In the four-plus decades of craft brewing, arguably no other style has more profoundly changed what and how we drink than the opaque, fruit-smoothie sweet IPAs New Englanders started brewing in the mid-2010s. Thanks to a flood of juicy new hop varieties bred for their tropicality, brewers used hazy IPAs to make us reassess bitterness. The colorful, geometric pint-sized cans sold over the counter of taprooms prompted us to rethink the beer bottle. And the weekly stream of new releases at our local brewery caused us to reconsider familiar old flagships.
But nearly a decade on, something has changed. Hazies haven’t gone away, but they don’t seem to cause the same giddy delirium they once did. In some quarters, they’ve even caused a counter-trend back to lip-smacking bitter IPAs or clear, sparkling lagers.
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