The best hazy beers: taste tested
Cloudy beer isn’t always a bad sign, says delicious. beer expert, Mark Dredge – not when it comes to a style that’s become a summer favourite. Read on for Mark’s picks of the best hazy pale ales and beers for 2022…
Perhaps it’s the way hazy pale ales and IPAs look and smell like fruit juice or squash (with a splash of booze) that’s made them so popular in summer 2022. Or perhaps it’s their wonderful hop aromas, giving us citrus, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, mango and melon – even vanilla, bubble gum and fruit candy.
However it happened, these beers (often known as New England IPAs or NEIPAs, after the US region where the style originated) are a modern phenomenon.
Most beer is clear because the residual yeast that makes beer cloudy has been filtered out. Hazy ales are unfiltered, and they’re made using wheat and oats, which are high in protein-causing haze, and give the style its characteristically smooth textures.
Usually brewed with hops grown in North America, Australia and New Zealand, hazy beers are dry-hopped, meaning more of the little green flowers are added after fermentation. This maximises hop aroma, and is the beer equivalent of adding fresh herbs and a squeeze of citrus to a dish before serving it. Why are hazy pale ales and IPAs so popular? Try one of these juicy, fruity and smooth beers and you’ll see.
What’s in a name?
In the hazy beer family, we expect IPAs to be higher in alcohol and have more hop aroma and flavour than pale ales. Session IPAs are lower-alcohol IPAs (often hoppier than a pale ale) and double IPAs (DIPAs) are higher still in alcohol, with huge hop aromas
Five of the best hazy beers
From a top hazy beer brewery in Cornwall, this beams with aromas of orange, apricot and melon with a citrussy finish. Available from Verdant Brewing (£18 for 6 x 440ml).
The Leeds brewery’s favourite offers orange juice and soda, with mango, grapefruit and lemon zest. It balances fruity hops, soft malts and a crisp finish. Pair with with these slow-cooked chicken tinga tacos – the beer’s tropical flavours will complement the zingy snacks a treat. Available from most major supermarkets (£3 for 440ml).
Oats give this NEIPA from Saltaire a soft, silky mouthfeel, with citra, mosaic and amarillo hops adding juicy fruit and pithy lemon bitterness. Great with mushroom fried rice or noodles. Available from Morrisons (£2.35 for 440ml).
Deya Brewing Steady Rolling Man, England 5.2%
There’s lemon, peach, mango and some herbal bitterness in this pleasingly light-textured hazy pale ale from Cheltenham, plus great hop depth. Try with a Thai green curry. Available from Deya Brewing (£3.75 for 500ml).
Combining citra, mosaic and idaho-7 hops, this juice-like hazy IPA from Sussex has a velvety texture and flavours of ripe peach, orange, pineapple and mango sorbet. Available from Beak Brewery (£19 for 4 x 440ml).
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