ICSP/Marche 2017 Beer Tasting - DAT HAZE CRAZE
In the last few years, a trend originating in Vermont and the surrounding region has slowly began to sweep across the nation. These so-called New England-style pale ales and IPAs offer a distinct twist on the style, providing much of the big hop flavors of West Coast IPAs without the intense bitterness, and tending towards Midwest IPA malt levels for balance and body. In addition, techniques to create a hazy, opaque look (derided by unknowledgeable brewers and beer drinkers as lazy) help suspend volatile hop oils and resins in the beer for greater hop flavor. The intense citrus and tropical notes from the hops used leads many to compare these to drinking a glass or orange or pineapple juice.
At this tasting we'll be trying an assortment of these beers along with a few classics which aren't technically in the category but are notable for similar flavor profiles or hop usage.
I'd like to keep this tasting to about 7 other folks but can go up to 9 if needed. Cost will be about $15-20 or so.
I'm thinking Sunday around 5-6pm is going to be the best option overall, so I'm gonna call that timeslot out. Plan your Sunday Nain Daydrinking accordingly.
Please post your 'in' here.
Oh hey, I drink beer.
I am sure @cola and @Gargoyle are in too, they just are still in kitchen coffee mode.
Aaron is in.
Skipping Icrontic events: ALWAYS a bad decision.
You played yourself.
It had better be platinum-level, Bobby.
If Ryder is still here at that time, he'll be in. Benson is noncommittal. No word from the rest.
Wish I could In, but I'm pretty sure I have all the beers
Tell @RyanFodder to Icrontian up and commit.
Oh man. That was fun. Gotta say, this was the first tasting where I had more beer than tasters. I know a few folks wish they could have been here, you were missed.
Here's what we tasted!
Left to right:
Transient (Bridgman, MI) Juice is Loose
Tree House (Monson, MA) Bright
Trillium (Boston, MA) Double Dry Hopped Melcher Street
Bissell Brothers (Portland, ME) Swish
Witch's Hat (South Lyon, MI) This Guy
Old Nation (Williamston, MI) M43
North Peak (Travis City, MI) Stormy
Griffin Claw (Birmingham, MI) Nawt a Cawp
The Alchemist (Stowe, Vermont) The Crusher
I think the general consensus with these beers fell into 3 groupings (correct me if I'm wrong, tasters!):
Tough to call a clear winner, top 3 contenders
Juice is Loose, Swish, M43
Statistically tied for second:
Double Dry Hopped Melcher Street, Bright, This Guy
Pulling up the rear but still good beers:
Stormy, Nawt a Cawp, Crusher
Thanks to everyone who joined in!
I had mentioned to @Gargoyle a good explanation of the haze that was provided by the guy who brews M43, here's his words (the group on FB this was posted in was private, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind it being shared here):
He also put up a great post he called a "fireside chat" explaining their process in developing and bringing this beer to market. This kind of transparency from a brewery is refreshing considering how many don't give any insight into their operation normally.
Awesome info and tasting, thanks @RyanMM!
That's pretty close for me, but I'd probably promote the Double Dry Hopped Melcher Street into my top tier, and promote Stormy to second tier for that unique floral character.
The three I'm going to be on the lookout for are the D.D.H. Melcher Street, Juice is Loose, and Stormy. I'll be in Boston next week, and I might hit the checked bag weight limit due to Melcher Street.
I'd ad to that that the Yeast used plays a big part on the flavor and appearance of the style. Many brewers/homebrewers shooting for this style tend to use a low flocculating yeast strain as more of the yeast cells will stay in suspension post fermentation. They lend their own flavor profile to the beer and give the hop oils another "thing" to hang on to in suspension that can lend to that juicy hop flavor profile you are looking for.