Hazy IPA is somewhat ubiquitous these days, aside from the area’s larger breweries, who up until now thought bypassing their $250,000 centrifuge filter with their normal IPA earned them the right to slap the word HAZY on the label. We were so fooled, you guys! Turns out, an unfiltered beer doesn’t equal the murk that one can get from a true New England-style turbulent juice bomb.
It took Firestone Walker up in Paso Robles some time to work out a proper Hazy IPA on their big German-built brewhouse, and all it took was a trip to Germany to figure out how to brew one on a large scale.
“I recently spent some time at Gutmann brewery in Titting, Germany, and they have this amazing beer called Weizenbock,” Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson said. “It’s this beautiful 7.2% ABV hazy beer with a creamy mouthfeel and a tropical-banana aroma that fits right in with the hazy IPAs of today—and yet they’ve been making it for more than 50 years.”
Firestone Walker’s new beer, Mind Haze, which rings in at a cool 6.2% is on the low-mid side for an IPA, yet has various hop aromatics exploding out of the glass like a clown’s surprise bouquet. With El Dorado, Idaho 7, Azacca, Mosaic, and Cashmere in the dry hop, it’s no wonder it smells like a Hawaiian arboretum in the spring.
On the malt side, the beer gets it’s haze from a hefty dough-in consisting of 40% wheat and oats, which I’m sure equals a 100% longer brew-time thanks to those malts not having a barley-like grain bed that can help run-off.
“We’re not relying on residual yeasts or starches for turbidity,” Brynildson said. “The haziness and mouthfeel of Mind Haze are cultivated by more stable means, namely using 40 percent wheat and oats in the grain bill while nailing the timing and interplay of our hop additions.”
Mind Haze IPA can be found at these locations. Visit Firestone Walker Brewing locally at their Venice Beach Propagator restaurant and taproom at 3205 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, (310) 439-8264; firestonebeer.com.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening this June!