As wildfires continue to rage across Washington, Oregon and California, we're starting to wonder if we'll ever get our clear skies back. But, looking up at the opaqueness, we can't help but notice that our west coast skies have something in common with our favorite east coast-inspired beer trend. Haze.
The New England haze craze doesn't look like it's going anywhere. In fact, the Great American Beer Festival recently announced that for the first time in more than ten years, American Style IPA is not the top entered beer style. With this year's introduction of three "juicy or hazy" categories, there’s a new king of the competition: Hazy IPAs.
We can't say we're surprised by this. Earlier this year in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, Willamette Week released a list of the best IPAs in town, and hazies took four of the top five spots. Maybe their judgment was clouded (pun!) by the sheer number of hazy options here in Beervana, but we doubt that was the case. We think it's a result of the quality and creativity that has sprung from brewers' desire to experiment with this latest trend.
One thing about hazy IPAs, though, is that they are meant to be enjoyed very, very fresh. Luckily, we can help with that. Grab your uKeg and head to your local brewery or growler station for a fill up. All we ask is that as you indulge, you send good thoughts to all those impacted by and fighting against the tragic fires. We prefer our haze in our pint glasses, not in our skies.