Crazy for Hazy

Showing no signs of slowing, hazy beer's popularity continues to grow, and with it comes two particularly exciting versions to tempt palates. We get the lowdown on what this tasty beer variety is all about.

It was at a brewpub in New England on the US's East Coast where hazy beers first came to popularity more than a decade ago. Fast forward to now, and this 'hazy' style has been widely adopted by many beer-loving nations, New Zealand being no exception.

So what is all the hype about? A hazy beer, as you'd expect, has a cloudy quality, but it's the taste that people keep coming back for. Characterised by a fruitiness and a juiciness, hazies highlight hop flavours and aromas with a downplay in bitterness (more evident in pale ales and IPAs to varying degrees). The softer texture and more palate-driven accessibility has made it a style that is being embraced by beer lovers both old and new.

Tuatara, the beloved craft brewery from the Kapiti Coast, offers two versions that have undoubtedly added to the craze for the haze. 

Roughneck Hazy IPA is a refined recipe based on crowd favourites Suspense and Kilmore Fog. Its Hazy Pale Ale has all of the big flavours and aromas of the variant, with a slightly lower ABV.

Tuatara head brewer Paul Roigard is a big fan of well-executed hazy brews, and it's safe to say he and the brew team are pretty pleased to see how the Tuatara due have been embraced. "Our Hazy is about keeping the tropical fruitiness and low bitterness of a New England IPA, but with the drinkability of a pale ale," he explains. "Roughneck is more like a traditional New English IPA with that full mouthfeel but without being cloying. in terms of flavour, our Hazy is tropical with strong aromas of mango compared to the Roughneck, which is a little more passionfruit and citrus flavoured."

Whether you're already a fan or keen to jump on the bandwagon, it looks like the haze craze is here to stay - definitely worth a 'cheers'!