Hazy IPAs: Why I don’t like them, or An Angry Letter to the Editor (Me)

Dear Hazy IPAs, New England-style IPAs, skim milk stirred with a pine tar-dipped rusty nail swizzle stick, whatever,

My initial thought is “laziness” – filter your damn beer, presentation is important, choose a yeast strain that flocculates a little, do something to make my artistic eye happy.

Back off the hops, it tastes like I’ve been licking envelopes for the last 12 hours.  Don’t tell me they are deliciously juicy, that’s what orange juice is for.  The finish is not that different from the West Coast IPAs you rebel against.  You’re the kid that can’t stop showing off about how much more of something he has than I do.  Annoying, off-putting and unnecessary.

Stop feeling the need to follow trends.  Don’t you remember how the end of the sour beer trend made you feel when it ended?  Yes, it ended, move on.  Go sniff an armpit at the end of the day and remind yourself of sour beers if you really need to be sentimental.

I realize I’m an old crank, but that does not make me wrong.  The market becomes oversaturated with product and producers and I worry that the strong that do survive will forget about their early followers.  Yes, this is about me.  Some things need to be about me.  I also realize that there is always Old Style on the shelf, and as my taste buds and brain cells continue to die, it might be an option that I embrace.

Bearing your soul (uselessly complaining) is exhausting, but you know what would make me feel a lot better?  A Scotch Ale, an Altbier or a bourbon barrel-aged Barleywine. That leaves more Hazy IPAs for others.  You’re welcome.

Sincerely,

beerbliographer, the

 

PS – Ha!  I said flocculate.

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Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale

People still like farmhouse ales these days, right?  Is that trend still a thing?  I remember it from early in the summer of 2016.  Like sour beers.  Is that still a thing?  Anyway, Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale (Minhas “Craft” Brewery, Monroe, WI) has a lightly sweet bouquet with a hint of floral, Cashmere Bouquet soap.  Weak flavor with some berry notes.  Light body.  Not bad, not remarkable.  I like to be excited and enthused by beer, otherwise my time has been wasted.

Meh.

Free Bird APA

image courtesy of glunzbeer.com

Drink local.  Chicago local.

Free Bird APA (Begyle Brewing Company, 1800 W. Cuyler, 1E Chicago, IL 60613, 773.661.6963, oh.hey@begylebrewing.com) is a honey-gold American Pale Ale with a white, sticky head, gloriously thick lacing and a subtly sweet edge.  This APA is not too extremely hoppy, and its big caramel malt bouquet balances the hop/malt dynamic well.  There is a little peppery note that adds an intriguing spiciness to Free Bird, and a touch of bitter dryness in the finish is the appropriate punctuation to end the journey.

Very drinkable, highly recommended.

Entrenched IPA

Image courtesy of Gordon O’Keefe

More hazy IPAs people, it’s the wave of the future.  Entrenched IPA from Alarmist Brewing Company, 4055 West Peterson Avenue, Chicago, IL, is a deep gold IPA with a lacey, fluffy head that leaves patterns reminiscent of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave” on the sides of your official Alarmist glassware.  Pine and malt greet the olfactory nerves as part of a clean smelling bouquet that hides its citrus notes like a 5th grade reprobate named Billy hides a bad report card from his mother.  Entrenched has a full mouthfeel but it’s not heavy, and it carries a punch-in-the-chops of hops.  Bitterness is not overplayed, but prominent for sure.  This is a very satisfying beer from a Chicago brewery.

Be sure to visit the taproom at Alarmist.  Some of the nicest bartenders you’ll meet, too.  The atmosphere is very inviting, and your dog is welcome.  This taproom is not overdone and doesn’t try too hard to appear super hip or trendy, it’s just a solid brewery and taproom with solid products.  I wish I lived closer, but never-the-less, I’ve managed to get there twice in two months and look forward to my next visit!

Drink local, don’t give AB InBev any of your hard-earned dough.

Golden Nugget IPA

Image courtesy of France 44 Liquors, Inc.

Hazy and dark yellow/light orange in color, Golden Nugget IPA from Toppling Goliath, Deborah, IA, is a fragrant and tasty addition to the ever-expanding and probably overpopulated roster of American made IPAs.  This is one of the good ones.  Once the sticky head evens out into a persistent 1/8″ thick splotchy film you can get a good does of the bouquet, which is super malty with some grassy notes, and no alcohol whiffs despite being 6.8% ABV.  This firm-bodied, substantial IPA is assertive but not overbearing.  Malty for sure, but the happiness quickly eclipses any sweetness with pine essence and dryness.  Kind of like a 105 degree day at the base of Devil’s Tower, but refreshing.  The mildly bitter finish is a long-lasting souvenir of a trip down IPA lane.  Not as memorable as Pseudo Sue, as far as Toppling Goliath beers are concerned, but worth a try for the IPA lover.

90/100 IPA

I Want My HTV

Image courtesy of Odd Side Ales

I want my HTV from Odd Sides Ales, Grand Haven, MI, is honey gold with a rich beige head that leaves super-sticky lacing.  The clean bouquet carries toffee and caramel whiffs to your nose and the sweet, full body gives you a quick shot of Citra hops bitterness that lasts a long, long time.  This gut-warming Imperial Pale Ale (9% ABV, 61 IBUs) will put a smile on your face halfway through your glass, and you’ll keep smiling for the duration!

I like strong beer!

Thunderlips

Also my nickname in high school, Thunderlips (Experimental Pale Ale) is another winner from Columbus Brewing Company.  Light yellow with a slight haze, Thunderlips‘ super frothy head collapses into a splotchy, lacey wonder.  (also a high school nickname)  The sweet, piney nose has a hint of citrus and a little sweet bread dough way in back.  (also said about me in high school)  Dry and bitter up front, Thunder Lips gives way to mild sweetness quickly.  (ditto)  More body than the light color suggests.  (never said about me in high school)  Thunder Lips reminds me of a Belgian IPA but less fizzy, but is classified as an APA.  I could go for a touch more sweetness but all in all a fine brew.  (and again)