This Friday, November 10th, three different Portland breweries will release a new hazy New England-style IPA. Love them or hate them, New England or Northeast-style hazy IPA’s are currently the hot trend in craft beer and Oregon is not immune. Beyond the breweries known and loved for their NE-style IPA’s like Great Notion in Portland and Claim 52 in Eugene, many others are just beginning to dabble in the sub-style, here are ten new Oregon hazy IPA’s available right now from local breweries that are worth checking out.
Barley Browns: Feast From The yEast
Acclaimed and well-loved Baker City brewer Barley Browns is known for some deeply bitter and great NW-style IPA’s and CDA’s. Owner Tyler Brown has been an outspoken critic of the hazy New England-style IPA movement since the beginning so it’s surprising that they are now dabbling in the style. Noting that he is from New England, Tyler Brown is atleast partially trolling all of us (and pFriem Family Brewers in name) when he tells me about the making of this beer –
“We were very fortunate to have been able to attend the Vermont Haze Harvest this year where we were able to select some nice Haze. We also found that the Mosaic and Galaxy Hops we have this year were very high in protein which allowed the polyphenols to attach and remain in suspension also. The complex array of minerals that Baker City’s snowmelt water contains plays well with hops (which is why we brew tons of IPAs). All of this, combined with an English yeast strain results is a hazy beer even though we fine it.”
Tyler does not agree with calling hazy NE-style IPA at all, but other than the above info he assures me the beer is real. Like other local versions, Feast from The yEast uses wheat and oats for body and haze, and then barely any boil hops but tons on the finish and dry-hop with Mosaic, Melon, Mandarina, Equanot, and Galaxy. The final beer is 7.2% Abv and who knows how many IBU’s. FFtY is probably hard to find and has already poured at a number of local beer bars but Barley Browns is brewing more and expects a keg to be landing at Lardo any day and the brewers have a double hazy IPA on the way. Still, Tyler Brown is skeptical of the style “It’s not stable, they’re hard to compare to each other, and everyone tends to achieve the haze thru different methods. We don’t use flour, and the most of our grains are malted. We do fine ours, because we want to drop out the yeast.”
Second Profession Brewing: Devil’s in the Hazy Details
Portland’s newest brewery is getting in on the haze craze with one of their first beers – Devil’s in the Hazy Details. Owner/Brewer Charlie Goman tells me that he consideres it a lighter take on the sub-style. He used El Dorado and Azacca hops to get it the authentic tropical flavors it calls for. He notes, “I taste very bold pear, mango and melon flavor profiles, but I would not characterize mine as a “juicy” NE IPA.”
NE-style is definitely juice forward but I think tropical fruit counts. Goman says his goal is approachability with a slight bitterness from the El Dorado hops he added as an early addition that he thinks gives it a more west coast flavor. Azacca was added at the knock out and in the whirlpool and again in a dry-hopped. No adjuncts were harmed in this beer, just 2-row malt, flaked oats and unmalted wheat. “Overall, Im happy with how this beer has turned out. In future runs of this style I plan to switch to a London Ale yeast strain,” says Goman. Devil’s in the Hazy Details ended up at 6.4% Abv and about 45 IBU’s, stop in and tell them what you think.
Level Beer: Hazing is Socially Unacceptable
The new Level Beer in outer northeast Portland actually has two hazy NE-style IPA’s out right now but for the purposes of this article we are featuring Hazing is Socially Unacceptable. The other is “From Six to Midnight” and is an Imperial hazy IPA available only at the brewery taproom. HSU is a fairly classic NE-style, with big fruit on the nose, citrus, mango, tropical fruit aromas. Big citrus and passionfruit flavor, mild round bitterness, smooth finish. It’s hopped with Meridian, Mosaic, El Dorado and uses wheat and oats for that haze in addition to the classic London Ale yeast that has become a signature for the sub-style. HSU is now available on draft through Running Man Distribution and at the brewery taproom, 6.3% Abv, 40 IBu’s.
