The 11 Best Hazy Beers: 2024 Taste Test

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There’s no denying that hazy beers are the biggest thing in beer. Colloquially known by such names in the craft beer scene as the New England Style IPA, Juicy Hazy Double IPA, or simply Juice Bomb, these beers are as flavorful as they are Instagrammable with their milky, glowing appearance. Their look seems to subliminally elicit your taste buds to expect tropical fruit, citrus flavors, and stone fruit served up on a full bodied creamy mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

These beers are in stark contrast to the OG bad boys of the beer world, the West Coast IPAs, more known for their crisp finish and aggressive bitterness. These beers are more resinous IPAs than the orange creamsicle flavors that are on trend today, the finest examples of which we will look at today.

1. Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA

Type: Juicy IPA | ABV: 6.7% | Calories: 214

One of Sierra Nevada’s concerns, when they got into the hazy IPA biz, was the shelf stability. When New England breweries started garnering attention for these beers with high haze and low bitterness, the QA team at Sierra wondered if any would survive distribution across the country, let alone the world. Luckily for Sierra and us, a solution was found because Hazy Little Thing is one of the most widely available New England Style IPAs. This beer gets its soft body from rolled oats and is hopped up with Citra, Magnum, Mosaic, El Dorado, and Simcoe hops.

2. Rogue Batsquatch Hazy IPA

Type: Hazy IPA Style | ABV: 6.7% | Calories: 214

Feast your senses on this beer’s tropical fruit flavors, courtesy of a healthy dose of Belma, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops. Rogue Ales Batsquatch Hazy IPA is sure to be a favorite hazy IPA the next time you’re out searching for a legendary India pale ale with a well balanced hop profile and pleasant bitterness.

3. Juicy Bits | Weldwerks

Type: New England Style IPA | ABV: 6.7% | Calories: 214

Juicy Bits is crammed full of tropical fruit flavors from the use of Mosaic, El Dorado, and Citra hops. The brewery has developed a massive following from their interpretation of New England IPAs, even garnering the interest of NBA Champion coach Mike Malone, who has gone on record as being fond of this literal juice bomb.

4. Julius | Tree House Brewing

Type: New England IPA | ABV: 6.8% | Calories: 220

The creamy mouthfeel, combined with tropical flavors, reminds us of a trip to the Orange Julius stand at the mall. The hazy IPA is hopped to express notable flavors of passion fruit, mango, and citrus. It is truly an iconic example of the style and one we love to get our hands on.

5. M-43 | Old Nation Brewing

Type: American IPA | ABV: 6.8 | Calories: 220

Look for a complex display of tropical fruits in this IPA for non-IPA lovers. The beer is brewed with Calypso, Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra hops to complement the pillowy soft body from oats. Old Nation makes a point to say that the haze you see in your glass is not from the yeast but rather the combination of said oats, proteins, and heavy-handed dry hopping.

6. Just the Haze | Samuel Adams

Type: N/A India Pale Ale | ABV: < 0.05% | Calories: 10

Leave it to Samuel Adams, makers of Boston Lager, to combine on-trend beer categories. The brewery has capitalized on a growing interest in non-alcoholic beer with hazy IPA to offer Just the Haze. It has all the flavor you could want from hops like Sabro, Mosaic, Citra, and Cascade without the alcohol.

7. Mind Haze | Firestone Walker Brewing

Type: Hazy IPA | ABV: 6.2% | Calories: 186

Is your mind a little hazy from this list yet? Are the options a little overwhelming? Well, trust in Firestone Walker. The West Coast brewing powerhouse created Mind Haze as an addition to its solid IPA portfolio. Mind Haze and its double IPA extensions, Cosmic Crusher and Brain Melter, focus on the tropical aspects of the style. The standard is brewed with nine different hops, including Mandarina Bavaria hops, which lend an orange fruit character to the brew.

8. Hazy Rays | Lawson’s Finest

Type: Hazy IPA | ABV: 5.3% | Calories: 159

Lawson’s Finest makes excellent beers of all kinds—full Stop. Their classic Sips of Sunshine was discussed as an early influence even before the haze craze. Still, it wasn’t until Hazy Rays that the brewery truly leaned into its regionally famous beer. The result was nothing short of spectacular—and quite frankly, not surprising. Hazy Rays clocks in at only 5.3% ABV, which is on the low end for an IPA. This hazy IPA is hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Citra.

9. Fairy Nectar DDH | Kros Strain

Type: New England / Hazy | ABV: 6.2 | Calories: 186

Kros Strain Fairy Nectar creates a well balanced example of the style with increased levels of tropical flavors and aroma with a lower, yet more supportive, amount of bitterness. The folks at Kros Strain have nailed the hazy equaltion and that’s why they’re consistently discussed as having some of the best hazy IPAs in the US.

