The existence of hazy beers is nothing new to the beer world. In the last century, technological advancements allowed brewers to make beer much more polished. This brite beer became commonplace as larger brands grew in prominence and standardized this optic of beer. Prior to these advances most beers would have exhibited a varying degree of haziness.
There are plenty of traditional styles that showcase haziness. The classic German wheat styles, like Hefeweizen, have a mellow hazy stray from a distinct yeast strain that creates banana and faint clove aromas. In Belgium, the traditional Wit beer (also made with wheat) has a hazy appearance from its own distinct yeast strain, though the aroma varies greatly from its German counterpart, as spices like coriander and bitter orange peel are added to the brewing kettle during the end of boiling.
In the modern brewing world, brewers employ hazy to amplify a different set of flavours. Borrowing techniques from the traditional German and Belgian styles that utilize wheat or other grains with higher levels of protein, brewers use yeast strains that are fruit ester forward and hops that have a massive variety of distinct aroma compounds.
In recent years this particular practice in brewing has grown and led to the development of newer beer styles such as Hazy IPA’s and New England IPA’s (or NEIPA’s). Hazy IPA’s are hazy in appearance, as the name insinuates, but they are packed to the brim with hop flavour and aroma, often citrusy or tropical, or even ripe stonefruit.
NEIPA’s present very much like Hazy IPA’s but they lack bitterness, one of the key elements to IPA’s. NEIPAs are often softer and sweeter in mouthfeel and lack the balancing bitterness of Hazy IPAs. The name New England IPA is a reference to the region of the United States that saw the initial development of this particular branch of the IPA family tree.
Many Island brewers have brewed their own takes on this style which can be found at their breweries, retail shops and some PEI Liquor stores.
Often best as fresh as possible, these beers are best consumed right at the source. The fresher the better for these styles of beer, as with time the incredible fruity aromas tend to fade. When you are fortunate enough to get a fresh pint, the glass explodes with pleasant fruity delights.