What beer started the turbid/cloudy IPA trend?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by thebeers, Oct 27, 2020.


What beer deserves credit for staring the turbid/cloudy IPA trend?

  1. Treehouse Julius

    27 vote(s)
  2. Trillium Congress Street

    8 vote(s)
  3. Tired Hands HopHands

    6 vote(s)
  4. Hill Farmstead Edward

    7 vote(s)
  5. The Alchemist Heady Topper

    214 vote(s)
  6. Other

    12 vote(s)
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  1. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    What single brew deserves the most credit for staring the turbid, cloudy IPA trend?
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  2. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,402) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
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    Ohhh a spin off thread!
  3. beer_beer

    beer_beer Defender (690) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    Question of the month! :beer::+1:
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  4. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,895) Dec 10, 2015 France
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    All of them have been trendy for a while. Serious and genuine question: which of these beers was released first? It may be a beginning of a response...
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  5. oldmankoch

    oldmankoch Devotee (479) Jan 1, 2014 Tennessee

    As is common amongst brazen know it all's I want to say Heady Topper w/o any research whatsoever. Hope I'm right! BTW I'm definitely not a know it all. Far from it in fact. I'm just referencing that top 25 article that showed up today. I remember Heady was released in 2011 I think. Seems much older than the other breweries expect for maybe Tired Hands. I moved to Philly in 2013 and I think they were already established in Ardmore by that time.....so could be neck and neck between those two.
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  6. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    Wow easy and tough at the same time. I voted Trillium, but Tree House accelerated it by a lot. Hop Hands is a super bitter PA, it the anti OJ kinda beer, HT is a classic, but it’s not a NEIPA. I’ve had Edward on tap in Vt, nope. So Trillium. But... I love Tree House beers Very Green perhaps my favorite, but the King is absolutely superb.

    The thing here is hazy beers aren’t new, HT always been hazy with the floaties. But imo Trillium is the one who took that and ran, with a lot of different beers on that tree. Alchemist for years stuck with only Heady, and why not the demand was absurd.
    #6 nc41, Oct 27, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  7. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,088) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    I voted Heady Topper, based on gut instinct. I think it’s one of the oldest hazy/New England IPAs, right? So much so that they apparently didn’t even want people to see what it looks like and consume straight from the can? I can’t think of another beer that popularized the trend more than HT.
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  8. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,402) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
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    You know now that you mentioned it Heady is a reasonable guess here. If I remember correctly part of their “drink from the can” motto stemmed from their beer being ,let’s just say at the time not exactly appealing when poured into a glass.

    I am also almost certain that Heady was available before Treehouse, Trillium or Tired Hands we’re even commercial breweries. So Heady would be my vote.

    That being said I’m not much into this haze craze so Im certainly not the authority on the matter.
  9. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (622) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Since Heady was added here almost 5 years before any of the others and has nearly double the amount of reviews of any of the others I think the answer is pretty obvious.
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  10. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Heady Topper came well before the others, but does a little haze and some floaters make a beer turbid and cloudy?

    Especially when drunk “from the can.”
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  11. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Disciple (374) Nov 24, 2018 New York

    Don't know who started it but 95% of breweries haven't mastered it. A ton of them may nail the look but can't deliver on taste
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  12. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,320) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I've said this before and have been upbraided by "purists", but I think Smuttynose Finestkind IPA may be a brew that was at the advent of this pervasive and lingering trend. I sold Smuttynose back in the early 00s and folks did not like the floaties and unfiltered aspect of Finestkind, both of which really intrigued me and made for a rich, tasty, dry as a bone IPA, :Not like its west coast relatives. People wanted to return the beer, but said at the same time that it was very tasty. All I can say is that Finestkind was a great beer and it did have "clarity issues". I kept it at home for many years...
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  13. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (4,661) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
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    I voted Heady Topper. The drink from the can was always rumored to be there to keep you from seeing floaties...which used to be a problem in a finished beer.
    I also feel like it is probably the longest in existence on the list. I did no research on BA prior to typing this purely gut reaction response.
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  14. Siriusfisherman

