How One Beer Geek Fell out of Love With Hazy IPA

Sitting here in 2020, in the midst of a still-unfolding pandemic, multiple summers into the era of hard seltzer, it feels like it’s been considerably more than two years since we conducted a ridiculously large blind tasting of 324 IPAs at Paste.

If you had asked me to cite some of my favorite beer styles in advance of that particular blind tasting, I don’t think there’s a shred of doubt that one of my first responses would have been modern, hazy IPA, or “NE-IPA” as we were more commonly calling it at the time. I had fallen in love with the style as much as anyone in the mid-2010s, watching the influence of pioneers like The Alchemist’s Heady Topper radiate across the country, gaining footholds on the East Coast first, before gradually being adopted everywhere. It was hard not to be charmed by the style’s easygoing disposition, fruit-forward flavors, lack of bitterness and continued evolution of the “juicy” flavor profile that had already been sought after in clear India pale ales of the period. It seemed like a clear reflection of changing consumer tastes, and I was excited to try new hazy IPAs from nearly every brewery I visited.

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Beer Profile: Ommegang’s Idyll Days

Profiled by Maria Devan

Maria Devan
Belgian style beer is defined by an approach to style that allows a healthy contribution from the yeast character as well as a traditional appearance concerning the head of foam. Is there such a thing as a Belgian style pilsner? If you are looking for one on the store shelf I daresay you will be challenged to find any or any Belgian style lagers in general. That is why I am happy to have discovered Ommegang’s Idyll Days. Ommegang is a regional Belgian style brewery here in NY and a personal favorite of mine. They have done a wonderful thing with their interpretation on the pilsner. The pilsner is a contemporary style and it’s guidelines speak to it’s hoppy originality with deference to the lager tradition.

Let’s taste Ommegang’s Idyll Days and pair it with chicken wings I will make with a chickpea salad and the leftover thai peanut dressing. Continue reading “Beer Profile: Ommegang’s Idyll Days”

6 Beer Off-Flavors and How To Fix Them

Part of becoming a brewmaster is developing the ability to identify and address flavors and aromas that are not intended to be in your beer. We typically call these “off-flavors.”

From the infamous skunky smell to hints of canned vegetables, Drew Beechum (Simple BrewingExperimental Brewing) walks us through 6 of the most common beer off-flavors.

And remember! You can always turn a less-than-drinkable beer into malt vinegar or use it as paint.

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I spent my quarantine homebrewing awful beer


I’ve been a beer writer for a half-decade, and only once have I brewed my own beer, and that was at Vine Park. I know the ins and outs of what brewers do on a commercial scale, but the closest I get to that at home is mixing Bud Light and Budweiser to make an elixir I call “Bud Medium.”

Housebound and self-destructively bored, I decide to give it another shot. Besides, a lockdown seems like a good opportunity to hone practical survival skills in the event of a total societal collapse.

I don’t own kettles or a kegerator or even a large slotted spoon, so I’m not ready to go full-bore. Thankfully, Belgian kit maker Brewferm is there to help me bridge the gap. For just under $100, you can buy an all-in-one starter kit and have it delivered to your bunker (Amazon also sells them). I get mine in hasty time (nice work, Belgium!), but it sits unused for months before COVID-19 forces me into intellectual wandering. On the first day of my self-quarantine, I dig into it.

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Brew Files – Episode 86 – Water The Primer


The Brew is Out There!

We’re going back to basics with a Drew & Denny’s primer on all things water. Why and what you need to worry about and what you shouldn’t worry about! Water doesn’t need to be complicated to get results!

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It’s Time to Rethink Craft Beer


Have you heard the story about how IPA was invented in the 1800s because brewers were trying to figure out how to make a beer that could be shipped to India without going bad? They figured out that increasing the amount of alcohol and hops would help preserve the beer and a new style was born.

This story is not true. By the time I started working in the beer industry this myth had been widely debunked yet still spread. Those of us who know try their best to set the record straight.

