What is now best known as the Hazy IPA has gone by several different names, the first ever being New England Hazy IPA. Remarkably fruit and citrus forward, the style has also been called a juicy IPA.
This Hazy IPA beer style started with Heady Topper, the cult beer made by The Alchemist. The brewer here, John Kimmich experimented with a regular IPA recipe, and decided not to filter or pasteurize the beer. This resulted in a thicker IPA with microscopic compounds, enzymes, and cultures that add flavor and aroma.
The first brewers to embrace this new style by brewing Hazy IPA's of their own were fellow Vermonters. Due to this many fights have occurred over changing the name from New England Hazy IPA to Vermont Hazy IPA.
Compared to an American IPA, a Hazy has intense fruit flavors and aromas, a soft body, smooth mouth feel, virtually no boozy burn, and of course the cloudy or hazy appearance. Unlike a traditional IPA, Hazy IPA's lack the bitterness, and are much easier to drink.
The IPA's Hazy appearance and bright yellow, orangey color has been said to resemble orange juice, hence why it is sometimes referred to as a juicy IPA. The hazy characteristics are achieved using a combination of brewing techniques including the use of particular strains of yeast, the timing hops are added, and adjusting the chemistry of the water. Not filtering the IPA, and double dry hopping—or infusing the beer with twice the dry hops later in the brewing process—are other ways to achieve the haziness and fruitiness.
The recipe relies on Citra, Mosaic, and Velma hops for Hazy IPAs, though others can be experimented with, to create the traditionally massive hop forwardness. A variety of English and American malts can be used in the Hazy IPA recipe, although as a whole the malt flavor is limited, since the hop notes are much more dominant. Some Hazy IPA examples include the addition of wheat, oats, starch, flour, and others to experiment and differentiate them from others.
The opaque, fruity, balanced, Hazy IPA ABV typically ranges from 6.3-7.5%, of course with Hazy Double IPAs being a bit stronger. The best Hazy IPA glass is a tulip or Nonic pint. Hazy IPAs pair excellently with crisp and bright produce, that compliment the mouth feel of the hazy and the brightness of the hops.
Here at the Original Craft Beer Club we are constantly searching for the best Hazy IPAs to featured and recently came across the top rated Hazy IPA from Mason Ale Works Brewery. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have, Cheers!