Last week I attended the Alcohol Trends & Innovation Conference 2018 and one of the most interesting trends discussed was the craze for Hazy Beer in the US. Hazy Beer is a sub segment of IPA, where the liquid is primarily described as hazy and murky! I was personally unclear of the flavour benefits of this new beer type and decided to do my own research.
The Alchemist brewery first released a new IPA called Heady Topper over a decade ago. The brewer decided to neither filter nor pasteurise the beer – both common methods of extending the shelf life. The result was an IPA with an unusual cloudy liquid, almost like real orange juice. The taste is a fuller flavour with juicy, fruity notes and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.
The Hazy IPA, sometimes called New England IPA, is now sweeping across the US and growing faster than Sour beers. BrewDog launched Hazy Jane last summer, but it might have been ahead of its time in the UK. With so many beer types in craft these days it’s hard to identify which ones will be successful and which will stay niche. I’ve found it difficult to buy Hazy Beer in the UK in on-trade and off-trade so far – but it’s certainly one to watch out for in the future.