Hazy IPAs Confuse the Beer Drinker In Me
This is a beer. I often have to remind myself that when I’m offered a freshly canned and super trendy beer in the SF bay area. I’m only 30, but I’ve been drinking IPAs for a decade, which has turned me into the closest thing to a grouchy old beer enthusiast who still gets carded from time to time.
Overall, hazy IPAs are good for craft beer. They’re the boozy training wheels that a new generation of beer fans have cut their teeth on. A gateway into the world of beer beyond marco lagers, but we’ll have to see how many of these new found fans transition away from hazies to their local breweries other offerings. The catch that I’m wary of, the other beers probably taste like beer…
In a world where there are businesses everywhere finding new ways to package and sell alcohol, it is easier than ever to find an alternative to beer. With a generation of beer fans raised on beer that tastes like melted, citrus ice cream, will the breweries out there cultivating this fan base be able to keep them interested?
Maybe. I hope so at least. We’re nearing the end of a time when you can go into a tap room with ten IPAs on, only to find out that not a single one is clear. I am grateful for this fact. But, it would be disheartening to see the tide of the hazy IPA trend go out and sweep all of those fans out with it, and toward some other fruity, alcohol-infused beverage. Hazy IPAs are here to stay, I have little doubt of that. Although, despite their huge popularity, they’re an outlier style in the world of beer as far as flavor. There is nothing else like a fresh, but not too fresh, juicy, IPA, and that is how they’ve risen to they heights they have. They’re the most popular style of IPA, which is the most popular style of beer. My hesitation comes from the thought of consumers getting tired of the style and trying something else at their local, craft brewery, only to realize that they don’t much like any beer that isn’t a hazy IPA.
There are so many styles out there to get interested in, whether they’re traditional, historic, or completely new. They all have aspects in common so enthusiasts are able to network themselves from one style to the next. That’s the adventure of craft beer. That network of similar aspects ends with hazy IPAs though. I just wonder how this generation of craft beer drinkers will, or might not, move beyond hazy IPAs, when the previous generations all got their start with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and the like, classics that left almost endless avenues to find related beer.
Henhouse Brewing Co.’s Keanu is Immortal Hazy IPA Tasting Notes:
It legitimately smells like a floral version of orange sherbet
Has a thicker and less crisp character than I prefer, but lacks the gritty, turbid texture of some hazy IPAs
Hop driven, but not like a beer
Big orange blossom honey and orange marmalade flavor. Like a orange sherbet with a slight spice and bitterness too it, almost not enough to notice. The beer is focused on an orange juiciness that it follows through on, with just a hint of green, fresh cut grass that adds a tinge of bitterness. It’s not like chewing through orange or mango sherbet, but it’s closer to a frozen dessert that recently melted in the sun than anything I would ever imagined a decade ago when I was first getting my hands on craft beer.