What is a Hazy IPA and Why is it so Popular?

Welcome to the world of hazy IPAs, where the haze craze has taken the craft beer scene by storm! Driven by a desire for unique flavors, textures, and aromas, brewers have embraced the hazy IPA style, creating an exciting and diverse range of beers for all to enjoy.

Are you ready to dive into the misty world of hazy IPAs and discover what makes them so special? Let’s go!

Short Summary

  • Hazy IPAs are popular craft beers, characterized by their hazy appearance and velvety texture.
  • They feature intense fruit flavors derived from hops, a lower bitterness level than traditional IPAs, and unique flavor profiles.
  • You can select the perfect Hazy IPA for you based on hop varieties used, alcohol content & food pairings, try some of the top recommendations like Rogue Batsquatch or Firestone Walker Mind Haze!

Understanding Hazy IPAs

Hazy IPAs, a type of American-style IPA, have captivated beer enthusiasts with their cloudy appearance, soft body, and juicy hop character.

The haze craze began with the New England IPA, a variation known for its distinct cloudy look and unique flavor profile. So, how hazy IPAs became so popular can be traced back to the rise of the New England IPA style.

Today, hazy IPAs have become a staple of the craft beer scene, offering a refreshing alternative to traditional IPA styles.

Appearance and Texture

The hazy IPA’s signature cloudy look is a result of special yeast strains and brewing techniques used in the process. Unfiltered and packed with particulate matter, hazy IPAs boast an opaque appearance reminiscent of the New England style IPA.

But it’s not just the yeast that contributes to their signature haze; the use of grains like oats and wheat, which are high in protein, also plays a crucial role in creating their natural, cloudy appearance.

In addition to their unique appearance, hazy IPAs are known for their smooth and luxurious mouthfeel. The combination of grains, yeast, and brewing techniques come together to create a velvety texture that sets hazy IPAs apart from their clear counterparts.

Flavor Profile

One of the most enticing aspects of hazy IPAs is their intense fruit flavors, which don’t come from added fruit or juice but rather from the tropical hop flavors used in the brewing process.

These beers typically feature a symphony of citrus, mango, passionfruit, grapefruit, and tangerine notes, all derived from popular hop varieties like Citra, Mosaic, and Sabro.

In addition to their fruity flavors, hazy IPAs tend to have a lower bitterness level than traditional IPAs, making them more approachable for those who may not enjoy the assertive hop bitterness found in other IPA styles. This delicate balance of hops and sweetness contributes to the unique character of hazy IPAs.

Brewing Techniques

The art of brewing a hazy IPA lies in its distinctive techniques, which involve adding hops at the end of the boil, afterward, or during fermentation, and sometimes employing dry hopping.

This approach results in less bitterness and a more pronounced hop aroma compared to traditional IPAs.

Additionally, the use of grains like wheat and oats in the brewing process not only contributes to the haze but also imparts a creamy mouthfeel and smooth texture. The harmony between grains, hops, and yeast ultimately creates the smooth and juicy haze that has become synonymous with hazy IPAs.

Evolution of Hazy IPAs

Since their inception in New England, hazy IPAs have spread across the country and captured the hearts of craft beer lovers everywhere.

As the style gained popularity, craft brewers began to experiment with different variations, contributing to the growth of the craft beer industry and further cementing hazy IPAs as a staple of the American beer scene.

New England Roots

The hazy IPA’s journey began in New England, where a Vermont brewery first released a version of the hazy beer we know and love today. This early release set the stage for the style’s widespread popularity and ultimately led to the establishment of the New England IPA as a distinct and beloved beer style.

Spread Across the Country

As the haze craze took hold, craft brewers across the United States embraced the style and began developing their own unique interpretations of hazy IPAs.

The popularity of the style has been further bolstered by craft beer festivals and taprooms showcasing the diverse range of hazy IPAs, allowing beer enthusiasts to experience the unique flavors and aromas that define the style.

