An Australian Summer full of lagers might be what the experts are predicting but our latest magazine all but overflows with reviews on hazy IPAs and hazy pales as we published the largest tasting section in our 15-plus year history.
Our expert panel road tested 141 different craft beers and ciders for the Summer magazine, that ranged in style from European classics to boundary blurrers. But the fact it was a record amount was definitely carried along by hazies maintaining their popularity amongst breweries and consumers with over 50 of the reviews concerning beers that fall within the category.
You can read all 141 reviews, which include a “Highly Recommended” list of 20 beers, by subscribing to our magazine here or by picking it up at newsagents or home brew stores. You can see the beers that made the “Highly Recommended” list by scrolling to the bottom of this page.
But as we do after each issue goes to print we publish online the 12 standout releases from our tasting section that our panellists singled out in the “Top Picks” list. These are those outstanding beers:
Rocky Ridge Brewing Bad Angles
Hazy IPA 6.0%
Idaho 7 and a triumvirate of Kiwi hops – Motueka, Rakau and Nelson Sauvin – load up this hazy IPA that offers peak drinkability thanks to gentle bitterness and a touch of sweetness. A creamy mouthfeel is topped with grassy notes and gentle aromatics of marmalade and overripe citrus. The ABV adds a touch of bite. In the Summer magazine we also took a look at these beers from Rocky Ridge: California Star IPA & Holy Sh*t! I’m a Dad Again Witbier.
Gweilo Beer Strata Juice
Pours a hazy golden with medium tight white head. The aroma is zesty passionfruit with strong fresh tropical fruits while the first grainy, fruity, hoppy sip is amazing. The malt profile (which is still very apparent given all that’s going on elsewhere) is perfectly crafted with the fruit addition and hop presence. A big boozy IPA, this is really decadent, but it does hide its ABV very well. Treat with caution on a hot Summer’s day! We loved this beer and one of Gweilo’s best. In the Summer magazine we also took a look at Gweilo’s Raspberry Frappuccino White Stout.
Black Hops Brewing East Coast Haze
Hazy Pale Ale 4.5%
This is a beer to make people smile. Super pungent hop character, mainly from Mosaic perhaps, with a great complex flavour expression that keeps you sniffing for a while before diving into a clean, well attenuated but smooth malt palate. With tropical fruit up the wazoo, a zingy acidity cleans the palate just in time for another happy mouthful. More please. This is one of 22 hazy pales from Australian breweries reviewed in the Summer magazine.
Slow Lane Brewing Same But Different
Hazy IPA 7.0%
A terrific example of a modern hazy. Pouring burnt orange with a thick haze and lasting foam, ripe mangoes and peaches hit the nose then herbal aromas of pineapple, sage and coriander appear as the beer opens up. Texturally, it’s a pillowy mouthful with full-flavoured ripe tropical fruits and a really appealing herbal spice towards the end. A crushable hazy with plenty going on. Slow Lane’s run of appearing on this list in almost every issue over the last few years continues with this and two more (see below) rating favourably with our panellists.
Slow Lane Brewing Barreljuice
Barrel Aged Sour Brett IPA 6.5%
The definition of craftsmanship is certainly demonstrated by this (in their words) “unconventional take on a juicy IPA”. When you can take quite diverse elements of different styles and deliver a well-integrated, balanced interpretation – that’s innovative thinking. Upfront there’s no mistaking a blend of pineapple, grapefruit, lively lime-like citrus and tropical and stone fruits. Coming in close behind with light funky Brett notes on aroma, this exotic blend follows through to the palate and each sip provides a balanced dry, lingering hop bitterness that is surprisingly very easy drinking. In the Summer magazine we also looked at Slow Lane’s barrel aged table beer Woodchip that we found “really approachable and refreshing with a unique twist”.
Slow Lane Brewing The Time is Rye
Barrel Aged Dark Rye Sour 8.5%
Dark red/bronze in appearance, this barrel aged beauty has enhanced malt character of the base style. The rye gives a gruff brown bready note and helps hold and balance the souring notes of the beer. Able to be drunk fresh or cellared for up to five years, this beer will hold its complexity. The aroma offers hints of leather and raisins while the palate is layered with good souring and some rustic, bready malt notes. A lingering finish with alcohol well integrated. Elsewhere in the Summer magazine you can find reviews on Slow Lane’s Botany Weisse and Grain of Salt gose.
BentSpoke Brewing Keep it Simple
Wow, what a cracking beer and a real sign of what a classic IPA can be. It’s bold yet delicate and perfectly balanced and nuanced in its delivery. Pale gold in colour with a slight haze and a persistent fluffy white head, it boasts deep, complex fruity aromas with notes of rockmelon, grapefruit, citrus and currant with a hint of earthy pine. It’s malt forward on the palate with notes of oat, smooth vanilla and a back-end hint of cassis. The late bitterness is subtle at first but grows delicately on the palate, finishing with a touch of hop spice.
