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We Asked 6 Brewers: What’s the Most Underrated Hazy IPA?

The broad category of IPAs contains some of the most popular beers in the United States. Among them are hazy IPAs, the juicy, ultra-hoppy brews that captured the attention of American craft beer drinkers — and may never let go.

Naturally, the persistence of the hazy craze has earned the New England style some animosity. Many brewers feel pressured to offer at least one in their taprooms, and some of the first cans to send hazies into the stratosphere are now seen as overrated hop bombs. But despite the criticism, the style has persisted, and so have the lesser-known hazy IPAs that deserve more love and praise.

That’s why we reached out to brewers across the country to find out their favorite underrated hazy IPAs. Their choices carried one shared characteristic across the board: balance. Keep reading for picks from the beer pros.

The five most underrated hazy IPAs according to brewers:

Westbound and Down Brewery Juice Caboose
Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing 
Crime and Punishment Space Race
Sacred Vice Brewing Rubbish
Fall River Brewing Numb Numb Juice

“I’ve definitely tossed back my fair share of Juice Caboose from Westbound and Down Brewing Company — and not just because we share a name. For a brewery primarily known for West Coast IPAs, [they make] a hella good hazy. The juicy, tropical fruit flavors up front are layered with more subtle spice, pine, and blood orange flavors while maintaining low bitterness and a silky mouthfeel throughout.” —Juice Drapeau, technical brewing manager, Oskar Blues Brewery, Lyons, Colo.

“I love the style when it’s done correctly; there are many examples of well-made beers as well as bad ones. I like hazy IPAs that have a great citrus aroma and not-too-hazy appearance, and without an overly bitter finish. I think with the haze craze and heavy hop fatigue, those are the beers that are often underrated. Although I see the trend of crisper, clearer beer swinging the pendulum back their way, hazy IPAs will hold the ground that they’ve gained in the past decade.” —Chris Vaughn, Head Brewer, Asbury Park Brewery, Asbury Park, N.J.

“Hazy Little Thing from Sierra Nevada. A huge benefit is that it’s not hard to find like some of the more hyped or hard-to-get hazy beers — and it’s extremely consistent. The beer fits the bill for exactly what you expect: bright, tropical fruit flavors and well-crafted soft bitterness to balance the requisite haze.” —Ryan Frank, head brewer and VP of operations, Headlands Brewing, Lafayette, Calif.

“I’m going to stay local and say that Space Race by Crime and Punishment isn’t talked about enough.” —Richard Koilor, co-owner and brewer, Two Locals Brewing, Philadelphia

“My go-to for a Philadelphia-brewed hazy that’s made with taste and proper restraint is Sacred Vice’s Rubbish. It’s quaffable with notes of candied citrus and berries. It’s hazy, but not chunky.” —George Hummel, grain master, My Local Brew Works, Philadelphia

“I really love Numb Numb Juice from Fall River out of Redding. I don’t think it is very widely distributed, but every time I’ve found it, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised. [It’s got] the characteristics I look for in a hazy: a soft mouthfeel, a creamy, light color, and an explosion of fresh tropical and stone fruits (coming from the brewers’ artful use of aroma hops and not real fruit or natural flavors, of course). It’s a great off-the-radar beer.” —Jeremy Marshall, head brew monster, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif.

*Image retrieved from eugenegg via adobe.stock.com

The article We Asked 6 Brewers: What’s the Most Underrated Hazy IPA? appeared first on VinePair.

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