Haze Craze: Brewers Association Releases "Juicy or Hazy IPA" Style Guidelines

Hazy, or NE style IPAs have been “the” thing in craft beer geekdom for well over a year. But if you wanted one, you typically had to find it on draft at a beer bar or growler fill station. However, breweries are now offering this popular style in wide release and are packaging it in convenient small format bottles and cans. 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay! In fact, just yesterday, the Brewers Association declared that "Juicy or Hazy IPA" is now an official style and released the following guidelines:

Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale
  • Color: Straw to deep gold
  • Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to low-medium malt aroma and flavor may be present
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be present, but are usually overwhelmed by hop fruitiness. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
  • Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile.
  • Additional notes: Grist may include a small amount of oat, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.

Haze is relative thing. When I drink the style, I'm looking for an opaque beer (not required by the new guidelines). I want to taste and smell lots of juicy hop flavors, but without the harsh bitterness.

If you're looking for an excellent example of the style, that's widely available it the Northwest, I suggest you quickly seek Ecliptic Brewing's Phaser Hazy IPA. Here's the brewery's description:

"Juicy and unfiltered, Phaser Hazy IPA stuns with a lively array of fruity hop notes.  Phaser features Citra, Azacca, Mosaic, Motueka, and Calypso hops."

When I tasted Phaser, juicy grapefruit dominated the aroma and taste. It also had tropical fruit notes in the middle and finish. Now the bad news...  Phaser is a seasonal release that's nearing the end of its run. It will be replaced as Ecliptic's canned seasonal in April by Espacio Mexican Lager with Lime Zest. If you like Hazy IPAs, this is one you'll want to try! Go grab a six-pack or two!

What are some of your favorite Hazy IPAs?

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