The hazy and juicy IPA craze has swept through the nation’s craft beer community! From its birthplace in Vermont all the way to California, one can find brewers taking their shot at this alternative take on an IPA. So many beer hunters wait in long lines to get their hands on this type of IPA, more than any other beer style I’ve witnessed lately.
I live in California, and spend a lot of time in New England, and therefore have been up and down states like Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine drinking some of the best beers one can pack into 16 ounce cans. This type of IPA is commonly known as a New England or Vermont IPA because New England brewers first took the idea and ran with it after Heady Topper was first produced in Vermont in 2004 to such high praise. But I’m witnessing the men and women brewers of the West Coast set themselves apart from their East Coast brothers and sisters with their hazy IPAs.
New Glory, a young brewery from Sacramento, surprised me with a doozy of a New England-style IPA called Juicy Secret. After pouring into the glass, the most undeniable feature is a bright orange juice-like aroma, straight from the breakfast table. Next a grassy pine combines with a fruity yeast profile that is slightly reminiscent of an English IPA or bitter.
New Glory has figured out a smart way to distinguish their New England-like IPA with a little West Coast attitude.”
Juicy Secret is opaque and quite cloudy in its appearance. It is unfiltered with no concern whatsoever about looking pretty. The bright orange-gold is topped with a frothy head. Juicy Secret looks almost like an Orange Julius, the king of NEIPAs.
At first, the beer hits the palate like it does the nose, bright and citrusy with tropical flavors of bitter orange, lemon, and a light note of guava with some light pine. The finish is long, and reminds me of the days when I used to drink Tang. Juicy Secret is brewed with a blend of American Northwest and Southern Hemisphere hops, two of them being Citra and Vic Secret.
On their beer list, New Glory refers to Juicy Secret as a “Juicy IPA,” perhaps having too much West Coast pride to refer to it using New England nomenclature. But I’m sympathetic to this distinction because I detect some West Coast riffing happening on the palate, as the beer has much more perceived bitterness and sharpness than so many of the famous East Coast versions. It’s pleasant but it does fight with the juicy hops a bit, messing with the balance.
While I may not line up for this like they do so often in Vermont and Massachusetts, I’ll keep buying it when I’m in town because it’s a pleaser. I believe many IPAs made in this fashion can be too similar, but New Glory has figured out a smart way to distinguish their New England-like IPA with a little West Coast attitude.