These hazy IPAs have become a staple of the craft beer scene, with brewers experimenting with different hop varieties, yeast strains, and adjuncts to create a wide range of flavor profiles. The result is a style of beer that is unique.

Variations on the Style

The world of hazy IPAs is diverse and ever-evolving, with variations such as New England IPA, juicy IPA, East Coast IPA, and unfiltered IPA all falling under the hazy IPA umbrella.

Each variation offers its own unique twist on the style, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship of the brewers who continue to push the boundaries of what a hazy IPA can be.

Brewers are experimenting with different hop varieties, malt bills, and fermentation techniques to create unique flavor profiles and mouthfeel in their draft beer. They are also exploring the use of adjuncts such as fruit, spices, and herbs to add complexity and depth to their beers. The result is a wide range of hazy IPAs.

Comparing Hazy IPAs to Other IPA Styles

When it comes to IPAs, there’s no shortage of styles to explore. West Coast IPAs, known for their bold hop aroma, high bitterness, and citrus and piney flavors, offer a stark contrast to the smooth and fruity hazy IPA.

Traditional English IPAs, on the other hand, are maltier and less hoppy, featuring a clear look and distinct hop bitterness. Each style offers a unique experience, showcasing the versatility and creativity of the IPA family.

West Coast IPAs

Originating on the West Coast of the United States, the west coast IPA is characterized by its strong hop aroma, high bitterness, and citrus and piney flavors.

The brewing process for West Coast IPAs involves adding hops to the kettle throughout the boil, resulting in a mix of bitterness and flavor that sets them apart from the hazy IPA style.

Some popular examples of West Coast IPAs include Union Jack by Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Hopnosis brewed with Cryo Hops®.

Traditional English IPAs

Traditional England IPAs have their roots in 19th-century England, where they were brewed with Goldings and Fuggles hops and shipped to India, hence their name. These clear and golden IPAs have a strong hop bitterness and a floral aroma, providing a maltier and less hoppy experience compared to their hazy counterparts.

The use of English hops, malts, and yeast in the brewing process further distinguishes traditional English IPAs from the hazy IPA style.

Selecting the Perfect Hazy IPA

When choosing a hazy IPA, it’s essential to consider factors such as the hop varieties used, alcohol content, and food pairings to find the perfect beer for you. By understanding the impact of these factors on the overall flavor and experience of the beer, you can select a hazy IPA that best suits your tastes and preferences.

Hop Varieties

The hop varieties used in a hazy IPA can greatly influence its flavor profile. Popular hops for hazy IPAs include Citra, Mosaic, El Dorado, Amarillo, and Simcoe. These hops contribute to the intense fruit flavors and aromas that define the style, so it’s essential to choose the right combination of hops that complement each other for the best possible experience.

Brewers should experiment with different hop combinations to find the perfect balance of flavors and aromas. Consider the bitterness, flavor, and aroma of each hop variety and how it affects the bitterness, flavor, and aroma of each hop variety.

Alcohol Content

Hazy IPAs can range in alcohol content from session beers at 4.6% ABV to stronger ones at 6.7% ABV. Depending on your preference for strength and calorie considerations, you can choose a hazy IPA that fits your desired experience.

For example, Sierra Nevada’s Summer Break Hazy IPA is a lighter option at 4.6% ABV, while a can of Small Beer Hazy IPA contains only 96 calories.

Food Pairings

Pairing your hazy IPA with the right food can enhance your tasting experience. Hazy IPAs complement crunchy and spicy dishes such as fried chicken, chips, crisp potato salad, tacos, or a burger with barbecue sauce.

Keep in mind that hazy IPAs may not pair well with overly sweet or heavy dishes, so avoid rich desserts and pasta dishes when enjoying your hazy IPA.

Top Hazy IPA Recommendations

With so many delicious hazy IPAs on the market, it can be challenging to choose which one to try next.

To help you in your quest for the perfect hazy IPA, consider some popular options:

Each of these beers offers a unique take on the hazy IPA style, providing a diverse range of flavors and experiences for you to explore.

