Hazy IPA: A cloudy look into the future of beer

 

Haze 4 the Memories

Trends can be separated into two camps: fads and new norms. The trickiest thing about trends is identifying whether or not they are a fad – something that will come and go faster than hammer pants – or if they will become the new norm of your industry. A great debate going on in the beer business right now is whether or not the New England or Hazy IPA trend is a quickly fading fad or something that will become a new norm for breweries outside of the northeast.

These unfiltered, cloudy IPAs are characterized by their look and flavor. They are typically lower in bitterness and higher in citrusy, juicy flavor. Many of them drink like a mimosa or greyhound, with huge flavors of orange, grapefruit, passion fruit, guava and tangerine. The alcohol varies from brand to brand, but many breweries are exploring these flavors utilizing lower ABV’s and maximizing the juicy notes while providing a beer that can be quaffed sessionably.

As a sales professional and a craft beer drinker, I can only weigh in on what I have seen in this and other markets. In Boise, for instance, the Hazy IPAs aren’t just doing well but are crushing the market. For an IPA drinker and sales professional, these beers present a ton of opportunity because they aren’t just delicious, but, much like fresh lobster at a fancy seafood restaurant, they are market-priced. People are happily paying up to $15 for a four-pack of 16oz cans and are thirsty for more. The local breweries have so far done a poor job of supplying the market with these beers (with exceptions), so customers are getting their fix from outside breweries. Before the large craft breweries – Sierra Nevada and New Belgium chief among them – entered the market with their own versions, many regional breweries put out incredible Hazy IPAs, priced at a premium and sold as quickly as they could be put onto shelves.

The question inevitably becomes if this Hazy IPA trend is a fad or a new norm. Many professionals in the beer industry believe this is another fad. They believe customers will soon come back to their favorite “traditional IPA,” and will grow tired of paying a premium for beer that is technically inferior to other chosen brands. Furthermore, many breweries believe they have missed their opportunity to cash in on this trend and are just moving on to what they believe will be the next trend. This debate is going on while the smart breweries are producing, and selling, their Hazy IPAs as fast as they can make them. One brewery, Revision Brewing Company in Sparks Nevada, has put out so many Hazy IPAs – all in differently branded 16oz cans – into the Boise market that it has become difficult to keep track of how many they have released! Other breweries, like Sierra Nevada, have decided to apply their old (and very successful) way of thinking to this new trend and have released a single Hazy IPA to the general market. Fremont Brewing, based in Seattle, has hedged its hazy bet by packaging a variety of Hazy IPA beers into a single brand. Woodland Empire Ale Craft, in Boise, has gone to a series of 16oz canned IPAs that are sometimes hazy and other times semi-traditional. It’s a perfect storm of trends!

Ultimately the customer will decide how this hazy trend will end. But, doesn’t it seem like this brand of IPA could become a new norm? Brewers have never shied away from cloudy beers or beers filled with sediment. Homebrewers aren’t afraid of a little suspended yeast. If lasting trends or norms are formed from the top down, or from the beer experts on down to the customer, then isn’t the Hazy IPA just the next step for IPA drinkers? Has market-priced lobster ever gone out of style? As long as people are willing to pay a premium for these beers, it seems to me that they will become a new lasting norm in our industry.

The one caveat is what big yellow beer will do with Hazy IPA. Budweiser could single-handedly kill the Hazy IPA by simply releasing a terrible version of the beer under one of its many hydra heads and destroy market credibility with the masses. They tried doing it to the Amber Ale back in the last decade (as did Miller) and just might see a chance to do that again. What’s to stop them from putting out $9 six-pack 16oz cans of Goose Island Hazy NE Chi-Town IPA (Unfiltered! So nothing gets between your taste buds and the flavor of NE Chicago!)? They have been doing it with the IPA ($38 sixth-barrel kegs of Goose IPA flood the market while the average price of craft sixth barrels hovers around $65), what’s to stop them from entering the hazy market under that brand? As much market share as craft has taken from big yellow, they can still dictate what 65% of beer buyers drink through marketing and unfair pricing practices. It would not surprise me one bit to see this play out in 2018.

