Why are there no Hazy IPAs from the West Coast in the Top 100?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Blinkytoo, Oct 20, 2020.

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  1. Blinkytoo

    Blinkytoo Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2020 California

    I looked at the IPA New England top 100 list and not one was from west of the Appalachians. I don't know why there are none from out west where I live. For example, Fieldwork in Berkeley has been making tremendous hazy NE IPAs for years. Why is there no west coast brewers in the top 100? Am I missing something here?

    DadwithBeer and TheIPAHunter like this.
  2. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,021) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    My theory? 2/3 (or maybe it’s 1/2) of the United States live in the eastern 1/3 of the country (though of course this is changing). The East Coast, and Northeast in particular, is saturated with both hazy/New England IPAs and people. So most reviews/ratings come from the eastern half of the country, and for this style in particular.

    I'm also not sure how much West Coast beer ends up in that more densely populated market, compared to East Coast beer that ends up out here, but that might also be a factor. And of course, freshness is paramount when talking about any type of IPA. That could affect ratings for any West Coast hazy IPAs that get enough reviews to make a dent in the total.

    Or maybe the most obvious reason is correct: all of the best hazy IPAs are made on the East Coast. I doubt it though.
    #2 draheim, Oct 20, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  3. defunksta

    defunksta Poo-Bah (1,691) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I think it's a combination of population and location. The population is denser on the east coast so local breweries have more volume and reviews. More reviews = Top 100. Furthermore, the "best beer" is often comparative and relative, so it's easier to compare two World-Class Hazes from nearby Massachusetts breweries as the best, than it is two remote hazy IPAs from Portland and Las Vegas that are probably not widely distributed to each other's respective location. Overall, the more accessible and distribution area of the beer, the higher recognition and reviews.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  4. MrOH

    MrOH Poo-Bah (1,991) Jul 5, 2010 Malta

    Why are many of the top 100 of most Belgian styles from a few NE breweries? Hype and access to markets?
    woemad likes this.
  5. miwestcoaster

    miwestcoaster Poo-Bah (1,959) Jan 19, 2013 Michigan

    Old Nation M-43 is from Michigan, west of the Appalachians. #94.
  6. jonphisher

    jonphisher Meyvn (1,331) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The style originated there so the first beers to get rated/attention are from there. So they’ve received more ratings for a longer time. Maybe they also maintain some “inflation” justified or not because of this. Just guesses here as I’m sure there are many reasons but those are a few that come to mind for me as possible ones.
  7. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Crusader (722) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    Really? A beer from Monkish should be.
  8. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Zealot (551) Nov 24, 2018 New York

    Monkish consumers prefer untappd over beer advocate. Most neipa drinkers rate beers on untappd over beer advocate. I can't count the number of neipa I drink that aren't listed on beer advocate
  9. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,804) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Plus, it's an established fact that us West Coasters are just a bunch of stoned slackers who are too lazy to write reviews.
  10. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Zealot (551) Nov 24, 2018 New York

    Also most breweries don't have a core lineup as they seem to want to release 3-5 new beers a week and if they do rebrew a beer it doesn't taste or look like the previous batch
  11. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,561) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I don't doubt that there are some great NEIPAs brewed on the West Coast, but when you start brewing them late compared to the NE breweries, it's tough to catch up with the numbers.

    P.S. Welcome to the BA site, Blinky. Explore the site to discover all of the features, and hang around as much as you'd like.
    Sheppard, GuyFawkes, Roguer and 2 others like this.
  12. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (529) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    lest we forget the fact that east coast weather is shit compared to western USA... for reference- peep the mountain forum some weekend and compare the activity there to some of the more east coast forums. Its night and day.. particularly the couple times I happened to check lol
  13. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,077) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I don't know what list you looked at but I counted 4 beers from monkish and one from great notion.

