Cloudy/Not Cloudy IPA Fence

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bobv, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. bobv

    bobv Poo-Bah (1,589) Feb 3, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Post #2000
    I've been at this for awhile, before many BA's were born, and I've tried hundreds of DIPAs, IPAs, and APAs. I sell beer and have met plenty of BA's where I work. I have made countless friends in the beer community including many brewers and most VT distributors (Ha!) I like to drink beer and I like to talk about beer. Mostly, I like to talk and drink beer. I have really become fed up with newer brewers and their infatuation with a mouthfeel of hop detritus, yeast, and whatever adjuncts in vogue at the moment. I'm really missing proper carbonation, I mean really!

    I work next to a world class brewery and I'm about to crack open another one of their new single hop IPAs. Slightly hazy with carbonation from beginning to end. Exactly what my idea of a properly crafted hoppy beer should be.

    So, what I am trying to say is, I am off the fence and walking towards the sanity of properly carbed beer. Any positive suggestions or feedback on hazy and properly carbed, hoppy beers would be most welcome!

  2. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,002) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    As much as I greatly enjoy a creamy, hazy NE style IPA (which I'm drinking right now) it can become more like milk, a milkshake or a bowl of oatmeal. All of which are good but you can only have so much before you're full and the flavor gets repetitive.

    With that being said, I also greatly enjoy a nicely carbonated hoppy IPA that is crisp and bitter. Personally, Fat Head's Head Hunter really hits that bill for me.

    For me, the difference between the 2 is that I can only have so many NE style IPAs in a day before I need something else to wash it down. I could drink hoppy crisp beers (West Coast style) all day and all night without stopping. Carbonation helps me digest I guess
  3. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,494) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I'd agree a fresh Headhunter is as good as an IPA gets, I also like a nicely carbonated IPA. Pryer has a milk shake IPA on the shelf, and the minute I see lactose, guava, vanilla in the ingredients it just turns me off. I don't want a milky super smooth IPA.
  4. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,115) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm on board, OP. I think the lack of carbonation is what turns me off most regarding these hazy, juice bombs. Well, that and the obsession with the appearance I suppose. I drink beer, not oogle it. But I digress. Apologies, OP. Back to your point. Brewers, if you want to classify it as an IPA, put some damn carbonation in it. If you want to classify it as juicy juice, well, put it in a damn box already.
  5. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (566) Mar 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    The best is when you find that tropical juicy IPA that still has carbonation, firm bitterness and finishes on the drier side. That's my jam man.
  6. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (643) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader


    Seems like the "craze" for these sweet "pillowy" (whatever that means) or whatever you want to call these beers is already starting to wane in my parts. Just not sure what will be next. Seems local brewers doing more with saisons, belgians and sours but they really don't have the mass appeal of anything labelled IPA.

    Oh well--fresh/wet hop season is close and just hope they can still focus on non NE style for those this fall. Crisp, clean and with the proper carbonation!!!!
    SammyJaxxxx and bobv like this.
  7. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Not sure what you're getting at with this whole "proper carbonation."
  8. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (566) Mar 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    My assumption is the OP is stating that NE IPAs are under carbed to help provide a creamy mouthfeel.
  9. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Ah, yes. Well every brewery has their own target v/v they shoot for. I guess we'll never really know.
  10. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,176) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I feel you, OP. The past few days I've been reflecting on the whole IPA situation and I realize that I've become a bit disillusioned with the New England IPA scene. I will admit that I've never had Tree House or Trillium or some of the other giant in the scene, so I am quite ignorant, but in a sea of copycats it seems like the majority of them are lacking. Being hazy and dry-hopped does not automatically make a beer world-class. I watch a lot of beer reviewers on YouTube both favorably and/or disgustedly describing many NE IPAs as "raw", "sulfuric", "yeast bite", "toothpaste", "yeast burn", "hop burn" and none of this sounds appealing at all. I do love juicy, soft, tropical IPAs, but only if they fit the complete bill, and, most importantly, if they actually taste good. But enough rambling, the main point I want to make is that I realized what I most love about IPAs is what I fell in love with in the first place. Yes, I have become more picky and tasteful after having largely drank IPAs for four years, but I still love West Coast style IPAs. I love IPAs that are bitter, dank, piney, and resinous. I'm only picky about the malt bill as I hate cloying malt. As an example, one of my top favorite IPAs of this year is Southern Tier Nu Skool. It's bright and tropical, but crisp and bitter.
    MonkeyBread, gopens44 and surfcaster like this.
  11. eppCOS

    eppCOS Zealot (541) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Supporter Subscriber

