One of the best traditions of L.A. Beer Week is the release of the yearly Unity. It is a collaboration worthy of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild.
This year we have twins as on June 6, 2018 there will be a dual-can release. Los Angeles Ale Works is the lead brewery for 2018 and they have created both a hazy and West Coast IPA.
Here are the details from the L.A. Beer Week website, “Both beers clock in at 7% ABV and will take on flavors of El Dorado and Idaho 7 hops, but the west coast and east coast will also feature Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria hops respectively. The west coast is fermented with the classic Cali 01 yeast strain while Sach Trois was utilized for the juicy version. The recipes result in a classic, dry west coast IPA with a dank finish for the west coast and a softer, full-bodied hazy IPA with lower bitterness and a tropical finish.”
Apparently hazy ain’t going away and considering that as I type this, a cloudy day is above me, might as well heed the omens and recommend some….
Upland/ Juiced in Time6.5% ABV
“Juiced in Time is a New England-style IPA that’s absolutely dripping with ripe tropical fruit and bold juicy citrus flavors. Wheat and oats were added to the malt profile along with a special mineral treatment to the water to create body and smooth texture. Virtually all the hops were reserved for after the boil to minimize bitterness and amplify flavor and aroma. From the glowing orange appearance to the soft creamy mouthfeel and delicate sweetness, this beer is everything delicious about tropical fruit juice embodied in a dangerously drinkable IPA”>
Arrow Lodge/ Pinball Wizard6.7% ABV
“Hazy India Pale Ale brewed with Citra, Nelson, and Amarillo hops.”>
Boomtown/ District Haze7.5% ABV
“Ultra-fresh and and packed with notes of pine, citrus, and stonefruit.”>
All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)
The Brewers Association (BA) released their updated Beer Style Guidelines for 2018. After review “Hundreds of revisions, edits, format changes and additions were made to this year’s guidelines, including updates to existing beer styles and the creation of new categories…” That last bit is the big news because three of those categories are a nod to the power of haze.
~Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles: The addition of this trio of styles include representation of what may be referred to as New England IPAs or West Coast Hazy IPAs. The styles will be identified in the guidelines and Brewers Association competitions as “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”
~Contemporary American-Style Pilsener: The addition of this new category addresses marketplace expansion and provides space for sessionable craft brew lager beers with higher hop aroma than found in pre-prohibition style beers.
~Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale and Australian-Style Pale Ale: This split from one to two Australian-Style Pale Ale categories reflects tremendous diversity in the Australian craft beer market and authoritative input from the technical committee of the Independent Brewers Association. Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale can run slightly darker and typically exhibits relatively lower hop aroma. The Australian-Style Pale Ale category provides ample room for a range of somewhat paler, more hop aroma- and flavor-forward beers being produced today by hundreds of breweries in Australia.
Gose and Contemporary Gose: Predominantly technical tweaks were made to create more differentiation between these two categories.
I don’t have a great reason to not include new categories but it seems to be getting a bit nitpicky now. I would prefer that the categories were split differently. IPA, for example, could have sub-categories like regular, hazy, British, Australian, Session that had winners and the top of those could make up the best three. Split DIPA out with Imperial and do the same. This way you give shout outs to more beers while keeping the category count manageable. All I know now is that the yearly awards show just got even longer.
The 2018 Beer Style Guidelines are available for download HERE.
Eagle Rock Brewery is always moving and now they have two new cans coming out on March 20th.
The Future is Unclear – hazy IPA loaded with Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Idaho 7. Available on draft and in 4-packs of 16oz cans.
3056 Pale Ale 03 – This release of our hop study pale ale featuring Chinook, Cascade and Mosaic hops will be available in 4-packs of 16oz cans.
Indie Brewing has another 16oz haze can. (Don’t worry, they probably have more in the pipeline, though not as colorful) I hope the Whale Bros took this as a bit of a slap. The Rain pours a hazy dark orange color. This DIPA certainly tastes double strength which, in a way, works against the haze softness texture it has going. It is more dank and piney to me. I would tag it as a hybrid that gives you flavors from both worlds.
Despite the label no skittles harmed in this beer.
The Bruery’s OffShoot Beer brand is adding a wrinkle to their Hazy IPA cans, a year round distributed one.
I have patiently waited as the IPA’s were online only, then at the Bruery taproom’s, then on keg in select bars and now I may be able to buy a 4-pack off the shelf. That is a whole lot easier than a drive from the valley to Orange County.
I came home from vacation to find two cans of the best named hazy IPA on my doorstep. Zero Flocs Given from Angel City Brewery is
Pours a slightly hazed light yellow color. Lots of lacing on the glass. Has the signature softness of a NE IPA. Herbal and grassy on the nose. Tastes a bit sticky. There’s good strong bitterness that coats the tongue. A bit of dried orange comes through as well.
I would deem this as an everyman’s hazy IPA. It could easily start someone on a journey of the style.
On to another West Coast interpretation of Hazy IPA, this one from Rob Rubens. Upon initial pour Frank Morelli (weird typing an actual name as beer name) doesn’t seem cloudy. But when finished it does have that grapefruit juice look to it. There is a tropical meets stone fruit aroma but with the first sip, I get a buttery caramel note which means that either got an old beer or an off one. Since this is my second Rubens beer that has underwhelmed, I am teetering toward the latter. This beer is pretty one note with a slight Sprite aftertaste.