Bob Pease Brewers AssociationBob Pease, chief executive of the Brewers Association, outlines the new juicy and hazy style categories being judged at the Great American Beer Festival competition for the first time this year


 

Later this month, for the 37th consecutive year, beer lovers will gather in Denver, Colorado, for the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the country’s pre-eminent beer festival and
competition. This year GABF will offer 62,000 attendees the opportunity to sample over 4,000 beers from more than 800 breweries.

This year’s competition marks the first time that ‘Juicy or hazy pale ale’, ‘juicy or hazy India pale ale’, juicy or hazy imperial’, or ‘double India pale ale’ will be judged and
awarded medals.

The total number of entries for all three juicy or hazy styles is 706, the first time in over a decade and a half that American-style IPA, which received 331 entries, is no longer the top entered beer style. The new juicy and hazy styles breakdown as follows:

BA juicy hazyJuicy or hazy pale ale: 131
Juicy or hazy IPA: 414
Juicy or hazy double IPA: 161

Since 2002, American-style IPA has been the top-entered beer style, with 408 entries in 2017 and 312 in 2016.

To help inform the creation of the new juicy and hazy categories, a wide variety of beers thought to represent this style were sought and tasted. We evaluated appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop character, mouthfeel and overall balance to give a consistent impression that helped frame the inaugural guidelines for the three styles of ‘juicy or hazy ales’.

We recognised major differences in alcohol content between examples and it became apparent that a range from pale ale to double IPA was appropriate. While three styles were added for now, it will be interesting to see how this brewing concept develops.

Another tricky element was the name of the style. Some call the IPA version hazy, some call it juicy and others
refer to it as New England. Yes, these styles are being made in New England, but they are also being made in the North West, South East, Europe, Japan, and everywhere else brewers brew. Since most styles transcend boundaries, it didn’t seem appropriate to provide a geographical designation in the official style guidelines for an emerging style.

We welcome suggestions for adding or updating beer style guidelines from beer judges, brewers and beer aficionados, and over 90% of suggested changes are incorporated every year. This input is valuable. New suggestions are pooled in October every year, guidelines are edited in November and December by Charlie Papazian, chief of the BA style guidelines and founder and past president of the Brewers Association, and published annually in January or February.

 

BA brewpub

 

Juicy or hazy India pale ale style guidelines

 

Colour: Straw to deep gold
Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and / or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
Perceived malt aroma and flavour: Low to low-medium malt aroma and flavour may be present
Perceived hop aroma and flavour: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavour are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin
Perceived bitterness: Medium-low to medium
Fermentation characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aroma and flavour may be present, but are usually overwhelmed by hop fruitiness. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavour profile.
Additional notes: Grist may include a small amount of oat, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.
Original gravity (°Plato) 1.060-1.070(14.7-17.1 °Plato) • Apparent extract / final gravity (°Plato) 1.008-1.016(2.0-4.1 °Plato) • Alcohol by weight (volume) 5.0%-6.0%(6.3%-7.5%) • Bitterness (IBU) 50-70; may differ from perceived bitterness • Color SRM (EBC) 4-7(8-14 EBC)

 

About the Brewers Association

 

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.

The BA represents 4,000-plus US breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.

The BA organises events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week.

The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the US.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app.

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