What Makes an IPA Hazy?

Hazy IPAs have taken the beer world by storm in recent years, offering a unique twist on the classic India Pale Ale. With their distinctive hazy appearance and juicy, fruit-forward flavor, it’s no wonder that they have become so popular. But what makes an IPA hazy?

In this article, we’ll look at the science behind hazy IPAs, exploring the ingredients, brewing processes, and yeast strains that contribute to their unique character. Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer fan or just starting to explore the world of craft beers, this article will shed light on what gives this popular beer its haze.

The Basics of IPAs

IPAs are a type of beer that originated in England in the late 1700s. They were originally brewed to withstand the long voyage to India, hence the name India Pale Ale. They are known for their bitter, hoppy flavor and high alcohol content. Over the years, IPAs have evolved into many different sub-styles, including but not limited to West Coast IPAs, New England IPAs, and, of course, the Hazy IPA.

Hazy IPAs – A New Twist on an Old Classic

Hazy IPAs, also known as New England IPAs or NEIPAs, are a recent addition to the IPA family. They first appeared on the scene in the Northeast United States and quickly gained popularity due to their unique flavor and appearance. They are known for having a juicy, tropical fruit-like taste, are much less bitter than traditional IPAs, and of course, have a hazy and cloudy look to them. But what makes an IPA hazy…

What Makes an IPA Hazy?

Hazy IPAs get their signature haze from both a combination of the ingredients used to make them as well as the actual brewing processes. The most crucial factor is the type of yeast used in the brewing process. They use a specific kind of ale yeast that contributes to the beer’s cloudy appearance. Additionally, a high amount of wheat and oats are used when brewing them, which adds to the haze. And lastly, unlike many beers, they are unfiltered, which means that all of the yeast, hops, and other particles remain in the beer, making it hazier looking.

The Flavors of Hazy IPAs

In addition to their hazy appearance, hazy IPAs are known for their tropical fruit and juice-like taste. This unique taste is achieved by using a large number of hops, which are the flowers of the hop plant. Hops contain compounds that add bitterness, aroma, and flavor to the beer. 

a Hazy IPA on a table next to a beer bottle and besides the words "what hames an IPA hazy".
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Hazy IPAs use particular varieties of hops that are less bitter and also known for their tropical juice flavor and aroma. This combination of yeast, wheat, oats, and juicy hops creates a beer bursting with fruit flavor and aroma.

Hazy IPAs vs. Clear IPAs

It’s important to note that hazy IPAs are not just simply a cloudy version of an India Pale Ale. There are, in fact, several key differences between hazy IPAs and clear beers that go beyond just their appearance. First and foremost, hazy IPAs have a much lower bitterness level than clear IPAs. This makes hazy IPAs a preferred option for those who aren’t fans of bitter beers. Also, hazy IPAs have a much more complex flavor profile, thanks to the juicy hops used in brewing. And since they are typically brewed with a different yeast strain than most IPAs, they also have their own unique flavor and aroma.

Last Call

In conclusion, what makes an IPA hazy? It’s a combination of ingredients, brewing processes, and yeast strains. When it comes down to it, although they are considered to be a unique twist on the classic IPA, offering a juicy, fruit-forward flavor, low bitterness, and tasty beer, they really are their own style of beer with a vastly different appearance, smell and taste than most other India Pale Ales.

P.S. Be sure to pick up your gift of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brew pub; details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone.  Cheers!

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