According to this article from the Full Pint, 706 beers were entered under the juicy or hazy category at the Great American Beer Festival this year. No, we did not accidentally hit a zero in there because we were shaky from our morning coffee. This statistically staggering number is divided up between hazy pale ales, ipas and double ipas, but it totals 706. The hazy beer phenomenon is alive and kicking, and won’t be leaving the building anytime soon.
We asked our team what the sheer number of entries in this category means.
Are you surprised at how many hazy ipas were entered in the Great American Beer Festival this year?
“Not surprised at all. Given the amount of market share, consumer demand and market buzz this style has created over the last couple of years, it makes perfect sense.” — Dane Williams
“I am not surprised by how many are entered at all. Anytime a new beer style is added a lot of people want to put their iteration on it.” — Jake Fleming
Do you think breweries are making hazy ipas to be able to submit them to this new award category or because the market demands it?
“Truly, I think it’s a combination of the two. There is no question that the Hazy category is in high demand and it’s a great opportunity to capitalize on the volume, especially in the on premise trade. But if you’re able to connect your brewery or brand to a GABF award, it lends immediate street credentials with both the brewing community and especially the consumers.” — Dane
“Breweries are making hazy IPAs because the market demands, it is the same thing that happened with the Black IPAs which you never see anymore.” — Jake
How long do you think the hazy craze will continue?
“It’s hard to say how long the craze will last but it’s certainly here to stay for the immediate future. Just like any other craze, it will last until the next craze takes it over…which I predict to be ICE beer. Hahahahaha.” — Dane
“Probably about 2 years and then it will start to fall off but who really actually knows.” — Jake
“In addition, it will be interesting to see how deep the Haze technique will go through the different styles. DIPA, Pale and IPA is just the start in my opinion…” — Dane
For more of our opinions on Hazy IPAs at the Great American Beer Festival listen to Episode 25 of the Life Behind Beer podcast.