The Bruery broke its promise to never brew an IPA when the team founded Offshoot Beer Co. in 2017. Well, sort of. Offshoot is the Bruery’s way to showcase its freshest beers, almost all of which are IPAs and double IPAs. It gets off on the technicality of being a separate brand, though it still sits within the Famille Rue house of brands. Think of Offshoot as Bruery Terreaux’s playful little brother and its flagship Relax [It’s Just a Hazy IPA] as a loving taunt to the California brewery’s decade of staunch nonconformity.
The brand’s first canned beer and its only year-round offering, Relax [It’s Just a Hazy IPA] lets you know right away that the old ways are gone, and that the era of Citra and Simcoe has begun in Placentia.
The label design tells you everything you need to know about Relax [It’s Just a Hazy IPA]. Spoofing the cover of Jaws, a bather sits oblivious in a tube, sipping a cold one. Beneath the surface of the water, a shark approaches. But instead of a bloodthirsty great white, it’s a peaceful whale shark.
Maybe the craft beer world’s leviathan obsession with New England IPAs ain’t so bad after all. Just look at its iridescent lemon yellow body, its silky consistency. Don’t you just want to get in and splash around?
Craft beer drinkers follow their noses. They’re programmed to sniff out the most potent brews their nostrils can handle. Relax [It’s Just a Hazy IPA] leads with a zesty mix of pine and lemon curd, immediately getting your attention. Then, those dopamine-triggering aromas of pineapple and grapefruit come in, and before you know it, you’re taking a greedy first gulp.
Turn off your brain and let the simple pleasure of juicy hops override your analytical instincts.”
And there it is. Everything you’d expect out of a hazy IPA, even if it is a legendary brewery behind it. The most cogent criticism of the style is its heterogeneity—how many different ways can you really use Citra and Amarillo hops?—and while a delicious tropical fruit cocktail, Relax [It’s Just a Hazy IPA] telegraphs everything you need to know in the name.
There’s no point in over-intellectualizing this beer. Offshoot’s flagship beer exists to let you know the Bruery is in the haze game, and it’s taking it about as seriously as you should, too. Turn off your brain and let the simple pleasure of juicy hops override your analytical instincts. Just don’t expect any surprises.