Until that unhappy day, we as craft beer producers should take this opportunity to show off exactly what we can do with an unfiltered Hazy IPA. Delicious hops are plentiful and most of them reasonably priced enough to do some really fun and amazing combinations within this style of beer. Not to end this article on a commercial, but the brewers at Edge were able to put together a beautiful Hazy Double IPA for our anniversary this weekend. It’s called “Haze 4 the Memories” and celebrates our 4th year as a brewery and pub. I’m hoping we can turn this small victory in to a lasting brand that will not only help our business grow, but help people understand that hoppy beers don’t have to be super bitter or even super boozy (though this beer is 8.7% abv!) to be an IPA. The only thing more cloudy than these wonderful IPA’s is their future in the beer business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDGE IDAHO HARVEST DINNER

Come celebrate the best of Idaho’s fall harvest at EDGE BREWING COMPANY.

Chef Tony Knipe has put together a beautiful menu celebrating the fall harvest in Idaho. This 5 course plated dinner will be taking place on Sunday, November 12 at 6pm. buy your tickets now at Eventbrite for only $60 a piece. This dinner will sell out, so buy your tickets today!

Menu:

Quail Egg stuffed turkey and sage meatballs paired with Hopkiss Dry Hopped Session Ale

Idaho Trout, curried carrot coulis with farro paired with Edge Amber Ale

Idaho Squash, arugula, feta, walnut salad with Huckleberry vin dressing paired with Huckleberry Hipster Dufus sour ale

Elk Tenderloin Medallions and wild mushrooms paired with Obligatory Double IPA

Spiced Pumpkin bread pudding with beer caramel paired with Blackwater Russian Imperial Stout

 

EDGE CANS ARRIVING THIS WEEK

EDGE Brewing Company is happy to announce that its delicious beers will soon be available in six-pack 12oz cans! Edge is partnering with Boise River Canning to produce 4, 6, 12 and 24 pack options of Edge cans.

Obligatory and Hopkiss join the lineup

2016 Summer Seasonal, Hopkiss Dry Hopped Session Ale, will be moving to Edge’s year round lineup and will be available in 24-packs this weekend at the Costco Warehouse in Boise. 6-packs will soon be available at Treasure Valley Albertsons locations as well as Whole Foods in downtown Boise. It will then be released to many grocery, convenience stores and fine beer shops this spring. Hopkiss, at 5% and only 25 IBU, is the first beer of its kind to be made available to such a wide audience in Idaho. This easy drinking, sessionable blond ale is lightly kissed with Citra hops to give it a subtle hoppy flavor and aroma of fresh grapefruit. Hopkiss is truly a beer for everybody. IPA fans will get a smooth, low-abv alternative and light beer drinkers can try hops without overwhelming bitterness.

Obligatory Double IPA, Idaho’s best selling Double IPA, will be coming to 12oz cans in 4 and 6-packs. Six-packs will soon be available at all Albertsons stores in southern Idaho. Obligatory is a full flavored hop bomb boasting flavors of tropical fruit, citrus and pine with a smooth finish and almost no hint of the 9.2% alcohol.

To celebrate our jump into small package, Edge will be cracking open its new cans at various locations around the Treasure Valley. Edge will be celebrating at Bier:Thirty in Bown Crossing on Wednesday, January 4 from 6-8pm. Edge will be holding tastings on Friday, January 6 at Whole Foods in downtown Boise from 4-7pm and at The Boise Co-op at The Village in Meridian on Saturday, January 7 from 1-3pm. Cans will also be on sale at Edge’s brewpub (525 N. Steelhead Way in Boise) starting Thursday evening.

SUMMER BEERS AT EDGE

The Fourth of July has come and gone and we here in the Treasure Valley are right in the dog days of summer. At Edge, we’re trying to keep things nice and cool inside the brewery with the additions of two summer beers: Clementine Citron Circus IPA and Hop Kiss Session Pale and one new summer cider (along with a returning champion).

32oz Crowler of Hop Kiss

Hop Kiss Session Pale has been a big hit at the brewery since it came out in June. With the help of our friends at Treasure Valley Chevron, we were able to produce sixty 32oz crowlers of Hop Kiss to put into our cold case. They sold out in one week! Thanks to everyone who picked one up, we hope you enjoyed it! Hop Kiss is a wonderful light ale brewed with an insane amount of Citra hops to produce a grapefruity fresh nose with big citrus flavor and a smooth finish. At only 5.4%, it is an extremely sessionable alternative to our many delicious IPA’s. (It should be back on tap very soon!)