    Siriusfisherman Savant (953) Aug 23, 2011 Vermont
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    Well Heady Topper's appearance has been refined over the years, back in the day it was Hazy as hell. When I first had it it was all chunky and stuff, now it is just a somewhat Hazy beer. I also think Heady predates every beer on that list by quite some time so I will give it my vote.
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  15. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,412) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Was there any exchange of information / relationship between John Kimmich, Clark Lewey, and Mike Saboe? Toppling Goliath started before The Alchemist, I think (not sure, though).
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  16. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Not sure if this is illustrative, but here are one Beer Advocate’s reviews of Heady Topper, HopHands and Julius, respectively. Notice the differences in appearance ratings.


    Jason from Massachusetts

    4.5/5 rDev -5.5%
    look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

    16oz tallboy, purchased cans from the brewery.

    Beautiful blend of hops in the nose and on the palate, bitterness toys around with the taste buds but never surpassed any kind of overkill level. Piney, citrus rind, & dank flavors. A thing of greatness.

    Sep 01, 2013

    Versus his later review of HopHands...

    Jason from Massachusetts

    2.74/5 rDev -33.8%
    look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

    Not feeling it with this brew, extremely cloudy and a mess to say the least. Staff at the pub should not be pouring it. Milkshake beers are not a trend or acceptable with traditional or even modern styles... No excuses. Carbonation seemed off, a muddled mess.

    Jan 15, 2015

    And then Julius...

    Jason from Massachusetts

    4.35/5 rDev -7.1%
    look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

    16oz can, sample from the brewery.

    Pours an orangey (completely hazed over) hued, can was acquired fresh from the brewery and was in the beer fridge for 10 days. This hazed look is not to be compared with "milkshake" beers IMO though fresh from the brewery or cans that are decanted all of the way will make it look even more hazed. A lot of the haze is chillhaze though who wants to drinking this beer warm? Head retention is great. Fresh juicy orange zest & tropical fruit nose, the aroma is nothing short of epic. Smooth and very crisp, lush semi-creamy medium body. Hop bitterness is a piney, hop flavor is juicy an all with suggestions of guava, ripe honeydew, dragonfruit, & cumquats.

    Way too much fun quaffing this back ... everyone should hunt this beer down.

    Jan 03, 2016
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  17. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,995) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Heady Topper is the answer, but I thought of Finest Kind. Finest Kind was around and was popular well before the haze trend.

    That being said, The Alchemist debuted in 2003 with Heady as an occasional offering at the pub. So it predates anything else, even Finest Kind which debuted in 2004.

    Here’s the time line of hazy beers...

    1). 2003 - Alchemist established, Heady first brewed

    2). 2011 - Alchemist starts canning Heady at their cannery two days after the tropical storm flooded their Pub. So all they had for awhile was canned Heady Topper, many argue this started the hazy IPA trend and the ubiquitous 4 pack of 16 oz. can trend.

    Also of note, as many have mentioned, many theorize John Kimmich said “Drink from the can” on the Heady can to hide the fact the beer was considered ugly for the time. Clear West Coast IPAs were still the rage, and haziness was seen as a brewing flaw. See how people reacted back in the day to Finest Kind in @rgordon ’s post.

    For me the above is when it started...with Heady Topper in 2011.

    3). 2010 Hill Farmstead established

    4). 2011 Tree House established

    5). 2013 Trillium established

    All three of these breweries (HF, TH, Trillium) produced truly turbid “New England” style beers, that dialed back the bitterness and upped the fruit flavor profile with that pillowy mouthfeel. But this was arguably just turning up the hazy, less bitter IPA trend from Heady Topper to an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.
    #17 AlcahueteJ, Oct 27, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  18. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (4,546) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
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    Heady, fo shizzle ma jizzle.
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  19. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Almost didn’t include it b/c I don’t really consider it cloudy — but it’s the leader of the pact so far :beers:
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  20. jonphisher

    jonphisher Poo-Bah (1,519) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    I would disagree with heady topper. What beer have people chased to try and emulate...julius I would say. Doesn’t the style chase fruity, soft, creamy, no bitterness. That’s very far from heady topper.

