It's arguably the most popular substyle in the most popular craft beer category and now Hazy IPA will have its chance among the medals at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival.
As part of the regular updates the Brewers Association does to its style guidelines, the group added Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles with this description: "The addition of this trio of styles include representation of what may be referred to as New England IPAs or West Coast Hazy IPAs. The styles will be identified in the guidelines and Brewers Association competitions as "Juicy of Hazy Pale Ale," "Juicy or Hazy IPA" and "Juicy or Hazy Double IPA."
To help inform the creation of the new Juicy and Hazy categories, a wide variety of beers that were thought to represent or approach this style were sought and tasted, the BA said in a press release.
Here are the specs for Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale
Color: Straw to deep gold
Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to low-medium malt aroma and flavor may be present Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. Perceived impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance, and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels.
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aroma and ﬂavor may be present, but are usually overwhelmed by hop fruitiness. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile.
Additional notes: Grist may include a small amount of oat, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.
"What we discovered and verified was that there was a wide range of alcohol content for what was being perceived in the public as just one style," said Charlie Papazian, chief of the BA Beer Style Guidelines since 1979, and founder and past president, Brewers Association in a press release. "After evaluating appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop characters, mouthfeel and overall balance these beers gave a consistent impression that helped frame the Brewers Association's inaugural guidelines for three styles of Juicy Hazy ales."
The Brewers Association also added five other styles that "reflect, as much as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market."
Contemporary American-Style Pilsener: The addition of this new category addresses marketplace expansion and provides space for sessionable craft brew lager beers with higher hop aroma than found in pre-prohibition style beers.
Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale and Australian-Style Pale Ale: This split from one to two Australian-Style Pale Ale categories reflects tremendous diversity in the Australian craft beer market and authoritative input from the technical committee of the Independent Brewers Association. Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale can run slightly darker and typically exhibits relatively lower hop aroma. The Australian-Style Pale Ale category provides ample room for a range of somewhat paler, more hop aroma- and flavor-forward beers being produced today by hundreds of breweries in Australia.
Gose and Contemporary Gose: Predominantly technical tweaks were made to create more differentiation between these two categories.
"The Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines, led by Charlie Papazian for the past 30+ years, are a trusted resource for the brewing industry worldwide," said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Brewers Association. "The guidelines have fostered a lexicon that has allowed the community of drinkers and brewers to talk about beer and celebrate beer across diverse cultures, around the world."
There was no immediate word on how the DDH versions of the Hazy IPA style would be judged.