    I run into west coast IPAs that are not properly carbonated, and NE IPAs that also toe the under-carbonated line, too. But I agree, with the original OP, an IPA without solid carbonation just comes off as a rich pale ale rather than an IPA. I think the constant bubbles that I get from a Cumbre or Bosque IPA is what keeps me coming back to their respective products. I absolutely detest under-carbonated beers. And thus, also not a fan of Nitro unless it's a black-as-night beer, then ok... here's to CO2 (in our beer)!
  12. Invinciblejets

    Invinciblejets Devotee (482) Sep 29, 2014 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Haze does not equal taste..
    But the best ipas happen to be hazy. And are better than any normal IPA..
    As for the carb issue. I see where you are coming from. But it's a highly carbonated juice bomb would be odd...
    I do see the appeal in a nice crisp carb'd IPA tho.
  13. thuey

    thuey Aspirant (234) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Yup. There's a world of difference between those who make good ones and those who make bad ones, just like WC IPAs.

    I almost think that people are willing to overlook bad/mediocre attempts just because it's different from what they've been drinking all this time, cuz I always get weird looks when I say that very popular local breweries are decidedly wannabe-but-not-there.

    But just because a lot of breweries get it wrong, doesn't mean the style is bad. I've enjoyed the 1 or 2 beers I've tried from Tree House and Bissell Brothers and they were really quite extraordinary. Trillium though isn't my cup of tea.
  14. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (643) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I guess I'm not sure what a "normal IPA" is.

    I'll take a fresh Pliny over any of these hazy juice bomb beers EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,120) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I think Pliny the Elder is an excellent beer.

    I have had excellent beers from Trillium, Tree House, Night Shift, Tired Hands, Bissell Brothers,...

    There is no requirement for an either/or choice here. Enjoy both.

    It's all good!!:slight_smile:

  16. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (1,842) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I thoroughly enjoy all the hazy goodness I get from The Veil and The Answer, but if forced to choose, I'd go west coast, east coast and Midwest.

    Exactly my thoughts as well. Throw in fresh Two Hearted, Hop Devil, 2XIPA and Union Jack, and there's about all I'd ever have to ask for in an IPA or DIPA.
    surfcaster, Wiffler27 and TongoRad like this.
  17. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (643) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Absolutely true.

    I have just taken exception to a frequently presented position that these newer beers are an evolution toward "better." Certainly this is all subjective but I have viewed these as yet another offshoot on the "beer tree." Perhaps here to stay but suspect they will remain a niche in a local market. Time will tell if we are raving over them in a decade.

    Having an Urquell right now and cannot possibly think of anything I would rather have more or would be more perfect in this moment--so as you said/say--

    ---Enjoy and Cheers.
  18. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (1,842) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Great example of enjoying classical craftsmanship. I think the message to take forward is that good beer isn't evolving, it's expanding.
  19. ForbesyTVB

    ForbesyTVB Initiate (26) Feb 20, 2013 New York

    This is so spot on, I feel like I wrote it myself
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  20. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,278) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Crossing fingers in anticipation that this "style" has jumped the shark.
  21. teromous

    teromous Meyvn (1,491) Mar 21, 2010 Virginia

    I would hate to see good beer defamed because people were shanghaied by a brewery that marketed a beer based on its appearance or region. Smell the beer, taste the beer, and decide for yourself what it is and whether you want it again.
  22. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,766) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I've only had a few NE DIPA/IPA/APA, and the few I've tried turn me off with the haziness and the lack of carbonation. I'd take a hoppy, clear colored piney, citrusy West Coast DIPA/IPA/APA any day over the NE style. But I've never knock any one that enjoys NE style.
    VABA and Jaycase like this.
  23. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,035) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Well your first sentence is correct, but I don't think I can agree with the rest of what you wrote. Yes, those hazy IPAs make for a nice picture, especially if the color of the beer tends toward orange with a nice white head, but that's the only positive thing that I've found when drinking the NE-style IPAs that I've had. Admittedly I have had none of these highly-hyped IPAs from any NE breweries, but the Michigan versions that I have had, which get good reviews by BAers who I assume know what they are talking about, have not impressed me.

