When I relocated to Kansas, I knew my local beer option would be limited. I’m lucky, though, that that the Sunflower State has strong distribution (and I have found some great semi-local options). Nonetheless, there was a lot of pressure on a recent trip to Denver to scour beer stores and tap lists to find the perfect blend of fresh, local, and diverse brews.
I came away with some stellar offerings, but my haul was mostly dominated by a single brewery: WeldWerks Brewing Company. The Greeley, Colorado brewer’s take on a New England-style IPA, Juicy Bits, follows the profile of most hazy juice-bombs, but with uniquely Denver twist. So while the brewer is relatively new to the scene—it opened in 2015—it isn’t to be overlooked.
Appearance and Aroma
In the glass, Juicy Bits just looks like a delicious hazy IPA. There's no mistaking this beer for a glass of orange juice or a chunky slushie. With its beautiful, bright orange-golden body, it looks creamy and turbid, but reflects the light in the room like few beers can. The scent is every bit as bright, with pineapple, stone fruit, and some grassiness.
I could do for a bit more juiciness in a beer called Juicy Bits, but I’ll take the right balance of brightness and bitterness in an IPA anytime.”
When a beer smells this good, you approach the first sip with some hesitation. Will the flavor live up? Yes, Juicy Bits hits those same notes, with the grassiness turned up and accompanied by a good amount of underripe fruit. The sweet, tropical, and citrus fruits hang around in the background to remind you this is indeed a New England-style IPA. Juicy Bits packs more bitterness than most hazy IPAs in this ABV range (6.7%), but it’s more like a boxer peppering you with a jab than slamming you with an uppercut.
I could do for a bit more juiciness in a beer called Juicy Bits, but I’ll take the right balance of brightness and bitterness in an IPA anytime. WeldWerks builds on an impressive appearance and powerful aroma to create a memorable IPA in a crowded field, pulling some of the best attributes of hazy IPAs and marrying them with the best of Denver IPAs. The result is a beer that had my palate singing and my car riding quite a bit lower on the way back home.