit, mango, and pine. This is a hazy IPA to write home about!

Juice Bomb

This hazy, golden, unfiltered IPA is brought to us by the Sloop Brewing Company of Hopewell Junction, New York.

Juice Bomb is a hazy IPA with low bitterness and late hopping to showcase the citrusy, juicy notes of American hops. This beer features all the aspects and nuances of full hop flavor, not just bitterness, thus providing an upfront but easy drinking beer.

Bengali

A popular, tasty beer created by Sixpoint Brewery of Brooklyn, New York. Bengali markets itself as a fun, fresh, delicious hazy IPA that sports a 6.6% ABV.

Anchor Brewing Hazy IPA

The powerful Hazy IPA of Anchor Brewing Company features hints of pineapple, passionfruit, and guava.

Anchor Brewing Hazy IPA offers its tropical flavor with 6.5% ABV, packaged nicely within lovely craft cans. 

Purple Haze

Ironically, the trademark haziness of hazy IPAs was not the original goal of these beers. This style was actually a byproduct of brewers trying to create a highly aromatic, juicy beer to counter the danker West Coast-style IPAs. 

That “haze” has become such a known thing that it has inspired a series of memes poking fun at it, embracing hilarious terms like “hazeboi” or “hazebro” for fans of the beer. Some people even claim that the hazy look is more of the appeal than the taste, and the beer's popularity is the result of Instagrammers and social media clout.

Honestly, once you taste a good hazy IPA, you’ll understand why they’re so beloved. They taste great, look great, and provide drinkers with a deliciously delectable IPA that anyone can enjoy. 

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about hazy IPAs, you probably want to try some for yourself! Check out the wide selection of hazy IPAs (and much more) available at TapRm to satisfy all your beer needs!

 

Sources:

How the Hazy New England IPA Conquered America | Thrillist

Your guide to 5 IPAs: Decoding the different styles of this hop-intensive beer | LA Times

How I learned to stop worrying and love hazy IPA — some hazy IPA | Chicago Tribune

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published