It’s really hard to do something different in the world of hazy IPAs these days. It feels like breweries throw massive amounts of hops into a beer late in the boil, toss in even more for a dry-hopping, slap a label on this “brand new” IPA, and charge $20 for a four-pack.
Maybe Omnipollo followed a similar recipe with its hazy imperial IPA Lustro, but the result is definitely different. In an attempt to craft something that “would fit nicely in between both coasts [with] the smoothness and haze of a New England style IPA, yet the bite and crushability of a west coast IPA,” Omnipollo tapped into a unique brew with Lustro.
It has the usual appearance of a hazy IPA, with a murky, orange juice-esque look. The aroma, though, suggests that this is anything but a typical take on the style. It’s dominated by bright citrus—more like lemon-lime than orange or grapefruit. There’s something different too about the tropical fruit aromas that are present, with much more of the underripe characteristics like brightness and bitterness.
Lustro opens up with a wallop of fruit flavor. That’s not atypical for a hazy IPA, but this isn’t the fruit you’re used to as Lustro doubles down on the lemon-lime combo from the aroma. It’s bright and bracing, but there’s plenty of fruity sweetness to balance it out. The tropical fruit that’s here is less overwhelming than others in the style. It tastes really green and underripe—a stark departure from the typical sweetness of the fruit in most hazies. Just when you think you’ve got the flavor pegged, it takes a hard turn into the West Coast IPA world of earthy pine and grapefruit rind.
Rather than lean into the haze craze with a beer that would sell well but no one would remember, Omnipollo tried something totally different with Lustro—and I’m here for it.