The ever-popular Hazy IPA has been taking the beer world by storm for the last few years, but where did it originate? Is a New England-style IPA the same thing as a Hazy? What makes them hazy? While people are busy ordering pints, the questions are piling up. Let’s take a quick look at the foggy origins, flavor profile, and what makes a hazy so tasty. 

THE BEGINNINGS

The story begins way back in 2003 when John Kimmich at Vermont’s The Alchemist brought to life the “Heady Topper.” Widely recognized as the original hazy IPA, the beer gained a following and created a brand new category all of its own; the New England Style IPA. Based on a fuller, maltier, English-style ale, the “Heady Topper” opened up a new door and expression for brewers to put the magic of hops to use. Our lineup of hazy IPAs pays homage to the original New England-style IPA while putting our fingerprint on the flavor profile. The wheat-forward flavor gives us the chance to introduce a wide variety of fruits, hops, and non-traditional elements to the world of IPAs. 

HAZED AND CONFUSED

The telltale opaque golden color comes from certain yeast strains that create that “juicy,” rich mouthfeel. These rare yeast strains don’t sink to the bottom, but rather float within the glass, suspended in mid-pint. During the brewing process, we opt for late addition of hops, which, along with the more liberal use of wheat and oats, creates a lush density to the beer and gives it the signature golden hue. All of these elements come together in a new version of the classic IPA and opens the door for brewers to create a new focus on flavors.

LETTING THE MALT SHINE

The allure of the hazy IPA is the dance of give-and-take between the piney hops and the rich malt as they work together in the glass. While it might not offer the fresh face punch of vegetal pine from the hops that West Coast IPA fans have come to expect, the New England-style allows the malt and wheat to share the stage for once. Our selections of Golden Promise, Maris Otter, and Flaked Oat malts play the perfect accompaniment to the artisanal hops we use to complement the flavorful malts. 

BALANCING THE HOPS

From the Pure Mitten hops in our Jetlag Relief American hazy IPA to the balanced blend of Cashmere, Calypso, and Amarillo hops in our Adult Juice Box fruited American hazy double IPA, we take pride in showcasing a more rounded side of hops. Rather than putting the strong, bold flavors of the piny hops front and center, using the New England-style technique allows us to feature hops in a different light and let them shine in a more full-bodied beer experience. 

WHY DIVE INTO THE HAZE?

So you call yourself an IPA snob who likes the fresh pine that only comes from either a fresh-hopped pint or rubbing your face in a Douglas Fir tree? Well, come out of your self-imposed box and submerge your palate in a pint of juicy hops mingling with bold malts, all partying together ever so nicely. If you’re not a big hop fan, then our hazy IPAs are the perfect gentle introduction to the wondrous world of hoppiness. 

SIDE HUSTLE BREWS

We at Side Hustle Brews are continually looking to innovate the beer experience and elevate hand-picked ingredients to create new and delicious expressions. So join us for a can or a pint and savor the flavor of craft. Follow us on Instagram for the latest information on our upcoming releases and events. Find out more about our available beer styles at SideHustleBrews.com.