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We Asked 7 Brewers: What’s the Most Overrated Hazy IPA?

Hazy IPAs have been the headliner of American craft beer since the early 2000s. These New England-style brews redefined what craft beer means in the United States, spurring the popularity of a plethora of new hop varieties and breweries across the nation to conjure the dankest, juiciest ales they can.

But as with any trend, there was eventually backlash. The “haze bro” became a dreaded presence in any taproom, and brewers came to resent the amount of tank space devoted to hazies. This point of oversaturation has led some to speculate that this trend could soon be over (spoiler: It most certainly is not).

And although rumors of the hazy IPA’s death may have been greatly exaggerated, there are brews within the category that industry pros believe have been given more fame than they deserve. That’s why we asked seven brewers which hazy IPA they think is the most overrated. From doubles that have been dry-hopped to hell and back to the revered titans drinkers trip over themselves for, these are the most overrated hazy IPAs, according to beer experts.

The Most Overrated Hazy IPAs, According to Brewers:

The OG standard-bearers
Double dry-hopped IPAs
Imperial, double, and triple IPAs
Too-sweet tropical IPAs
Overbearing adjuncts
All of them

“Without singling out any one beer, I think people hold too much reverence for some of the OG versions of the New England style. While I respect these standard-bearers, we’re at a point where just about everyone makes a solid hazy IPA. The gap between ‘great’ and ‘good’ has become pretty narrow, with very few feeling truly exceptional. If anything, the NEIPA category suffers from sameness, and it feels like we’re all basically making the same beer again and again (and again)!” —Michael Nika, brewer, Greenpoint Beer & Ale, Brooklyn

“Double dry-hopped hazies are so overrated. They use more raw materials and increase beer waste. I don’t love the green burn from the double hop process; save your time and money! Give me a traditional dry hop, or better yet, a lagerbier.” —Jacquie King, head brewer, Ogden Beer Co., Ogden, Utah

“All of them! I know some people will say I am a grumpy old brewer, but hear me out. Hazy IPAs were originally a bit hazier because they were so heavily hopped to bring in more hop flavor and aroma. These extra finishing hops used to give more aroma brought with it some haze, and people liked all that extra hop aroma and flavor. But there is a big difference between some mild hop haze and what we now collectively recognize today as hazy IPAs. I would propose that even the best hazy IPA would benefit (and be even better-tasting) if it were clarified some, even if this additional clarity was achieved by only a few more days in a bright beer tank. With the exception of the aforementioned slight hop haze, all the other haziness in these beers only detract from the beer’s overall drinkability.” —Fal Allen, brewmaster, Anderson Valley Beer Co., Boonsville, Calif.

“To be totally honest, I think all hazy IPAs are overrated. There are some good ones out there, obviously, or this style would have never taken off. But the biggest problem for me is that they’re extremely resource-intensive to make. They’ve also created a whole consumer segment that automatically assumes that if they see those three letters, that means the beer must be good. I tend to like beers with nuance and subtlety, and all too often, hazy IPAs are heavy-handed and very one-note for me.” —Sarah Real, owner & brewer, Hot Plate Brewing Co., Pittsfield, Mass.

“OK, hear me out: Imperial, double, and triple IPAs must be stopped. They are always too sweet, they get that weird murky haze from being so overly hoppy, and they have a horrible mouthfeel. Also, no beer with such a wide and dedicated consumer base has any business being 8 percent or higher; what a nightmare for taproom employees!” —Casey Pyle, events and taproom management and former brewer, Wild East Brewing Co., Brooklyn

“The current trend of high-ABV, high-sweetness IPAs with tropical fruit added is my least favorite trend in [the category] at the moment. As a close second, the extremely hazy, triple dry-hopped, $30 4-packs are frequently disappointing.” —Chris Atkins, head brewer, Carolina Brewing Co., Holly Springs, N.C.

“In my opinion, hazy IPAs touting high percentages of adjuncts are overrated. We all know brewers like to flex by displaying high quantities of a certain ingredient, but we’ve found that massive amounts of wheat and oats won’t necessarily improve the body or perception of these beers, and can often lead to elevated levels of hop burn. Keeping the percentages of adjuncts in a more reasonable range has provided us the cleanest results, and with beers that don’t need to ‘condition’ in the can for weeks before being drinkable. In my mind, as a professional brewer, you should be selling beer to your customer when it’s in its peak state and ready to consume. It shouldn’t be the customer’s job to decide when the beer isn’t green anymore and ready to drink.” —Adam Rosenthal, head Brewer & co-founder, Wayward Lane Brewing, Schoharie, N.Y.

*Image retrieved from Brent Hofacker via

The article We Asked 7 Brewers: What’s the Most Overrated Hazy IPA? appeared first on VinePair.

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