Are hazy beers IPAs?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Hazy IPAs, also known as New England IPAs or NEIPAs, have become increasingly popular in the craft beer scene in recent years. While they are still considered IPAs, there are some key differences that set them apart from regular IPAs.

One of the most noticeable differences between hazy IPAs and regular IPAs is their appearance. As the name suggests, hazy IPAs have a cloudy or hazy appearance, while regular IPAs are typically clear. The haziness in hazy IPAs is a result of the brewing process, specifically the use of certain ingredients and techniques.

Hazy IPAs are brewed using a process called “dry hopping,” where hops are added during or after fermentation. This technique enhances the hop aroma and flavor in the beer, giving it a more intense and tropical fruit-forward profile. The hops used in hazy IPAs often have fruity and juicy characteristics, such as Citra, Mosaic, or Amarillo, which contribute to the beer’s distinct flavor profile.

In addition to dry hopping, hazy IPAs also often incorporate a higher amount of protein-rich grains, such as wheat or oats, into the malt bill. These grains contribute to the beer’s hazy appearance and also add a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The combination of the hazy appearance and the velvety texture creates a unique sensory experience when drinking a hazy IPA.

The flavor profile of hazy IPAs tends to be less bitter compared to regular IPAs. While regular IPAs often showcase a prominent hop bitterness, hazy IPAs focus more on the hop’s aromatic qualities and the tropical fruit flavors they can impart. This makes hazy IPAs more approachable for those who may not typically enjoy the bitterness associated with traditional IPAs.

To summarize, hazy IPAs are a variation of the IPA style that incorporates a hazy appearance, intense tropical fruit flavors, and a smooth mouthfeel. They are brewed using dry hopping techniques and often include protein-rich grains in their malt bill. While they are still considered IPAs, the hazy IPA style offers a distinct and unique drinking experience compared to regular IPAs.