    But to each his own. I'll continue to enjoy my Two Hearted Ales and Headhunter IPAs, etc. and enjoy looking through them to see how close I am to the bottom of the glass. :wink:
  24. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Initiate (197) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

  25. Lazhal

    Lazhal Disciple (304) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    There was an article (or maybe Facebook post) written by the head brewer of Old Nation taking about what it takes to make a NEIPA. He went on to say that, flaked wheat, oats, etc, is not required to brew this style. He made it a point to acknowledge that they never use these types of ingredients in their NEIPAs.

    They are currently brewing the highest rated IPAs in the state of Michigan, including one called Boss Tweed.

    I hesitate to say shoot for beers brewed the right way, because there is no right or wrong, but there is definitely a way to brew this style that stands out significantly from the rest of the pack.
    GuyFawkes and bobv like this.
  26. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,494) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Certinly not an expert here, but I assume the creamy mouthfeel was from the flaked oats. It certinly adds a bit of fullness. But I also think the right bit of carbonation help lends itself to a crisp finish.
    bobv and Mothergoose03 like this.
  27. Lone_Freighter

    Lone_Freighter Poo-Bah (5,287) Jun 4, 2017 Vermont

    With this article ringing true, once the BA editors "weed" the NEIPA's from the AIPA's in the BA database, I'm hoping we'll see the cream of the crop of both styles rise to the top to ensure an easier acceptance of both styles for people of all palates to find what they want without chastising one or the other.

    Isn't that what it's all about? Accepting the "to-each-his-own" philosophy that not all NEIPA's are for all people and the AIPA's are not for all people. WCIPA's too, they have their place in this shebang.

    So cloudy or not cloudy, does it matter? Does it have to be? Cloudy doesn't mean that it's a higher quality. If that's the case, then why aren't more hefeweizens getting more hype?

    I'll continue to enjoy the juice bombs of NE when I want to but I'm not afraid to take that ferry across LK Champlain to get me a Two Hearted when I want one.

    #applestoapples #orangestooranges
    Esch30 and VABA like this.
  28. Invinciblejets

    Invinciblejets Devotee (482) Sep 29, 2014 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Sooo. Am I supposed to apologize because I prefer juice fruity taste compared to bitter syrup?
    Having options and different opinions is what craft beer is about. So chill out..

    Can't believe people are still so up in arms over hazy IPAs... who cares that some people like a different beer than you...
    Lonestar9 likes this.
  29. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (117) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    People still big mad about hazy IPA. When will it end, lord? When will the NEPA threads cease? Nobody even answered OP's question, it just turned into another East v. West pissing contest.

    For solidly carbed, still bitter, hazy IPA that approaches the tropical fruit realm without going full orange julius, I really like Night Shift's single hop and Morph series. Wormtown Be Hoppy is another. Bitter and floral, just like ma used to make.
    Invinciblejets, bobv and Squire123 like this.
  30. ingchr1

    ingchr1 Aspirant (286) Jun 4, 2008 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've wondered about the lack of carbonation, and it's just not IPAs. Is it intentional or a result of technique/equipment or rush to get the beer packaged/on tap?
  31. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,035) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Point - Counter-point. You made a point and I expressed my opinion in a counter-point with my experience. I'm always chilled, and I am not shooting at you, and no apologies needed for what you say or drink. Calm down, this is a blog.
    Invinciblejets likes this.
  32. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (627) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I'd disagree: Sculpin and Pliny are both crystal clear.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  33. mkh012

    mkh012 Disciple (395) May 7, 2015 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    As others have said, why not both? There's also such a thing as a happy medium, i.e. beers that are slightly hazy and fruit-forward but still bitter and crisp. Pipeworks, Maine Beer Co, and Kane come to mind as breweries that are somewhere in between.