    Now what cause tree house to try and brew those beers is another story I guess. But the trend I think comes mostly from those murky fruity beers from Massachusetts.
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  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,995) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Heady Topper was number one on Beeradvocate for years. The trademark was the fruit forward hop profile (IPAs were leaning that way anyways with Pliny, Sculpin...etc.) and hazy appearance. Also of note was the Conan yeast (English yeast) and insane hopping rate, especially the dry hopping. This all contributed to that flavor profile people sought out.

    Tree House and Trillium just took it to yet another level, but the popularity and even the trend of chasing a rare hard-to-obtain beer, all started with Heady Topper.

    Heady was more than just an influencer, it was THE insanely hazy hoppy and popular beer before any other. And it stood atop that mountain for a long time.
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  22. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (4,546) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
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    I can appreciate what you posted, but Heady started it in 2003. This article provides some context.


    PS: I absolutely LOVE Julius, but Heady is Ground Zero, IMHO.
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  23. jonphisher

    jonphisher Poo-Bah (1,519) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    I agree with everything you said @AlcahueteJ but I like to think that alchemist gave people the idea. But I still look at it as tree house and trillium being the ones who prompted the mass copying taking place across America. Sure, no alchemist, probably no trillium or treehouse but I read the thread as cloudy ipa being the goal. That was never alchemists goal, it was the by product of the beer he wanted.

    I feel like TH and trillium are to blame, take responsibility for a beer must be super cloudy and hazy.

    edit: heady still stands atop my mountain @AlcahueteJ
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  24. eagles22

    eagles22 Devotee (452) Sep 7, 2008 Pennsylvania

    For me it definitely was beers by tired hands.
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  25. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (504) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    I get where you're coming from because some of Treehouse's newer beers fit into the ultra murky, mega-juice category (I haven't had many of their newer beers, but I had "Juice Machine" which is very popular but was off puttingly cloying and thick to my palate). But I don't think any of their original lineup of beers would really be confused with a beer like that.

    I think if one sits down with Julius, Haze, Green, or especially Sap (am I missing any of the OG's?) they wouldn't seem like that radical of an extension of what the Alchemist was doing. They're attractively hazy rather than murky, with an amped up nose and a moderate bitterness.
  26. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,402) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
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    Finest Kind was a damn good beer. I mean I assume it still is, I just haven’t had one in years.
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  27. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,402) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
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    This is probably the right answer. Heady was more of a “traditional” DIPA and Finest Kind more of a traditional IPA that happened to have floaters and poor clarity. But they were the first mass popular ones to look like that. The others are more likely the drivers of this juicy bullshit that has now somehow further developed into milkshake, and will probably soon be literal smoothies infused with grain alcohol or whatever the next step in the “evolution” is.
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  28. jonphisher

    jonphisher Poo-Bah (1,519) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    I remember referring to finest kind as hop juice when I first had it. If only we knew how literal hop juice would become years later...It seems comical now to refer to that beer as hop juice but hey it’s all relative I guess.
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  29. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (754) Mar 28, 2009 California

    For me the two beers that took the traditional ipa hop profile and changed it to more fruit and tropical forward was heady topper and Alpine Nelson. Both were hazy while heady was more. To me Treehouse and tired hands were the first to create the hazy style many people seek out: juicy, creamy with minimal bitterness.

    the question is what do consider the “hazy turbid trend”. Heady was the first to brew an ipa that looked like a hefe. But tired hands and Treehouse were the trend setters for the turbid juice bombs that are so popular.
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  30. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,412) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Well, since no one answered my question, I voted "Other" since Toppling Goliath pre-dates The Alchemist by 2 years. IDK what beers they were brewing in those two years, but they are known for hazy turbidity.

