| Alex Andrews

Why is Everyone Crazy for Hazy Beers?

Have you ever sent back a beer to the bar for looking cloudy? If you were expecting the crystal clarity of a cask ale or a lager, a cloudy appearance may indicate that the beer is past its prime, but this is not always the case.

In brew pubs and bottle shops, a style of craft beer has been making its way across the Atlantic for a few years now... the Hazy IPA. Originating from New England, you can identify a Hazy IPA by its hazy or opaque appearance and its tropical aroma.


Hazy IPA is an offshoot of the modern American-style IPA. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), a Hazy IPA is “an American IPA with intense fruit flavors and aromas, a soft body, smooth mouthfeel, and often opaque with substantial haze.”

These beers tend to be heavily hopped with New World hop varieties like Citra, Mosaic or Sabro, which are often added later in the brewing process at lower temperatures. The hops can be added during a stage known as 'whirlpooling,' or after fermentation has occurred, which is known as 'dry hopping.'

To understand how Hazy IPAs have developed, it's useful to understand more about IPAs and their role in the history of brewing.

IPA is an acronym for India Pale Ale, a term that refers to the heavily-hopped pale ales of the 1800s that were brewed in England, using native hops like Goldings and Fuggles, and shipped to India. In the decades since, global influences have evolved the IPA's character and increased its popularity. While our gluten free Organic IPA continues the tradition of using British ingredients to create a floral hop aroma and rich marmalade bitterness, many modern IPAs - and their hazier cousins - use American and New World hops to create intense fruit flavours and bitterness.


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Hazy beers are often brewed with grains that have a higher protein content, like oats and wheat. In a typical Hazy IPA recipe, it’s not uncommon for more than half of the beer’s total composition to be made up of oats and wheat.

It's primarily the higher protein levels that come from the grain which creates a natural haze when brewing beer.

Haze in beer can be developed furthered by adding hops at a time when fermentation is at its peak - known by brewers as high kräusen - to start a process of biotransformation, which provides even more haze and unlocks aromatic compounds from the hops.


New England IPA - often shortened to NEIPA - is a type of American-influenced IPA, which is believed to have originated in the New England region of the US in the 2010s. Somewhat confusingly, the BJCP’s description of a New England IPA is exactly the same as its description of a Hazy IPA, but with the addition that brewing a NEIPA tends to put an “emphasis on late hopping, especially dry hopping, with hops with tropical fruit qualities lends the specific ‘juicy’ character for which this style is known.”

In his book on tasting beer, British writer Mark Dredge agrees that there’s not much of a distinction between the styles, but says that Hazy IPA tends to be lighter-bodied, whereas a NEIPA is “thicker in mouthfeel and texture, cloudier in appearance, and often more aromatic.”


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There's perhaps something novel about breaking brewing conventions, but what makes Hazy IPAs and NEIPAs so popular is their low bitterness and fruity flavours: think of a sparkling tropical fruit juice crossed with the refreshing bitterness of an American pale ale.

The higher protein levels creates a softer, silkier mouthfeel, but what really sets Hazy IPAs apart from more traditional English IPAs is their ‘juicy’ character.

To complement our range of mid-strength beers, we launched our New England-inspired Small Beer Hazy in January 2023 to enjoy on sunnier days, when we crave a more tropical taste.

Whereas many American-influenced IPAs tip the ABV scales, Small Beer Hazy is a quaffable craft beer that delivers full-bodied flavour, without any of the bleary-eyed consequences. It’s also naturally low in calories - with only 84 calories per can - which means you can enjoy world-class beer and strike the perfect balance.

Tags: brewing