    If a beer is good, it's good. I've enjoyed certain Tree House, Sand City, and Tired Hands beers as much as Pliny, San Diego Pale Ale, etc.

    OP, Pipeworks Lizard King is a personal favorite "sweet-spot" beer. It's an APA but basically an IPA (6.5%, pretty hoppy). Have you had anything from Tree House?
  34. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,292) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Hafta admit (and sorry I missed you @bobv early June, you were working late I was twice in early) I like lower carbonation in my beers than almost all my friends. If I get a bitter finish I want it to be from the beer itself not a carbonic bite. So I am likely in the minority in this thread. Gotta say I love the spectrum of hoppy beers, from Hopsickle to Julius I love em all, but I dig all of em for what they are, and carbonation to me can get in the way of that enjoyment if it's too spritzy.
  35. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (519) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I appreciate a crystal clear ipa that is well done as much as I appreciate an unfiltered hazy one that is well done. So long as they are well done. It doesn't matter. And don't get me started on carbonation volumes.
  36. wally_world

    wally_world Initiate (151) Nov 27, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Spritzy is the best term. I've had IPAs where the carbonation was so in-your-face, that it covered up the actual hop profile and taste of the beer.
    GuyFawkes and cavedave like this.
  37. breadwinner

    breadwinner Meyvn (1,166) Mar 6, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    Not surprisingly, some (many?) craft brewers out there like to take something that's a trend and go EVEN BIGGER! So, you like a soft, hazy IPA? Well, we're making it EVEN SOFTER and EVEN HAZIER! Low carb, lactose, whatever flaked grain/flour compound that works, fruit puree, whatever, the HAZIER! FRUITIER! JUICIER! PILLOWIER! the better.

    All those people bitching about the "IBU Wars" of the mid-00s, we've flipped the script and it's now the "Haze&Juice Wars".

    Clearly, I'm poking some fun, but I don't blame those brewers, at least in part, because, guess what, people are lapping that shit up. Now, will that last? Will those same people move on to some new thing eventually? I don't know. But I've seen local breweries put out some truly bizarre milkshake-y IPA concoctions that didn't suit my palate at all but were slurped up locals. To those breweries, surely that's a signal that they should keep doing what they're doing, I guess?
    meefmoff, Jaycase, drtth and 2 others like this.
  38. DrumKid003

    DrumKid003 Initiate (192) Aug 10, 2013 Oklahoma

    Nice words and a few have shared that thought before as well. You might want to post that on every other thread on this website. Because it seems to me that almost every person on this website (including the staff) holds everyone that drinks a Bud Light, or Budweiser, style beer in contempt.
    meb3476 and Invinciblejets like this.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,120) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My apologies upfront; I really do not mean to be incendiary here but I just gotta ask: does CO2 volumes mean a lot to you? I will first volunteer that for me unless the beer is totally flat I am personally OK with that. For example, I greatly enjoy beers on cask that are lightly carbonated (e.g., less than 2 volumes CO2). I also enjoy beers that are medium carbonated (e.g., 2.5 volumes CO2). I am not personally not a fan of highly carbonated beers (e.g., 3+ volumes CO2) due to the carbonic acid bite but I enjoy beers from Belgium that are highly carbonated but I just pour them in a BIG tulip glass and let them sit for 5-10 minutes and let the CO2 dissipate.

  40. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Disciple (367) Oct 21, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Could not agree more!!! I work 20 min from Tree House and never go due to this. Hazy is ok, deliberate turbidity is not. Also, many breweries canning their beer at least a week to two weeks too early IMO. Too sharp, not rounded ....that said they are raking in the dough so who am I to judge. I LOVE hops and great ipas......BUT this unfortunate trend has given me a renewed appreciation for a traditional German pilsner!!!
    YamBag, dgmirelli, Jaycase and 2 others like this.
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