In the same way it’s important to re-explore history, it’s valuable to re-examine how we talk about beer basics. Beer basics include ingredients and process, styles and flavors and pairing beer with food–what people need to know to start their journey as a beer geek.

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Belfast pub delivering pints of freshly-poured Guinness door-to-door during lockdown


A BELFAST pub is pulling out all the stops  – and the pints – to keep spirits up for those living in lockdown with a door-to-door Guinness delivery service. 

The Hatfield House on Ormeau Road in south Belfast has been delivering freshly-poured pints of Guinness to customers across the Northern Irish capital since the coronavirus pandemic prompted the temporary closure of all pubs.

Using a state-of-the-art van kitted out with a portable tap system, the service was created to help cater to those missing the distinctive taste of a perfectly poured pint of the black stuff.

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Questioning Traditional Palate Cleansers in Competitions

Hi, My name is Mirella and I’m a Craft Beer and Sensory consultant in Toronto. I’d like to share with you one of four things I think we should let go of as an industry. The below is a transcript of a video I originally posted on Youtube. If you’re interested, you can find the original video, as well as the other three topics on YouTube.

Transcript: Questioning Old Beer Habits Part 1

It’s time we reconsider using crackers (or bread) on the table during beer tasting and judging sessions.

Like most of the things I’m questioning, this custom was adopted from wine.The idea is to have some plain bread or unsalted crackers as a palate cleanser between beers.  Here’s the issue: there are number of beers that have a bread or cracker-like note. It would be the equivalent of using apple slices as a palate cleanser for wine. The reason bread and crackers work as a palate cleanser, in this instance, is that there are no bread-like flavours in wine; it’s fruit based.

Beer, on the other hand, is grain based. And, yes, it’s for the most part a different grain (we’re talking barley versus wheat) but the flavours are quite similar and I’ve found especially with light golden beers, that the cereal grain note in the crackers is stronger than the one in the beer and it impairs the evaluation process. Regardless of style, bread and crackers aren’t really ‘cleansing the palate’ between beers. The whole idea of a palate cleanser is to provide a sensory break, which doesn’t work when you’re presenting a food with similar flavours.

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The impact of COVID19 on my brewery


On Monday morning this week, I woke up and prepared myself to shut the business my husband and I have spent 5 years and all of our savings to build. The dream we had to create something lasting for ourselves and our community was potentially coming to an end. Last year, we leveraged our early success to build a second production facility and expanded our sales into New York and Pennsylvania using distribution partners in those states. We overcame a government shutdown that halted our plans, but not our expenses, and we opened that facility in July. We sunk more of our savings into this expansion and took on more debt to make it happen. We knew it would be worth the risk. The American Dream is ALWAYS worth the risk.

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Beer Profile: DS9 Wild Things, Superstitious Pigeons

Profiled by Ken Carman

Hazy golden yellow with almost no head. This head fades quickly probably due to sour, peanut butter, raspberries. Very tiny bubbles. Yellow in color. Clarity low due to haze.
Aroma:lactobacillus dominant, no peanut, hint of raspberries at best. Slightest sour. No malt or hop aroma. No hops.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, slightly carbonic. Medium body. Tingles and tangles up the tongue with the sour combined with carbonic carbonation.
Flavor: lacto first, lacto dominant. Almost no peanut butter, almost no raspberries, lacto aftertaste. Everything takes the most backseat in the theater to the lacto. As it warms I got a hint of peanut: like it sltightly touches the tongue then goes away.
The mouthfeel is solid with a medium body, but any sense of that body otherwise vanished with lacto. Carbonation a very light tingle and quite low.
The balance here is off. If one seeks a solid lacto dominant beer this might be it, but the rest is lost. Please back off on lacto, find the fruit, find the peanut butter. The malt is there, but even that is severely subservient to the lacto. No hops.

3.9 BA
3.74 Untappd
3.83 Rate Beer

3.5

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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