Right, time to get semi real here. This is just some about stuff that I like!
In 2017 it seemed that the World went mad for Sours and Goses!! It certainly seemed that any Brewery worth its salt was required to have a solid Sour or two alongside the staple Pale Ale’s, IPA’s and Porter’s* ..just FYI La Folie Sour Brown Ale by New Belgium Brewing, unreal if you get the opportunity to try!
When I say “world” I can only speak for wherever the hell I happened to be in the World at that time, being Vancouver and then back home in Wellington. I also spent a few weeks in Denver, Colorado prior to all of this becoming a certified FAA Flight Dispatcher, a slightly bizarre left field turn of events but maybe more on that another time. Utilising the stock standard “Craft beer, wherever the hell I am in the world right now” Google Map approach, I was to be found weeping in the corner of my motel room as I discovered a scene bursting with opportunity mere yards from my front door, and having only about 2 days of free time to explore. The merest scratchings of a massive surface in a delightful pictorial display below – I did not too badly with my time:
Turn the clock forward…back?? , lets say forward to 2018 and the world definitely did, and still is going mad for the Hazy IPA, also known as the New England IPA, renowned for bold, juicy flavours and the distinct ‘pea souper’ consistency. Big, fruity hops are added late and masses of dry hopped goodness all contribute toward this, like the sour, somewhat polarising style of brew.
Personally I love ’em! I am a huge IPA fan, gotta love those Hops. But some of the overwhelming bitterness can get a little much to take. Step forward the Hazy. Fruit forward, a little bit of bitter and exceptionally drinkable. This is potentially now my favourite style to date…step aside Milk Chocolate Stout and GTF Vanilla Coffee Porter!
Back to the Hazies. As I say, I love em, and it has been interesting sampling what was on offer over the summer in BC then coming back to a veritable fruit explosion in New Zealand.
I do find those I tried in BC, a solid mix of Canadian and US beers, just a little more punchy. Certainly bigger on the fruit and not afraid to serve you a juicy glass of what looks like pulp. In saying that the Kiwi versions absolutely stand up in terms of flavour and balance. I have had very little poor experiences with the Hazy but 3 in recent memory didn’t quite make the grade for me.
Unfortunately all 3 were kiwi beers. “Hey Day Phase Wave” & “Deep Creek Misty Miyagi” were both just ok, a little bitter for me, lacking the fruity balance I would expect. More recently “The Renegade by Fortune Favours“, didn’t really pull its weight as a Hazy at all…if you say your a Hazy, then give me a Hazy. It was a perfectly fine beer to quaff of an eve, totally inoffensive but lacking any renegade risk taking at all. A consequence perhaps of pressure to appeal to the masses? A topic for another time I think.
On the upside of this my current favourites are also Kiwi, go us! Now I do love pretty much everything by Behemoth and there is no mistaking the beauty of the ‘Lid Ripper’, ‘Humorous Ludicrous’ and the ‘Maths, Science, History’. All just a little bit different, and all sensational in their own right. The Humorous utilising “pure lupulin in the form of Cryo Hops” , my understanding of this being no cone or pellet hops, just powder. It is a wonderful end result.
Denver served some delights but to be fair I was not overly aware of the Hazy craze at this point. One that stood out was “Woods Boss Brewing – Vivette”. An 8% fruit bowl in the face. Also, the tap room is outstanding so well worth a visit.
Vancouver! Ohhhhh Vancouver!!! Wonderful Vancouver…my third home after Welly and Aberdeen (did I mention I was born and raised in the land of sheep..real sheep mind, not your nonsense Southern hemisphere sheep, once again I digress)
A number of posts are likely to be forthcoming regarding my various adventures around this wondrous city, but for now I shall stick to going over the top on the merits of two outstanding Haze filled beauties.
Sensational. No more words; and
Looks like a glass of fruit juice and I am sure many a “WTF is this” has been muttered upon its arrival. Fear not, its majestic. And at 6.7% is fortunately / unfortunately quite sessionable. Well worth the headache.
Incidentally the Yellow Dog Brewery is a fabulous tap room. One of four along a little stretch in Port Moody that includes Moody Ales, Twin Sails Brewing and Parkside Brewing. Super easy to access via the Sky Train, and anyone visiting BC who enjoys a wee beer needs to get out there. If visiting in July certainly head to the Port Moody Rib Fest! Unbelievable scenes. A dream world for meat lovers and beers on tap from the four breweries.
Some honourable mentions before I wrap this scintillating post up.
I had this in a cracking bar called Six Degrees North, whilst home in Aberdeen a few years ago. Kind of pointless to post about the beer as they no longer brew it, however the company is worth a mention given their penchant for unusual fermentation techniques and seasonal ingredients.
2 – McLeods 802 #11 – Waipu, NZ
3 – “Set Wave – Heyday Beer” – Wellington, NZ
I love Heyday and everything about it. Their fried chicken is a delight and this beer is a standout.
4 – “Modern Times – Orderville Hazy IPA” – San Diego, USA
Another one highly rated on my list. I seem to remember this one balancing nicely with my salt and pepper chicken wings from the magnificent John B Pub in Coquitlam, BC.
There you have it. A little bit on the Hazy! I feel a follow up later in the year as I will certainly be prioritising this style in 2019.
Hopefully the breweries keep pumping them out, or will see a polar shift to the weird and wonderful Clear IPA??
*I welcome grammatical critique here in regard to apostrophes, never a strong point for me