In this day and age, there are a ton of different breweries across the world, most of which, never make it to the United States. If they do, there is a good chance that they don’t come to Minnesota. However, once in a while we get the opportunity to try some of these rare or unavailable beers through collaborations. Depending on the collaboration, we get exposed to new methods or versions of our favorite brews.
There is this thing going on right now in the craft beer world. What was once reserved for wheat beers (hefeweizen, mostly), hazy beers are beginning to show up in IPAs. This is a tough line to cross for some brewers as, traditionally, a clean, clear, crisp beer was the standard. An IPA with haze was more of a sign of poor filtering/brewing practices. One day someone decided they didn’t want to filter their IPA and fast forward a few years and it’s sweeping the nation. New England style IPAs are showing up all over the place now. If a brewery doesn’t already have it on tap or out in distribution, they probably will within the next six months.
But what is this haze? Where does it come from? What is it so popular? Is it worth it? Let me shed a little light on the issue. There can be several factors that result in hazy beers. First and foremost, it’s the malt bill. Brewers are using higher-protein malts like oats and wheat, these malts also provide a better head retention. The yeast stain can also affect the haziness of the beer, a yeast strain that doesn’t readily flocculate or fall out of suspension. Finally, late hop additions can contribute to the haze, and with IPAs late hop additions help create the aroma as well. There are rumors out there, though, that some breweries have added flour to their beers to create a thick haze in their beers. Most don’t do this nor would they do it, but it’s worth noting to show you how crazy this haze trend is.
I can go in much deeper as to what within the hops, malts, and yeast strains actually contribute to the haze, the pros, and cons of hazy beers, and so much more information, but that’s a lot to type up, not to mention read. If you want to discuss this further in-depth reach out and we can chat for a good hour or two on hazy beers. Most importantly, drink hazy beers as fresh as possible. Speaking of fresh, let’s drink some beer!
And Now, the Brews
|Fair State | Spirit Foul | New England style IPA|
|If you follow anything in the beer world, Spirit Foul has been at the top of the discussions. Originally released back in September and re-released this week, Spirit Foul is a collaboration with Modern Times Beer out of San Diego, this beer embodies what a Hazy IPA should be. The haze comes from the malt bill, Pilsner malt (barley), pale wheat, flaked oats, and flaked barley, and a little haze, I am sure, comes from the hops, x331 Experimental, Mosaic, & Citra. The result is a beautiful, unfiltered, hazy beer. Traditional of a NE style IPA, Spirit Foul boasts aromas of juicy citrus and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, blended with some great dankness that shows almost no bitterness. As you sip, the Pineapple hits you in the face with orange, mango, and other citrus fruits show through. With a nice backbone of hop resin and a touch of bitterness, Spirit Foul quenches your thirst, but just enough to keep you coming back for more. Super limited, grab some if you see it, and make sure you show it off to your family during Thanksgiving. This should actually pair quite well with your Turkey.|
|4 pk 16 oz Cans | 6.3% ABV | 40 IBUs|
|Modist Brewing | Dream Yard | American Hazy IPA|
|So, I am pretty sure I have featured Dream Yard before, but it’s worth revisiting, especially when we’re talking about hazy beers. The uniqueness of this beer comes directly from their mash filter. Built in Belgium by Meura, it separates the gummy grain flour (yes, the malts go into the wort as flour opposed to split grains) from the wort, spitting out a plywood-like byproduct that is bone dry, instead of the traditional oatmeal like spent grain. One of the main benefits of a mash filter, not many like it within the Craft Beer industry, it that it allows them to create beers with malt bills that would be unheard of anywhere else. This is also the reason why this hazy IPA is so unique. The malt bill is made up entirely of oats and wheat and then hopped generously with Citra and Denali hops. The resulting beer is wonderfully hazy with aromas of apricot, peach, pineapple, and other citrus notes. The flavor follows suit with an addition of a very mild bitterness that makes this IPA approachable for almost anyone.|
|4 pk 16 oz Cans | 7.1% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|Omnipollo | Abrahadabra | Unfiltered IPA|
|So Omnipollo has to be one of my favorite beer producers. Did you see that, “beer producer”? Omnipollo doesn’t have an actual brewery. They travel around Sweden (where they are from) and the United State of American to work with other breweries to create their special beers. Abrahadabra was brewed at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Colorado. This is an interesting beer, to say the least. Omnipollo is somewhat obsessed with mouthfeel and texture of their beers, and this one is no different. This unfiltered IPA is brewed with strawberries, vanilla, Lactose. If you have ever had or seen any Milkshake IPAs, this is along those lines. The lactose gives the beer a nice creamy mouthfeel that takes to the sweet tropical flavors in IPAs and also does well when other fruits are added. Besides being unfiltered, like the rest of the beers here, the resulting haziness is the byproduct of the recipe, brewed with oats, wheat, lactose sugar, strawberries and Citra hops. The nose on this is unlike any IPA that I have had before. A mixture of funky Belgian yeast, mixed in with hints of vanilla, strawberry, pineapple, and citrus. With a slight bitterness, but overall juicy flavors, Abrahadabra is easy drinking with unique flavors that one wouldn’t expect from an IPA. A great break from your typical IPA. Enjoy this beer with some spicy or overly spiced food!|
|22 oz Bottle | 6% ABV | N/A IBUs|