Rogue Batsquatch is known for its full, rounded mouthfeel and blend of citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Two Roads Two Juicy Hazy Double IPA showcases Hallertau Blanc, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria hops, while Bell’s Official Hazy IPA is a straightforward and easy-to-enjoy option.

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing delivers a pillowy and approachable experience with big, bright, juicy notes, and Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze packs a punch with its blend of Cashmere, Mandarina, El Dorado, Idaho 7, Azacca, and Mosaic hops.

Brewing Your Own Hazy IPA

If you’re feeling inspired to create your own hazy masterpiece, brewing a hazy IPA requires special ingredients and techniques, such as dry hopping and adding oats and wheat for a smooth and juicy haze.

By mastering these techniques and carefully selecting the right ingredients, you can craft a hazy IPA that rivals even the best on the market.


To brew a hazy IPA, start with a base malt of 2 row mixed with white wheat and flaked oats, followed by the hops, yeast, and water of your choice. The secret to achieving the smooth, creamy mouthfeel and hazy appearance lies in using a high percentage of wheat, oats, and dry hopping.

Experimenting with different hop varieties and yeast strains can also help you create a unique flavor profile for your hazy IPA.


Brewing a hazy IPA involves several specific techniques, such as using high chloride water to enhance the maltiness and body of the beer, adding oats for creaminess and texture, and carefully timing the dry hop to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

By mastering these techniques and paying close attention to detail, you can be the one who makes hazy IPAs that showcase the best qualities of this beloved beer style.

How To Brew New England IPA [NEIPA] Homebrew Challenge


From their humble beginnings in New England to their widespread popularity across the United States, hazy IPAs have captured the hearts and taste buds of craft beer enthusiasts. With their unique appearance, flavor profile, and brewing techniques, hazy IPAs offer a refreshing alternative to traditional IPA styles.

Whether you’re trying one of the many popular hazy IPAs on the market or brewing your own at home, there’s no denying the allure of the haze craze. Cheers to the next chapter in your hazy IPA journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hazy IPA?

Hazy IPA is a style of beer that is becoming increasingly popular. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), Hazy IPAs are characterized by intense fruit flavors and aromas, a soft body, smooth mouthfeel, and often opaque with substantial haze.

Enjoy one today and experience a beer like no other!

Is a hazy IPA strong?

Yes, hazy IPAs can be strong – depending on the alcohol content, they can range from 4% to 9%. However, their strength isn’t necessarily due to a greater alcohol concentration compared to ordinary IPAs – it’s more about the flavor profile.

So if you’re looking for a beer that packs a flavorful punch, a hazy IPA could be a great choice.

How does hazy IPA taste?

Hazy IPAs offer a unique and interesting flavour experience that can be both refreshing and complex. Its distinct cloudy appearance, medium to full body, creamy mouthfeel and low to moderate bitterness give way to intense aromas of fruits such as orange, citrus, passionfruit and mango.

These aromas are complemented by a juicy, tropical flavour profile that is balanced by a subtle bitterness. Hazy IPAs are a great choice for those looking for a beer.

What is the difference between a hazy pale ale and an IPA?

When it comes to hazy pale ales and IPAs, the key difference is the hop flavors. Hazy pale ales have lower ABV levels and don’t showcase the same big hop notes that IPAs do.

Generally, pale ales will be around 4.5 – 6.2% ABV, while IPAs usually range from 5 – 7.5%. Double IPAs, on the other hand, range from 7.5 – 10.0%.

What makes hazy IPAs different from other IPAs?

Hazy IPAs distinguish themselves with their opaque hazy appearance, less intense bitterness, and a juicy hop character that adds an extra layer of flavor.

These beers are becoming increasingly popular among craft beer drinkers, as they offer a unique flavor profile that is both refreshing and flavorful. The hazy appearance of these beers is due to the use of wheat and oats, which add a creamy texture.

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