    But in general, a small handful of breweries dominate the top spots so take that how ever you'd like
  14. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Poo-Bah (2,005) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    It is all hype. Folks are so cought up into the shit they tell themselves lies.
  15. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,269) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Well, this is the post truth era...
  16. milkshakebeersucks

    milkshakebeersucks Meyvn (1,201) Feb 10, 2020 Maryland

    In case anyone feels the need to validate the impact of well made hazy IPAs west of the Appalachians, just look at the medal winners from this years GABF. Of the gold, silver and bronze medals in four categories, 11 of 12 were westward (and the one that wasn't is in the shadows of the Appalachians):

    Juicy or Hazy Imperial IPA (3 of 3)
    Juicy or Hazy IPA (3 of 3)
    Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale (2 of 3)
    Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale (3 of 3)

    The full list, including names, are in another forum.
    Sheppard, mactrail, REVZEB and 4 others like this.
  17. bilbobrewer

    bilbobrewer Disciple (338) Jul 16, 2014 Oregon

    Top hazies is an oxymoron.
    IKR, AlcahueteJ, mactrail and 5 others like this.
  18. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Aspirant (293) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    I am curious to know how well established some of our regional breweries in New England are in the the consciousness of other regions of the country and how sought after the beers are? For example- is Tree House a nationally known brewery? Do people out west or down south actively look to trade or buy their beer from resellers? I know there is a market for this- I am just curious how big it is. That could influence rankings/ratings as well. As much as I am into beer, I don't actively seek out hazy ipas from other regions anymore. There was a time when I would have traded some NE beers for King Sue, but I can buy that on the shelves in MA now. I would trade for some Monkish, but only if it was easy. Its not that I have anything against other regions, it is just what is the point when I get great fresh example within a short drive.
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  19. lombardimichaelj

    lombardimichaelj Initiate (85) Dec 2, 2008 Massachusetts

    best responses i’ve read today...
    westcoastbeerlvr and GuyFawkes like this.
  20. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,561) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I think you have to modify your conclusion somehow because I'm certain that I've read that entries in the GABF competition tend to be mostly from the western US due to shipping costs and keeping beer fresh from the East.

    Or many of the breweries in the East feel like they have nothing to prove because of prior wins, etc. so they save the entry fees as well as the shipping costs and stay home.
    AlcahueteJ and JackHorzempa like this.
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,552) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It has been argued that the 'premier' breweries have nothing to gain in entering competitions since their beers are already in such high demand. Maybe if their were larger, distributing breweries there would be an incentive here?

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  22. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Aspirant (293) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    Not only that, but there isn't much incentive for breweries that sell most/ or in a case like Tree House, all of their beer direct from their brewery to enter a contest, and gasp...... perhaps lose. I certainly wouldn't do it if I didn't need the promotion. I look at a lot of those contests, and many of the winners are breweries I have never heard of.
    AlcahueteJ, GuyFawkes and PapaGoose03 like this.
  23. lazyjc22

    lazyjc22 Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2010 Virginia

    Bigger outrage/mystery is that not one is from Triple Crossing. That's just crazy.
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  24. milkshakebeersucks

    milkshakebeersucks Meyvn (1,201) Feb 10, 2020 Maryland

    Maybe. But I simply concluded that there are many well made hazy beer styles west of the Appalachians and bolstered that opinion with the GABF results. Not saying that the GABF is the great and mighty Oz of all things beer judge related, but it is, at least, one barometer.
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  25. milkshakebeersucks

    milkshakebeersucks Meyvn (1,201) Feb 10, 2020 Maryland

    They may well be deserving but do you know if they entered anything? In hindsight, some other Virginia brewers did well.
  26. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,530) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I would agree with the OP. If I made a top 100 list, the west coast would certainly be represented.

    This I can't get behind, but you know I love you, sir. I take my IPAs pretty seriously and if someone tries to tell me that Tree House is hype, they've either never had them or they wouldn't know a proper NEIPA if it sat down next to them and proclaimed: "Let's get LARRRGE!"
    draheim likes this.
  27. milkshakebeersucks

    milkshakebeersucks Meyvn (1,201) Feb 10, 2020 Maryland

    That's why they enter and hope to win, so you will have heard of them.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  28. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Crusader (720) Mar 19, 2012 California

    Not much to add other than BA roots are from the northwest. I had a similar impression on the ratings of the beers when I first joined about eight years ago, but overtime, you just factor that into my buying decisions.