Clementine Citron Circus IPA (Pug in the Sun Clementine IPA) is last summer’s smash hit Citron Circus IPA infused with delicious Clementine to create a rich and juicy IPA. Citron Circus IPA is a juicy, melony IPA brewed with ultra premium Mosaic hops to give it a big hoppy finish. The hops and fruit blend together perfectly to produce a super refreshing, summer IPA that you need to experience. 22oz bottles and growler fills are available at Treasure Valley Chevron locations at Hwy 55 and Beacon Light and Gowen and I-84. 22oz bottles are available at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in downtown Boise.

Edge has also jumped into the flavored cider market with the brand new Huckleberry Cider! This sweet but tangy cider has an amazing nose of huckleberry, green apple and blueberry that carries through into the flavor. At only 6%, you can down a couple of these with dinner or on the porch during a hot summer day. You can find this at our pub and at Albertsons’ Town Tap growler stations sporadically over the summer all over the Treasure Valley. K.T. Perry, Edge’s Pear Cider, will be returning to the pub very soon as well, so please watch our website for that.

Lots of great summer choices are, or soon will be, available at our pub. If you would like to get one of these on tap or in a cold case near you, please tell them to contact their local Edge distributing partner.

Cheers!

  • 25
    Apr
  • Category News

LIEBE FROM GERMANY

Edge Brewing Company recently hosted German tourism writers Peter Krånzle and Margit Brinke on their most recent trip to the United States. They were treated to a few beers (Margit called Edge IPA and Obligatory DIPA some of her favorite beers on the trip while Peter favored the Pug Faced Porter and Imperial Red Ale), given a tour and had an awesome dinner.

The headline reads “EDGE BREWERY — ONE OF THE BEST BEERS IN THE NORTHWEST.”

Be sure to check out the full review and, if you aren’t fluent in German, translate it with Google translate.

 

Jump into Spring Time with Springshine

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You have got to love spring in the Pacific Northwest. Two of the most beautiful days you could ever imagine quickly (and do) turn into frozen winds and driving rain. That’s just the way it is around here and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It was this thinking, along with an elementary choir recital, that brought about the name Springshine Golden Wheat for our spring 2016 seasonal release. Springshine blends the classic American Golden Ale with Bavarian wheat flavors and a juicy, tropical fruit flavor from a brand new hop called Azacca.

Azacca is a new American Dwarf hop that utilizes the juicy tropical flavors of a New Zealand hop with a dash of Pacific Northwest citrus. In Springshine, Azacca brings out the sweetness of the Great Western 2-Row brewer’s malt to give the drinker a golden ale unlike any other. The wheat boosts the smooth mouth feel of the beer without leaving behind any banana or clove flavors associated with wheat beers.

Look for Springshine Golden Wheat to pop up at Albertsons stores across the Treasure Valley and on draft at your favorite craft beer bars and growler stations. It will brighten your day wherever you are, especially if it’s a dark and stormy spring day in the Northwest.

  • 03
    Mar
  • Category News

BOISE’S NEWEST IPA

One of the great pleasures of working in the craft beer industry is that you get to brew what you like to drink and share it with everyone else. That is especially the case for each brewery’s IPA.

Edge Brewing IPAIPA’s have become the standard bearer for craft breweries. It’s become the style that defines what your brewery can do in terms of flavor and style. As unfair as it may seem, if a brewery does not make a decent IPA, it probably won’t be taken seriously in the market.
Keeping that in mind, Edge has finally released its core IPA, EDGE IPA. This beer is exactly the type of IPA that Boise has needed in the market. Super citrusy Centennial and Falconer’s Flight hops make up the base of the beer while the wonderful Galena hop provides a nice bite on the back end of the beer. For the end of this beer, we wanted to reinforce the citrus flavor of the Centennials so we dry-hopped this beer with Cascade and Citra hops. While we wait to get the super sweet and tart Lemondrop hops into the brewery, we are using the ultra-flavorful Jarrylo hops to add some lime and white wine flavors to the beer.

Edge IPA is a West Coast style IPA and is the type of IPA we like to drink around here. We can’t wait to share it with you! It’s available in 22oz bottles at every Albertsons in the Treasure Valley and on tap around town. If you would like it on tap at your favorite watering hole, just ask them to put it on! It’s available on tap and in the cold case here at the brewery as well. Let us know what you think of the new IPA on the Social Medias and we hope you love it as much as we do!

Look for this label at your favorite Albertsons!

Cheers!

