As the number of craft breweries continue to grow at an increasing rate (13.2% of the total beer market by volume), so does the popularity of the Indian Pale Ale. IPAs are the new fan favorite for many craft beer lovers, with different variations of the style appearing throughout all of the most popular breweries across the nation.
One of the newest and most popular variations of the craze is the New England or Hazy IPA. Sporting a cloudy, thick, juice-like aesthetic, these fruity and tropical beers are widening the scope of what beer can taste like.
Many purveyors of alcoholic drinks are now being recruited to the world of Hazy IPAs due to the sweet flavors not usually found in most types of beer. Many breweries are now taking up the task of brewing Hazy IPAs like the New England breweries that came before them.
This cloudy, pillowy version of IPA comes from a combination of high protein grains, specific types of yeast and aggressive dry-hopping. Adding large amounts of specific types of hops after boiling (dry-hopping) leaves the ferment with a less bitter byproduct, as well as a remnant of haze to the liquid.
Using fruitier, sweeter strains of hops like Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops are another way breweries are infusing tropical flavors into these beers. When brewing a normal American IPA, it is common to just use malted barley (or ‘malt’). When Hazy IPAs are coming to fruition, other grains like oats and wheat are used due to higher protein contents. This gives the end product a cloudier and softer body.
My brewery of choice for experiencing a wide variety of hazy beers is Fieldwork Brewing Company. They have many locations in California, spanning from the Bay Area to Sacramento and Monterey. They are known for pioneering many different types of unique beers; from Marshmellow IPAs to Raspberry Sours and Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Stouts.
They often have three or more variations of the Hazy IPA on tap and are known to boast sold-out can releases on a weekly basis. Their beautiful art selection for each can release offers a unique aesthetic not found in many breweries in this area. Check out this great brewery at one of their many locations for a wide selection of delicious beer!
Some other prominent breweries cooking up hazies in the Bay Area are Russian River Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa, Windsor), Henhouse Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa, Petaluma), Barebottle Brewing Co. (San Francisco), Cellarmaker Brewing Co. (San Francisco).
Check out this delicious take on the traditional Indian Pale Ale and see if the trend is for you!