Me and Hazy IPAs, Featuring Henhouse Brewing’s Keanu is Immortal

henhouse brewing co hazy juicy ipa keanu is immortal

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:

Appearance:

Haze Craze

You Know

Aroma:

It legitimately smells like a floral version of orange sherbet

Mouthfeel:

Has a thicker and less crisp character than I prefer, but lacks the gritty, turbid texture of some hazy IPAs

Flavor:

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.

Fieldwork Brewing Co. Stars Hollow Pale Ale Beer Review

fieldwork brewing co stars hollow pale ale beer reviewFieldwork Stars Hollow-Intro to Hazy IPAs

I’m still warming up to hazy, juicy IPAs. I liked them on occasion in Colorado, because they were more of an occasional occurrence. They’re everywhere in California. They’re hard to escape here, and that’s because they’re some of the most popular beers on the market. Given that I’m now working at Fieldwork Brewing Co. (Disclosure of somewhat-bias), I have to give them a chance. So far, Stars Hollow Pale Ale stands out from the crowd.

I’ve found that I’m still pretty burned out on hazy IPAs, they’re all just so much of everything I’m not exactly looking for when I want an IPA. Hazy pale ales are a bit more subtle. They may still look a bit like orange, or in this case pineapple, juice, but the juicy profile isn’t as in your face. There’s nuance in a 5.0% pale ale where a 7.5% IPA is more overwhelming.

People love drinking beer that could be a new form of alcoholic pineapple juice and hops, and I will never hold that against anyone. It’s not for me, at least not right now. Something a bit lighter on the palate, but still with some serious late stage hopping, is more my speed. The hop selection here, amarillo and blanc, aren’t my favorites, but they play nicely together here. Light pineapple and grapefruit peel make sure the beer is refreshing, but the more subtle malt bill makes sure they don’t overwhelm your senses.

Beer Review Overview

Appearance: Super hazy, golden straw colored pale ale. Pure eggshell white head with small bubbles that don’t last.

Aroma: Light pineapple and floral honey

Taste: A bit of pineapple without the candy sweetness. Almost like a stealth pineapple extract blended with a King’s Hawaiian sweet bread malt character. Subtle grapefruit rind and herbal lemongrass start the bitter finish that ends with a vegetal bitterness that lingers on the palate and lets you know you’re still drinking a heavily hopped American pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth body with minimal carbonation that just adds a zing to the perimeter of your tongue when combined with the mild bitterness.

Overall: A refreshing and flavorful American pale ale with a new age hazy IPA spin on it. Not as crisp as I prefer my lawn games beer to be, but that’s not what they were going for. The bitterness adds to the crisp refreshing character to the pale ale without the carbonation interfering with the hops. I’m sure that any hazy IPA enthusiast would love a glass of this to go with their cup-holder equipped lawnmower on a sunny, California afternoon. Or morning, I don’t judge.