Kyle and I are back again and today we are here to educate all of you about one of our newest beers, The Haze Runner N.E. IPA and N.E. IPAs in this edition of Brew&A. If you haven’t guessed, it’s hazy enough that you will get lost in all of the haze so make sure to be careful. Strap on your learnin’ boots, immerse yourself in the haze and read below to learn more about one of the latest crazes taking the craft beer industry by storm.
Clark: Question numero uno, why did you decide to brew a N.E. IPA? I thought all of the cool kids are drinking Brut IPA’s right now.
Kyle: Brut’s are the new thing, but Hazy IPAs and N.E. IPAs are continually finding themselves in the spotlight. People seem to still be on a quest to find the juiciest and haziest of beers. Yeah, they’re still looking at the new stuff, but we’re looking for something that gives a new take on Hazy IPAs all while keeping the taps fresh!
C: What influenced you to brew The Haze Runner?
K: I’ve been exploring a lot of alternative hopping techniques lately. What we did with The Haze Runner is there are no hot-side hops or whirlpool hopping, but it all happens while it’s in the fermenter and doing that under pressure. This helps the beer develop more of the fruity characteristics even though you will still get some bitterness, especially when you put in as many hops as we did.
C: Where is the most common mistake made when brewing a N.E. IPA?
K: Probably hopping, which that’s super vague because it really depends on how you’re hopping the beer. If you’re doing hot-side hops, you just need to account for that. Picking complimentary hops and paying attention to a hop’s oil breakdown will go a long way. Even water chemistry makes a big difference too.
C: What type of food or dish would you pair with this beer?
K: Ribs, not sure why, but those with a sweet and tangy sauce would go great with The Haze Runner. A lot of people tend to pair IPAs with spicy foods, but I once saw a study that showed hops intensify the amount of heat that you will get from spicy foods.
C: So, this beer is obviously hazy, like super-duper hazy.
C: What is it that gives a Hazy or N.E. IPA it’s haziness?
K: Primary contributor to the haze is the hops and the elements you’re pulling from the hop itself. Then you take the sheer level of hops you’re putting in into consideration, it’s sort of insane to think about. If you were doing this 10 years ago, people would have looked at you like you were crazy if you said, “I’m putting three pounds of hops per barrel into this beer”. Nowadays you might be judged for that as if it’s still not enough.
C: With so many different styles of IPAs; East Coast, West Coast, New England, Brut, Traditional, Fruit/Smoothie, Black, Red, Session, Double, Triple, where does the N.E. style fall on your radar of love?
K: I’d say it falls in at number three for me. Session IPAs take the number one spot for me, followed by Bruts, but only specific ones.
C: When you’re drinking a N.E. IPA, what makes it good?
K: One, it’s gotta be hazy to me.
C: I can understand why.
K: Two, citrusy or tropical aromas and flavors, all while not being too bitter. To me, bitterness should be present, but not overwhelming. You’re looking for the juiciness to be prevalent in a N.E. IPA.
C: What’s you’re favorite N.E. IPA that you’ve had if you’d be willing to say it out loud.
K: I had it in Colorado at GABF. It’s called Juicy Bits by Weldwerks Brewing Company. It was ******* incredible… followed by M-43 by Old Nation. Hi Tiffany!
C: Hi Tiffany, we miss you! If you are reading this, send us free swag and let me know if you’ve ever got a hat. I’ll pop one in the mail for you.
C: Describe this beer for me. Style of the hops you used, flavors, you get the idea.
K: I used El Dorado, Cashmere, and Tahoma hops. It gives you some of the tropical and citrusy characteristics, makes it super hazy as well as super juicy, resulting in it being super good. It provides a boost to all of the traits that most people drinking a Hazy or N.E. IPA are looking for.
C: Is this for hopheads or would this be a good introductory style?
K: I think if you’re a hophead, you’re looking for bitterness supported by other flavors. Whereas with The Haze Runner, this is other flavors supported by bitterness. There is so much variance with craft beer, even within a specific style, that I always encourage people to try things. It won’t kill you.
C: Do you have any thoughts about what might be the next big IPA trend may be?
K: I think that we’ve hit the point of hopping the sh*t out of beers, that the industry will begin to make IPAs with alternative hopping methods. We recently experimented with doing a pilot batch where we added a whole lot of orange peel in the boil process and very little hops. Majority of the bitterness in that beer was produced from the amount of peel added and not the hops.
C: Well, as always thank you for your time.
K: No prob! Now let’s go drink a beer.
C: I’m all for that idea!