    Of course, not being in New England,...
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  31. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,103) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    Alpine Nelson was hazy and juicy before anything else on that list.
    Heady topper was added before Alpine though in the BeerAdvocate database. So whatever.
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  32. larryi86

    larryi86 Poo-Bah (5,043) Apr 4, 2010 Delaware
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    This is a very interesting question. I have to go with Heady because when they started canning Heady pretty much everyone was making clear IPAs with a few random unfiltered IPAs out there. Heady started the trend and people started chasing it and exploring these turbid IPAs. By today’s standards it might not be as hazy but when it came out it was definitely hazy.

    I feel in Tree House and Trillium started pushing IPAs away from being bitter to more juicy helping create the NEIPA style and hype for these turbid IPAs.

    I do feel Tired Hands is lower for on the list for the credit of making this trend happen, but I feel their response of making milkshake IPAs after getting slammed by Jason in that review helped push making NEIPAs its own unique style instead of being a subset of IPAs in general.
  33. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,244) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Seems like The Alchemist is getting the credit for starting the trend that made beers that look like this permissible—but who was actually producing this look first? Alpine, Toppling Goliath, Hill Farmstead, Tired Hands, Treehouse ... or someone else?
  34. Amendm

    Amendm Meyvn (1,120) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    I voted for Heady Topper so I could see the results, haven't been on the scene long enough to really vote. looks like a landslide. Cheers.
  35. Specialmick

    Specialmick Zealot (536) Aug 26, 2019 Connecticut

    Well before all of that stuff listed was the hazy sediment style of the smuttynose IPA well before those breweries existed
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  36. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (5,524) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
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    The terms turbid and cloudy are associated with the NEIPA stye and Heady is the founding father of that style. Other brewers have taken it to a new extreme since then, but Heady started it all.
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  37. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,995) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Alchemist was founded in 2003 and Heady was first brewed that year. Well before Toppling Goliath. 2011 was just when Heady was first canned.

    Alpine was “established” in 1999, but what were they brewing before 2003?

    McIlhenney’s Irish Red was their first beer. Then Pure Hoppiness which the website itself describes it as a West Coast IPA.

    They didn’t have an actual brewery until 2002, and only those two beers were on the market at that point. The first beer brewed at Alpine’s brewery was an American Wheat Ale (Willy). This was followed by Mandarin Nectar (an herbed/spice beer), Alpine Ale (never had it, but doesn’t sound like a turbid hazy pale ale), and then a stout.

    Then in 2003/2004 they brewed Exponential Hoppiness and started messing around with New Zealand hops.

    I’m well aware what was produced by Green Flash was nothing like what was at the original brewery, but I imagine the more hazy IPAs were brewed 2003 and beyond.

    Finest Kind was first brewed in 2004, Heady was 2003.

    Also Finest Kind was hazy because it was unfiltered. They went out of their way to state this on the bottle. It has an old school hop profile and doesn’t have newer hops like Heady does. Not to mention the ridiculous dry hopping schedule Heady used that Finest Kind didn’t.

    Someone please feel free to correct me on this, as I’ve never tried brewing clones of either of these, just going off clone recipes.
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  38. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (163) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    I’m not sure who was 1st but Heady was the beer that made it famous!
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  39. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    I agree, and I want to change my vote to Heady. It was the beer that set the DIPA market on its ear, and after all these years look where’s its still rated. I was thinking NEIPAs at first so Trillium and Tree House popped into my head. But Heady was the first hazy beer with floaties I ever had, and it’s as good today as ever.
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  40. Specialmick

    Specialmick Zealot (536) Aug 26, 2019 Connecticut

    But wasn't distributed anywhere so its effects weren't well known for several years...that hazy style was out there....unfiltered ipas were def around. As far as good goes Heady Topper is the king of the Hazy IPA but there were many around even shipyard IPA and even Number 9. Just saying when u say hazy there were a lot. And the trend of murky micro was around in the 90S ipswich ipa...
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