Migration Brewing: Hope Hazy IPA
Northeast Portland brewpub Migration Brewing is about to release their first foray into hazy NE-style IPA this Friday, November 10th with the release of their Hope Hazy IPA. The brewery describes it as a big aggressively hopped IPA and at 7.2% Abv it sounds already a bit out of the classic NE-style IPA interpretation which is mellow bitterness and usually lower alcohol. Migration promises 5 pounds of hops per barrel to create a dank and juicy hop delight, so either way this should please hopheads and perhaps create a bridge between west and east coast styles. Hope Hazy IPA has notes of melon, passion fruit and herb aromas that complement flavors of lemon, caramelized tropical fruits and spicy undertones. English Maris Otter pale malt offers a light orange colored pint. Hope Hazy was hopped with Meridian, Sorachi Ace, and Crystal in the kettle, Hallertau Blanc in the hop back and then dry-hopped with Galaxy and Mandarina Bavaria. ABV 7.2 % IBU 52
Old Town Brewing: Pillowfist
When they are not taking on the City of Portland and Big Beer, Old Town Brewing has found time to make their first try at a Hazy NE-style IPA called “Pillowfist”! OT’s beer also drops this Friday, November 10th at 5pm at their NE Portland location
5201 NE M L King Blvd.
Pillowfist is brewed with over 4 pounds of Mosaic and Citra hops per barrel, the voice of moderation was not invited to this party. Unimaginably juicy with strong notes of tropical fruits, sweet floral aromatics, and a kick of citrus, this murky monster delivers a fist of flavor in a soft, pillowy clench. Old Town brewing will be offering up $12 Crowler fills to go of Pillowfist on Friday.
Stormbreaker: So Hot Right Now
Stormbreaker Brewing on N. Mississippi in Portland brewed this beer as a fair-well to their cellarman. It is a 100% Mosaic hopped New England-style Pale Ale. For some of that haze and creamy body they used 30% flaked wheat in the mash in addition to 70% US 2-row barley. Eighteen pounds of mosaic were added in the whirlpool, and then it was dry-hopped it with another thirty-six pounds for that intense citrus, tropical aroma that is so important to the style. The final beer is very limited on draft and ended up at 5.6% ABV and 48 IBU.
Ex Novo Brewing: SIPA-licious
This Portland brewer has been experimenting with hazy IPA’s for quite awhile with more in the works. This beer SIPA-licious was originally brewed as a collaboration with Kimberly Johnson and Mike Bolt of Final Draft Taphouse in Vancouver, because it was so popular, they brewed it again. This is a session NE-style at only 5% abv with Weyermann Pilsner malt, Munich and some flaked oats and barley for body and cloudiness achieved along with the help of classic NE yeast London Ale III. Brewer Ryan Buxton notes that Ex Novo “did a small 10 minute and 5 minute addition in the kettle, but mostly it was whirlpool hops, and a super heavy dry hop.” Those hops are Simcoe, Mosaic and Cascade, a bit of new school, a bit of old school. In the ned it was about 4.5 lbs of hops per barrel with a heavy Simcoe addition that Ryan says adds “big notes of grapefruit, citrus, and other tropical flavors.”
Hopworks: Super Chill New England IPA
Hopworks is nothing if not methodical, they have been experimenting with juicy and NE-style beer for awhile – check out Ferocious Citrus IPA. Super Chill is their latest attempt, a test batch that they canned a small amount of and those flew out the door of the taproom. More has been brewed and available on tap at the brewery. Super Chill is a hazy IPA brewed with organic El Dorado, Azacca, Mosaic and Chinook hops and generous amounts of organic wheat and oats. It clocks in at 6.4% ABV with notes of orange juice, pineapple and grapefruit.
Culmination Brewing: Obscured by Clouds
Culmination has been making Obscured by Clouds, their take on an Imperial hazy NE-style IPA for awhile now but now it’s different because the brewery is releasing it in limited 16oz cans this Friday at their taproom. The beer will be canned the same day, so it’s super fresh. ObC is brewed with hard to come by orange-y Amarillo hops and tropical New Zealand variety Galaxy. It’s 8.4% Abv and probably will sell quick.
Gigantic Brewing: West Meets East
West Meets East is billed as Gigantic Brewing’s first NE style IPA, but that’s only if you dont count their recent collaboration with Other Half Brewing on Powder Green Tuxedo, and their Japanese collaboration with Tamamura Honten Brewery on a hazy called “Kagami-Biraki IPA.” Call those beers experimental training wheels because now Gigantic is cutting loose on a beer all their own claiming that “We can play this game, too. But we’ll make our own rules!”
West Meets East is a new school hazy NE-style with old school hops. It’s a wheat and oat beer like most local interpretations with hot 90’s C-hops Cascade, Centennial and Crystal but to get a little of that new citrus juice they also added Citra and Simcoe. This one is described as having a luscious mouthfeel and clean malt character serve as a solid base for juicy hop notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lychee and rose, according to the brewery. West Meets East is available at the Gigantic taproom and on draft through Maletis Beverage. It’s strong at 7.7% Abv, a hazy gold color with a high-ish 60 IBU’s.