What is National Hazy IPA Day?
So on Thursday, August 17, 2023, let’s all raise a cold and cloudy one to National Hazy IPA Day!
There are plenty of hoppy substyles under the India Pale Ale umbrella, but it’s the Hazy IPA whose enormous popularity eclipses all others. At the annual Great American Beer Festival in 2022, craft brewers flooded the Hazy IPA category: 375 entries! (Behind it was German-Style Pilsener with 233 entries — quite the gap.) But more importantly you, the craft beer drinker, have made Hazy IPA one of the fastest-growing styles.
That means anyone can and should celebrate National Hazy IPA Day, from brewers and bars to everyday beer fans. For some, the style was their gateway into craft beer in the first place — cheers to that. And there are breweries, or even whole regions, that point to Hazy IPA as the launchpad for recognition and acclaim.
IPA Day vs Hazy IPA Day
The longstanding National IPA Day embraces the whole landscape of IPA, from easy-drinking Session IPA to the outrageous Triple IPA and everything in between. National Hazy IPA Day meanwhile narrows the spotlight on Hazy IPA, also known as East Coast IPA or New England-style IPA. Visit a local brewery, or stop into your favorite store, and it’s nearly guaranteed you’ll have a pick of Hazy IPAs.
What Makes Hazy IPAs Special
Hazy IPAs are known for their cloudy appearance, silky texture, and hop aromas and flavors that evoke fruits: mango, pineapple, guava, citrus and more. What’s more, brewers usually design Hazy IPA recipes to downplay hop bitterness, so the drinking experience is super smooth. Makes sense, then, that you’ll often hear the flavor profile of Hazy IPAs described as “juicy”.
Behind a stellar Hazy IPA is a meticulous process. When we brew our Hazy Little Thing IPA, we’re coaxing grains and hops to connect and altogether transform. Ingredients like oats and wheat contribute proteins that interact with the polyphenols (think “pre-haze”) during dry-hopping to help form that foggy look. Then we chill our fermenters at precise temperatures to preserve the haze, skip the filter — a normal step for most beer styles — and put that nectar straight into cans.
Brewers explore hop varieties, yeast strains, and other ingredients to make Hazy IPAs with a vast flavor spectrum. Right now, for example, we can’t get over the distinct and delicious coconut we get from Sabro hops in Tropical Little Thing. Paired with its notes of papaya and passion fruit, that Hazy IPA brings the vacation vibes.
How to Celebrate National Hazy IPA Day
There are plenty of ways to celebrate National Hazy IPA Day, whether you keep it lowkey at home or head out for some fun. Maybe our ideas will spark some of your own:
- • Try a new Hazy IPA or stock up on your current favorite. Had your eye on a new-to-you hazy? No better day for it! Or maybe for you, the clear choice is Hazy Little Thing.
- • Find local breweries or bars celebrating National Hazy IPA Day. You might score a special deal or spot a limited Hazy IPA they dropped just for the occasion. This year during National Hazy IPA Day at our our Taprooms, any Hazy IPA on the menu is $1 off.
- • Pair your meal with a Hazy IPA. Or even use one toward cooking. This pineapple fried rice recipe, with the help of Hazy Little Thing, turns your leftovers into kitchen victory. Or invite the whole crew for hazy beef sliders.
- • Share your hoppy adventures with #HazyIPADay. Show your favorite breweries and their Hazy IPAs some love, and connect with others who can’t get enough of the style!
We at Sierra Nevada love National Hazy IPA Day because it amplifies hops, our favorite ingredient. Plus, National Hazy IPA Day continues telling the story of American craft beer, which has pushed the limits of flavor from the beginning.
American craft first took off in the ’80s, and beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and our Celebration IPA helped introduce a generation to the glory of hops. In the decades since, the brewer innovations have kept coming, with Hazy IPA emerging after the turn of the century. The initial buzz emanated from New England where pioneers of the style had drinkers awestruck — hence the label New England-style IPA preceding the informal Hazy IPA.
The style made its way throughout the states, hitting a critical mass in recent years, with today’s best Hazy IPAs for Hazy IPA Day reflecting both the New England masterminds and breweries across the map. Our Hazy Little Thing IPA is available nationwide and ready to join your frosty lineup of beers on National Hazy IPA Day.