This ‘Clear IPA’ Wants to Be the Anti-Hazy Pale Ale
Though unfiltered beers are nothing new, up until a few years ago, most brewers fined their IPAs to the point where they were at least translucent. In fact, hazy IPAs were usually considered flawed. But recently, these unfiltered IPAs, sometimes also called New England-style IPAs, have exploded onto the scene—with everyone from small brewers to Sam Adams jumping on the trend. But beer, like most industries, is cyclical, and apparently, the pushback against hazy IPAs has already started—even if it is a little tongue-in-cheek: Two major craft brewers have collaborated on a brew called Any IPA, billed as a “clear IPA.”
Springdale Beer, the experimental offshoot of Massachusetts-based lager specialists Jack’s Abby Brewing, and Kentucky’s Against the Grain Brewery apparently hatched a plan to challenge the “haze craze” during this past year’s Great American Beer Festival (which ironically enough has just added a “Juicy or Hazy IPA” category for this year’s event). Their idea: Create a hop bomb that was as close to clear in color as possible.
Though it’s unlikely anyone will mistake a pint of Any IPA for a Fiji Water, the results—especially the pour—are far clearer than other IPAs you’re likely to see on the market. But despite its hue, Kelly Scarpone, Springdale’s marketing and events coordinator, said the brew still “has all the typical flavors of a New England IPA,” according to Boston.com. “It starts off with a huge fruity aroma, smelling of berry and citrus zest,” she added. “The body is on the lighter side with high carbonation. There is a hoppy citrus flavor throughout with little to no bitterness and rounded out with tropical fruit notes.”
Of course, tastes are subjective, and colors can be hard to accurately capture on a screen, so this seems like the kind of beer that has to be seen, and drank, to be believed. Thankfully, by modern craft beer standards, this release shouldn’t be impossible to find. Batches were brewed both in Massachusetts and in Kentucky. Springdale’s version was released last week and is available on draft and in cans at the Springdale Barrel Room, at the Jack’s Abby Beer Hall, and in distribution throughout Massachusetts and New York. Meanwhile, details of the Against the Grain iteration are still under wraps, but depending on how much was produced, the brewery has a pretty solid distribution network of its own.