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Fervent Few

Fervent Few — Clearing Up The Haze

About a year ago, we asked The Fervent Few what they thought of the growing trend of Hazy IPAs. Now that the style has been firmly established (and made official by the Brewers Association), we decided to ask how opinions have changed and if the haze craze is still one worth pursuing.


Lana Svitankova: “I'm not a hophead myself, so a hazy on tap is just another option in overall variety for me.”

Brandon Morreale: “So many breweries are putting out haze either in addition to or replacing their other IPA varieties that they often simply replace the others on the shelf. You'll frequently find haze, desired or not, without even trying these days.”

Maia Kazaks: “This weekend I chose a funky, bottle-conditioned and hopped beer over the several hazy choices. It's not my go-to style. I do prefer a Hazy IPA that has soft bitterness and moderate-to-high fruit character. The haze look is not important. (My bottle-conditioned brew, on the other hand, I certainly make sure is poured properly to avoid the yeast haze!) I just don't like the massive resiny bitter bombs of triple IPAs past, and appreciate that hazies are retrained in bitterness. BUT if they aren't fruity, they aren't good, IMO.”

Murray Slater: “[They’re] a good way to introduce non-beer drinkers to IPA due to reduced IBU and fruity haziness resembling juice. Personally, not a huge fan.”

Rob Cartwright: “I'm still searching them out, but it's driven more by my fear that they may no longer be here in a couple of years. Of course, I was thinking the same thing a couple of years ago.”

Wayne Pelletier: “I still seek out the haze. The best of them are as refreshing a beer as can be found. And while it’s true that they seem to be everywhere, we still have to go out of our way for the good ones.”

Alex Marsh: “When your local brewers are producing pretty solid hazy/modern IPAs that you get pretty fresh, it makes the decision easier.”

Suzanne Schalow: “Hazy IPAs are certainly everywhere and being produced by what seems like all breweries. What’s amazing to me is that this sub-style of the IPA seems to be squarely at the forefront of the larger style. In fact, this IS IPA now! IPAs are expected to be with some haze, juicy fruit character, and fairly low bitterness—this is the norm. Traditional West Coast or English styles are continuing to fade to the background. The look is slightly different, but what remains consistent is that balance is key, in this style and all beer!”

Matt Paonessa: “They were fun when they were new and a little niche. Now that everyone and their uncle is making one, they've gotten very overwhelming, especially when browsing retail shelves. I still appreciate a really well-made one, but more often than not, I get a lot of overwhelming fresh-cut grassy hexenal flavors at best, and pretty unpleasant hop burn at worst. One a week is plenty for me.”

Jim Plachy: “To be honest, I’m enjoying them much more than regular IPAs at this point, but there are a lot of them that do just taste the same. And it is going to be interesting to see if the bottom ever falls out of traveling or trading for a hazy IPA when the brewery closest to your house makes the best one or the liquor store has a couple really good ones always in stock.”

Manny Gumina: “I won't spend the money traveling for them. If I'm in the area, cool! Like all trendy styles, a good local-ish brewer will make one at some point, and that fulfills my needs. Granted, I haven't tried Trillium, Monkish, or Tree House, but I'm satisfied with the offerings near me.”

Lewis K. Horne: “For me, as long as haze comes from everything other than suspended yeast, then I really enjoy the style. I find far too many examples in the UK that are too turbid due to yeast, and it really comes across in the finished beer.”

Austin L. Ray: “Judging by the truly wild amount that are competing in GABF this year, it seems we're only getting started with hazy, hoppy beers. While I wouldn't say I've become disillusioned with them, there's definitely been diminishing returns. It feels like a lot of places are making them because they feel like they're supposed to instead of because they want to? I do enjoy the great ones, though, and it's only a matter of time until the mediocre ones fade away.”

Keith Allen: “As long as they're fresh, it's fine. Getting old and stale beers on a shelf six  months later is the problem, especially when the big guys start brewing them and giving them a 12-18 month BBE. It's what's happened to IPA in the UK and Ireland, and it'll happen to hazy beers too.”

Are you still on the haze train or have you gotten off at clear beer station? Let us know on Twitter or join The Fervent Few, where we will be debating hazy beers until one side finally claims victory in The Great IPA War of 2020.

Hosted by Jim Plachy