  • 29
    Feb
  • Category News

EDGE’S 1st COLLABORATION

EDGE Brewing Company recently partnered with Boise craft beer pioneer Bittercreek Ale House to brew a beer to celebrate its 20 Year Anniversary. The beer, an English Style pale ale called Denali Dave’s Pale Ale, will be available at Bittercreek Ale House in downtown Boise and at Edge’s west Boise pub.

The name, Denali Dave, was created by four employees handpicked by Bittercreek’s managerial team to meet with Edge head brewer Kerry Thomas and dream up a beer that Bittercreek will keep on tap for the duration of its birthday celebration. Denali Dave refers to Bittercreek Ale House owner David Krick and makes reference to the GMC Denali he used to drive around his Eighth Avenue building.

The beer, which comes in at around 6% alcohol and 56 IBU, was brewed with ultra-premium malts from Great Western Malting of Pocatello and Best Malz of Germany. Mosaic and Jarrylo hops make up the bulk of the hop bill to give the beer subtle hints of white wine, grapefruit and orange zest. Summer hops were added in the dry hop to give the beer a rich, melon-like aroma that does not overwhelm the toasty malt balance.

Denali Dave Pale Ale will be available this week at Bittercreek Ale House and Edge Brewing Company until the beer is gone.

  • 05
    Feb
  • Category News

Return of the Badunk

Join us in welcoming back two ‘cult favorites’ to Edge’s tap-list; Badunkamonk Belgian Tripel and Imperial Red Ale. These two beers dominated the spring in Boise in 2014 and we have decided to bring them back not just for spring time enjoyment, but for year round quaffing.

Badunkamonk, if you haven’t tried it, is a wonderful, strong Belgian golden ale with wonderful flavors of bubble gum, light crackery malts, grassy hops and delicious Belgian yeast esters that evoke flavors of pepper and banana. At just over 9%, Badunkamonk delivers strong alcohol with light, delicate flavors. Grab a globe at Edge or find it on tap at Pinnacle Sports Grill in Meridian and at the Albertsons Growler Station at 36th and State Street for a Super Bowl growler that will be the talk of your big game party.

Imperial Red Ale is a big, bold hoppy red ale that doesn’t skimp on anything. Another beer that clocks in at around 9%, IRA has flavors of huge piney, Simcoe hops, complex malt flavors of caramel, roasted almonds and hints of graham cracker. The hops dominate the nose with pine, plum and overripe stone fruit that complement the complex malt flavors. It can be enjoyed at Edge’s pub and will show up on tap around the Treasure Valley next week. Ask for it at your favorite pub!

Cheers!

  • 11
    Jan
  • Category News

KERRY’S BACK AT WORK

July 10, 2015 was an awful day at Edge Brewing Company. Our head brewer, Kerry Thomas, was grievously injured in what was later determined to be a boil-over on the brew stand. In the end, she suffered second and third degree burns to about thirty percent of her body and had to be hospitalized for almost two months.

Immediately following the accident, we here at Edge met briefly to discuss how we could move forward. After much deliberation, we had a plan that would keep the brewery afloat while our brewer was being treated for these injuries. It was a meeting that nobody wants to have and we here at Edge hope to never have again. You go into the beer business thinking it’s going to offer you an opportunity to meet people, celebrate great beer and hopefully provide a product that people will love and celebrate with you. Many people forget that this is a manufacturing business and that accidents can and do happen. Edge Brewing Company now knows that reality all too well and will do everything in its power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Edge’s co-founder and president, Marcus Bezuhly – himself an accomplished homebrewer – took the reins and did a heck of a job filling in. He took control and showed great leadership in keeping Edge going.

The good news is that Kerry is back where she belongs; brewing beer at Edge. She has been working for the last three weeks and has already brought back favorites Imperial Red and Badunkamonk Belgian Triple. The brewery was missing a key ingredient when she went down all those weeks ago; now it is whole again.

Next time you come in for lunch, dinner or a quick beer, be sure to take a peek into the brewery to see Kerry hard at work once again. Her first brew when she came back, Edge Amber Ale, is on tap right now and tasting delicious. Her first original brew, Edge IPA, will soon be on draft and in bottles around the whole state. Join me in hoisting a glass to the Huntsmen Center Burn Unit, Kerry’s tremendous family, the Cole family and everyone who gave money or donated items to help our brewer get back to us today. Last but not least, hoist a glass to Kerry herself. Her toughness and resolve went beyond anybody’s expectations and without that our brewery wouldn’t be whole. Cheers!!!

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