Your Mates Brewing Seawater Gose
A wonderfully complete, joyous and refreshing beer, especially given it had to overcome the image in our mind of brewers bucketing sea water from the beach. It pours a very weak, pale straw colour but the nose is all maritime freshness. The salty/sour interplay was fascinating, not tropical but supple-textured and still succulent in a lychee family sort of way. We’d like a carton of this for food matching trials immediately. As Your Mates branch out more and more from their core range into a wide spectrum of styles, we also road tested their West Coast IPA and Belgian Wit limited releases in the Summer issue.
One Drop Brewing Red Plum Sour
Fruited Sour 3.4%
Dark pinkish red and with a blush pink foam that holds well, it emits aromas of tart red plums, a hint of ripe strawberries and tart cherries, with a very subtle backdrop of light funky acidity. A burst of tart plum sourness awakens the palate and rounds out with a smooth, deceivingly slight sweetness and crisp, vibrant finish. This is truly delicious. One Drop were again highly featured in our tasting section, with their Hazy Pale Ale and Melloe Yellow Sour making our Highly Recommended list (see below) while we also savoured their Faded DIPA, Broader than Broadway WCIPA and We Jammin’ Smoothie Sour.
Deeds Brewing Once More Into The Fray
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout 14.5%
Pouring such a dark ruby it’s practically an opaque black, a beautifully deep tan head holds just as long as you would want it to as you’ll be looking to take this beer slow. Initial aromas of coconut and hazelnut are swept aside by an espresso and dark chocolate pairing which is more than apparent when you drink it. Deep, decadent dark chocolate flavours, sweetened by a subtle mention of vanilla and molasses, coats the entire mouth with a dense creaminess. Also in the Summer issue, Deeds’ Any Given Brew Day DDH IPA made our Highly Recommended list while we also feature their Double Time hazy pale, Half Time mid-strength pale and their non-alc pale Zero.
Modus Brewing Mic Drop
Strong Pale Ale 5.7%
The aroma whacks you before you’ve even managed to pick up the beer, with mandarin, orange and grapefruit all attacking your nostrils with their deliciously fresh tendrils. Golden, slight haze and with a fluffy bright white foam, it’s visually enticing as well. First sip completes the hat-trick, delivering an exceptional balance of malt and bitterness, that supports a lingering citrus hop flavour. Carbonation on point and technically sound, this is an absolute pearler of a beer. Mic drop indeed. This one made it two issues in a row where Modus limiteds have made our top picks list following Neon Nectar’s “dreamy creamy mouthfeel” in our Spring 2022 edition. In the Summer magazine we also reviewed their Cerveza and Future Factory IV hazy DIPA.
Slipstream Brewing West Coast Tour IPA Washington
Pouring with the slightest of haze and a decent head that settled down quickly, but never fully disappeared, there’s no getting around just how heavily hopped this is. But there’s just enough malt to bring it back from the edge of being a big sticky mess. Pine resin, and an almost marmalade-like citrus, are the main stars in this show, but even though the dank level is high, it’s very well balanced and has no right to drink this easily. In our Summer 2021 issue another member in Slipstream’s excellent run of West Coast Tour limited IPA releases – California – made our top picks list also.
The Summer issue’s Highly Recommended list of 20 beers included:
Balter Hazy Pale Ale 6.0%
Deeds Brewing Any Given Sunday DDH IPA 6.8%
Seasonal Brewing East Coast IPA 6.8%
Yulli’s Brews Robin Hazy Pale 5.1%
Sauce Brewing Caribbean Fog Hazy Pale 4.6%
Mountain Culture Status Quo Hazy Pale 5.2%
Molly Rose Brewing Little Hazy Beer Hazy Pale 4.0%
One Drop Brewing Hazy Pale Ale 4.5%
Beerfarm Hazy Standard Hazy Pale 3.5%
Gage Roads Hazy As Hazy Pale 5.0%
Vale Brewing Tropic Ale Pale Ale 4.2%
Freshwater Brewing Freshie Pils 4.4%
Freshwater Brewing Wedge Cerveza 4.6%
One Drop Brewing Melloe Yellow Fruited Sour 7.5%
Your Mates Brewing West Coast IPA 7.0%
Coastal Brewing Dara Dank DIPA 7.5%
Coastal Brewing Black Head Milk Stout 4.7%
King River Brewing Slippery Ella Saison 6.4%
King River Brewing Waiting for Godot Belgian Tripel 8.3%
Holgate Brewhouse Citrus IPA 6.0%
If you’re a brewery not receiving our invite email to partake in our tastings but would like to, email us here; and if you want to read the Summer magazine’s 129 other craft reviews, and all the ones to come in future issues, subscribe to Beer & Brewer here.