Hoppin’ for a Hazy
by Contributing Editor Eleanor
When it’s 100 degrees at 6pm and your water company has warned you to hold off on sprinkling for two weeks, there’s no better way to cool down than with a favorite brew.
I LOVE Hazies! And, it’s not just because so many of my summers have been spent in New England seaside towns where lobster rolls and fried clams rule. No, it’s because their flavors are typically bright and juicy with the requisite hop bite which tantalizes rather than dominates.
Here are three New England Hazies which helped me navigate the shoals of climate change this past week here in So. Cal.
Bottle Logic: Automated World
I’ll start with an offering from the southernmost brewery on my list–“Automated World” from Bottle Logic in Anaheim. As anyone in the craft beer scene knows, Bottle Logic is a stellar operation and “Automated World” sparkled with the right amount of carbonation from the first sip until the last. Its appearance suggested butterscotch but its aroma was distinctly peachy and its taste fruity and spicy with a lingering note of pineapple and pine.
Alcohol content is 6.67%, the lowest of the three Hazies I sampled, and I didn’t feel a thing after the can was empty. Though I appreciated the effort of the can art to convey an automated world with different colored robots looking fierce and inhuman, it was my least favorite aspect of the experience.
HopSaint Brewing: “Bring the Noise”
Next up is Bring the Noise, a Hazy from HopSaint Brewing Company in Torrance, a little farther north of Anaheim. As you can see in the photo, this brew doesn’t have the expected density of a Hazy, but it did have a strong vanilla aroma and fluffy mouthfeel. The taste was sweet, almost like a birthday cake, but not one with chocolate. More like a tres leches or a strawberry shortcake. Pleasant, even enjoyable, but not a taste I would crave, though, I would be inclined to try some of their award-winning beers at a later date.
Then there’s the Short-Lived Series with Alvarado, a collaboration between MadeWest in Ventura and Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey. This Hazy stands out from the other two in most every category: appearance, aroma, mouthfeel, and taste. Even can art. (I like that the Cro-Magnons are holding hands in a spirit of evolutionary togetherness). Maybe it’s because the brewers included Phantasm, a powder made from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc grapes, in their recipe.
The appearance of the beer captures the look of the foggy coast of California while the aroma suggests a bit of peppery fruit. The mouthfeel could be described as silky, smooth, like a ray of sunshine coming through the clouds. The perfect balance of bitter hoppiness and sweet juicyness in my first taste made me want more.
And who wouldn’t want to have a pint of this–or any of the other beers MadeWest produces–sitting outside on their deck in Ventura watching the waves crash on the beach and flow back out.
I thank all the brewers for delivering a fine sampling of Hazies and look forward to more from each of these magicians.
— Cheers, Eleanor