Ben Edmunds was "tepid" about hazy New England-style IPAs. When the trend hit, the head brewer at Breakside originally had no plans to make one. "While the best examples have a beautiful mouthfeel and wonderful purity of hop aroma, too many versions I've had are under-attenuated, under-bittered, overly sweet, flabby, or simply not that hoppy," he says.
He's right. All the cloudy, hoppy beers at Great Notion are, uh, great, but dozens of others have been disappointments.
Well, Breakside got it right with Something Wicked, the hazy IPA it used to launch its large and opulent new Slabtown brewpub. It's the new best hazy I've had from an Oregon brewery not on Alberta Street—supplanting Astoria's Reach Break after only a week.
Something Wicked is as soft as beer gets, with a body that has the yellow fuzziness of an old beach photo and a light citrus flavor from Citra and Mosaic that fades into a squishy melon. It's the first of what Edmunds says will be a series of regional variants of IPA.
"I still don't think this is an IPA in the traditional 'West Coast' sense," he says. "It's some other sort of modern-day, dry-hopped American hefeweizen."
Fair enough, Ben. Just keep 'em coming. Recommended.