    Overtime, I have had the opportunity to have some of the NE IPAs from the east region and generally, the ratings were accurate (or close enough).
  29. Vetbidder

    Vetbidder Meyvn (1,210) Oct 20, 2016 Pennsylvania

    I personally live very close to Tired Hands. They produce top notch Milkshake, NE, Imperial and just about everything I've had from there is great. I've been using Craftshack to try out the hazy stuff from the West Coast but haven't been able to find the juicy full flavored brews out there. I think the brewers over here in the North East have just had more time to perfect and play with this style to some tremendous results! (as I'm sure they can be produced anywhere) Cheers.
  30. slander

    slander Poo-Bah (2,342) Nov 5, 2001 New York
    Moderator Society

    I did a trip out to OR/WA in February with friends and we were just in awe of the lovely clean clear West Coast IPAs. Damn, it was like seeing an old friend. I think (like) every 3rd place we went had a hazy in their IPA collection but they seemed more like a novelty than the go to.
    If you're making a great West Coast IPA, why would you slum it and go hazy?
  31. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I like both, but a clear bitter WCO is really a nice break. There’s a reason why Pliny is still at the top end after how many years? Because it’s a great beer?
  32. Odysseyalien

    Odysseyalien Aspirant (272) Jan 4, 2009 New Jersey

    Curiously, before the NE hazy craze, where I do think the best hazy IPA's exist, my favorite west coast IPAs were from...(wait for it)...the West Coast! Firestone Walker's Double Jack first comes to my mind. What a great beer.
  33. slander

    slander Poo-Bah (2,342) Nov 5, 2001 New York
    Moderator Society

    I for one am sooooooooooo over the turbid messes that are the Hazy.
    Don't get me wrong, I love a fresh Focal or Substance but there are just so many of them out there that are poorly made sludge messes.
    Was hoping the Hazy IPA would just go away but then I started getting served Hazy Pale Ales with a straight face (THAT'S NOT A THING!), and the Hazy Sessions, too. I've said it before and I'll say it again. When someone gets it into their head to brew that first Hazy Brown Ale and call it 'Bongwater', I'm dealing out the neck punches.
    nc41, Sheppard, mactrail and 4 others like this.
  34. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,890) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    I’m guessing the same reason the Canada Top 100 list looks like it hasn’t updated since 2014. Not enough reviews and ratings.

    Also, wasn’t a law passed a few years back making it illegal to brew a hazy IPA more than once?
  35. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (5,007) Oct 8, 2007 New York

    Toppling Goliath is Iowa
    Parish is New Orleans
    Monkish is L.A.
    Hoof Hearted is Ohio
    Brew Gentlemen is Pittsburgh
    Disgruntled is Minnesota
    Old Nation is Michigan
    Great Notion is PDX

    We looking at the same list, friend?
  36. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,021) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    I love that we still have great West Coast options in the Northwest, but in my opinion there are already too many hazy/New England IPAs out here. I mean a few are fine but they do tend to start tasting and looking the same, and at some point you have to ask, how many is too many? Are all of these slight variations on the same theme really necessary? It makes me sad to hear that other regions apparently lack the kind of variety I take for granted.

    And this isn’t meant to take away anything from the phenomenal offerings in the style (e.g., Tree House, from what I’ve heard)—I’m just not a fan of everyone chasing the latest fad. What do we need 8,000 breweries for if everyone is trying to do the same thing?
    #36 draheim, Oct 20, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  37. bitterandstout

    bitterandstout Initiate (114) Jun 15, 2020 Oregon

    it's not slumming with hazy's
  38. puck1225

    puck1225 Poo-Bah (4,074) Dec 22, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    This is a numbers game, but there are breweries near me that brew excellent NEIPAs:
    Turning Point in the Dallas- Fort Worth area
    Baa Baa Brewhouse near Houston
    Hold Out in Austin
    Just to name a few.
    bret27 likes this.
  39. bauers

    bauers Disciple (399) Feb 6, 2011 California
    Society Trader

    I'd be happy to send along some Alvarado Street or Humble Sea so you can taste some West Coast Hazy Juice Bombs in exchange for some Tired hands so I can try some of the ur examples. :-)
    bitterandstout likes this.
  40. REVZEB

    REVZEB Poo-Bah (11,421) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    Like in all style rankings the northeast is statistically over represented. More access and more reviewers trying boost the scores.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
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