Hot on the heels of National IPA Day, which occurred on August 3, today is National Hazy IPA Day. Also known as New England IPA or juicy IPA, hazy IPA is less bitter than regular IPA, emphasizing citrus and tropical fruit flavors and a smoother mouthfeel.
Although a relatively new style of beer, hazy IPA has exploded in popularity. At the most recent World Beer Cup and the most recent Great American Beer Festival — two of the largest beer competitions in the world — “Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale” was the second-most entered category (after “American-Style India Pale Ale”).
“It’s a style we’re really in love with,” said Lesley Albright, vice-president of marketing at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Sierra Nevada makes Hazy Little Thing, the best-selling hazy IPA in America, according to Nielsen IQ. Released in 2018, Hazy Little Thing was the first nationally-distributed hazy IPA. “National Hazy IPA Day is about inviting others to join us in the celebration of this delicious beer style and to shine a light on it,” said Albright.
Sierra Nevada has reached out to many of their brewery colleagues who make great versions of hazy IPA to help promote the day and itself is celebrating at its brewery taprooms in Chico, CA and Mills River, NC. “We are making a big deal of this,” says Albright. “All our hazy IPAs are $1 off and we will have some special, experimental hazy IPAs available only at our taprooms. The style is relatively new, so there’s still lots of innovation we want to show off.”
For beer lovers unable to get to Chico or Mills River, hazy IPAs are available from many brewers. But for those looking for the best, at the 2023 World Beer Cup, these three beers — all American — were judged to be the best hazy IPAs in the world:
- Gold – Green Cheek Whereer You Go (Costa Mesa, CA)
- Silver – Moksa Nectaronus Prime (Rocklin, CA)
- Bronze – Prison Pals Nelson Hazy IPA (Doral, FL)
At the 2022 Great American Beer Festival (the 2023 winners will be announced on September 23), these three beers were judged the best hazy IPAs in America:
- Gold – Flatland Anhyzer Kush (Elk Grove, CA)
- Silver – White Rock Alehouse IPO IPA (Dallas, TX)
- Bronze – City Barrel RAD AF (Kansas City, MO)
For those who like their hazy IPAs stronger, these are the 2023 World Beer Cup winners for Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale:
- Gold – Moonraker The Great Coneholio (Auburn, TX)
- Silver – Highland Park High 9 Double IPA (Los Angeles, CA)
- Bronze – Xül Lost To History (Knoxville, TN)
And the 2022 Great American Beer Festival winners in that same category:
- Gold – Highland Park Pillow (Los Angeles, CA)
- Silver – North Park X-Raying Citra (San Diego, CA)
- Bronze – Corn Coast Citra Soaker (Lincoln, NE)
Says Albright, “There is energy and excitement around this beer style that surprises even us!”