10. Single By Choice | New Image Brewing

Type: Single Hop Hazy IPA | ABV: 5% | Calories: 150

Who said this list was going to be hazy IPAs? Hazy craft beer can be hefeweizens, lagers, or even pale ales, which is what we have here from Colorado’s New Image. New Image brews a variety of hazy IPAs, but their Single by Choice series is notable because it highlights just one hop each time it’s brewed. Any hazy IPA fan will love exploring the world of single-hop beers to experience what the individual varieties truly lend to a brew.

11. Ghost in the Machine | Parish Brewing

Type: Juicy Double IPA | ABV: 8% | Calories: 240

There’s just something about walking around the French Quarter with a can of Ghost in the Machine. The dank, tropical fruit flavors are the perfect foil to the smells of Cajun and Creole cooking or freshly made beignets. I suggest you experience it once in your life, but if you can get your hands on this beer, you’re going to enjoy it whether or not you’re in the Big Easy.

Hazy IPA FAQs

Glass of beer
Photo by Jose Hernandez-Uribe on Unsplash

What Makes a Beer Hazy?

Beers will appear hazy due to residual proteins, suspended yeast, or excessive hops. For beers that are meant to be cloudy, the brewer will choose not to filter their beer. Instead, hazy beers are left unfiltered, allowing the remaining haze-causing particles to affect the beer’s clarity.

In the case of hazy IPAs, the haze is derived from high levels of proteins that remain in the beer from the brewing process, as well as copious amounts of organic material that is left from aggressive dry-hopping.

Any sort of colloidal suspension will contribute to the beer’s overall mouthfeel, specifically a smooth mouthfeel in the case of hazy IPA and pale ale, which are becoming a hallmark of the style trend. While the haze itself does not contribute a flavor of its own, the mouthfeel has become the perfect canvas to offer intense flavors with less hop bitterness. These flavors favor New World hops that exhibit tropical fruits, like passion fruit, which many perceive as tropical sweetness in their taste buds.

Are All Hazy Beers IPAs?

While Hazy IPA gets much of the attention of haze fans, IPAs are not the only beer styles that have appropriate levels of haze. In fact, most beers will allow some level of haze for one reason or another despite the goal of many brewers to produce a clear beer.

The most notable hazy beer style, besides IPA, has got to be Hefeweizen. Hefeweizen is an unfiltered German Wheat beer. It is known for its unique yeast and fermentation characteristics, which, besides being hazy, offers the beer drinker a lovely fruit and spice experience. The weizen yeast that is used produces high levels of isoamyl acetate, which can be expressed in a variety of fruity flavors, but in a hefeweizen, it is expected to be the flavor of banana.

Hefeweizens are characteristically hazy. I once listened to homebrew legend Charlie Papazian recount an experience he had at a German beer garden, where the server used a ballpark-style condiment dispenser to pump extra yeast into the house hefeweizen. He surmised that the patrons expected a hefeweizen to be hazy—and a slight yeast haze just would not do.

While haze is an important visual characteristic of some styles, it is not the end goal in others. Most Pilsner fans would be put off by a turbid Pilsner or lagers in general. In fact, haze in beer can be seen as a flaw in the brewing process or poor-quality malt.

Haze can be temporary, like in the case of chill haze. Chill haze occurs when large proteins break out of solution at cold temperatures. If you have a beer that is not ordinarily hazy, served to you cold, with a haze that clears up when it warms, your beer may be experiencing chill haze. Brewers can remedy chill haze in their beer in a variety of ways. This includes testing and only selecting high-quality malt for their recipes, adding a protein rest to their mash schedule, and filtering the beer after extended lagering.

Hazy IPAs are some of the most popular styles of beer, but it is worth mentioning that their appearance gets an outsized proportion of the hype. The excitement should be in the innovative ways brewers have boosted the beer-drinking experiences with hops. Hops shine in this style, and rightfully so. As brewers continue to create new experiences, it will be interesting to see how they continue to use that hop innovation to satisfy that demand. Until then, an increasingly saturated market will jockey for hazy beer supremacy, but perhaps a new style will emerge as the next big thing and finally dethrone the hazy IPA. Given the post-pandemic struggles of craft beer, let’s hope these breweries resist resting on their laurels and continue to push the envelope. In the meantime, we can all appreciate brews like Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing, Rogue Batsquatch Hazy IPA, or any of the others listed in this best beer rundown.

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Andy Sparhawk is an avid beer lover and the former editor-in-chief for CraftBeer.com. Andy is the lead writer for The Beer Babe and lives in Westminster, Colorado, with his family. As beer enthusiast and experienced beer judge, he loves sharing his experiences with The Beer Babe's dedicated audience of beer enthusiasts.