The New England IPA craze is in full swing. Acknowledging this, the Brewers Association, a nonprofit trade group that represents small and independent craft brewers, has included the trendy, hazy take on ales among its official 2018 Beer Style Guidelines.
The annual list of officially recognized styles now includes definitions for Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale, Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale, and Juicy or Hazy Double India Pale Ale.
Shared descriptors among these three newly included styles is medium bitterness, straw to deep gold color, and low to very high degree of cloudiness. That last trait is noteworthy. Degrees of cloudiness can differ greatly among these ales, helping broaden the number of beers that can fit within the category.
“Descriptors such as ‘juicy’ are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers,” the guideline says of hazy styles. Hop aromas are medium high to very high.
Will this help finally define the notoriously broad category of New England IPA? Perhaps, perhaps not. What it does signal, however, is that the haze craze appears serious, and here to stay.