The Latest In Iowa Haze | February Edition - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Latest In Iowa Haze | February Edition

We skipped a January "Latest in Iowa Haze" post but do have a list for this month, although a little light. The days will soon be longer and the temperatures warmer so I expect the Iowa breweries to up their production of IPAs. Especially, the NE Style IPA in which this monthly post is about.

So, what's new at taprooms and around draft lines near you.

CONTRARY BREWING - Layla 6.2% ABV

Maybe second to Franklin Street garnering a lot of beer buzz from Eastern Iowa is Contrary Brewing. The little Muscatine brewery has put out hazy IPAs and "milkshake" IPAs consecutively for a few months now. Their latest, Layla, is described as a NE Style with "low bitterness" and "citrus juiciness." What's missing is the hop bill but you can probably guess it includes popular aromatic hops like Citra, Vic Secret or Loral. It's brewed in collaboration with "Derek" so when we find him, we'll need to ask what's the hops, man.

5 ALARM BREWING- New England IPA 6.5% ABV

5 Alarm is one of, if not, the newest breweries to open in the state in Lake Mills, Iowa. So, it only makes sense that a new player in a becomingly crowded space also dabble in the newest thing in beer. With new, smaller upstarts, there's often not a ton of information yet as they learn the business and things like marketing their brand. (The beer is called New England IPA.) What hops/malts are not to be found. Still, may be worth a stop if you're driving up North on I-35.

BACKPOCKET- Scotty Doesn't Know 6.5% ABV 

BP is in a good place with the pop-up style pilot taprooms as they can bring a lot of small batch beers in for some R&D. They produced some solid haze in the Fall of '17 and have more to offer as we enter this Spring. Scotty Doesn't Know what hop combo is used here but he's still getting with Fiona in the van every Sunday. Just hope Backpocket doesn't use the same van to deliver their kegs/bottles if this sees distribution.

BARN TOWN- What's-a-ma-name-it 6% ABV

This is the latest from Barn Town in what's now a long list of hazy, NE Style IPAs from the first year brewery. BT slip this one in under-the-radar after the Double Hop Skewer release and Sticky Juice mania. It's a nice 6% ABV and it's made with Citra and Simcoe hops. What's-a-ma-name  is a solid NE Style beer from the best doing this style in Iowa.



BRIGHTSIDE ALEWORKS- Hopnotize 6.5% ABV

By now, you may notice a trend here. Some of Iowa's newest breweries are also producing a lot of the newest styles in the state. Brightside has already announced their presence on the scene with solid IPAs like Buzz and Hop Waka. With Hopnotize, they pair in their taproom an East vs. West vote-off for their patrons and offer this as the East Coast representative. It stands at 6.5% and has lactose to beef up the mouth feel. The hop bill is Galaxy, El Dorado and Calypso.

MADHOUSE- Zen Lunatic 7.6% ABV

This is the second NE Style from the Des Moines brewer and Madhouse has had both as draft-only options. This one dropped on Freedom Toast release day and there's still plenty flowing from taps around Central Iowa. This beer stands tall at almost 8% ABV. It's a blend of Citra, Mosiac and Amarillo hops over a hazy, yellow backbone. In my opinion, it's an improvement over Citra Storm and I hope Madhouse continues to learn this style and produce hazy beers.

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