What is a juicy IPA?
Today, class, we’re here to talk about juicy IPAs – specifically the most popular examples of these beers you can buy on Drizly if they’re available in your area. Even if you’re the most dedicated IPA-head (is that a thing? I’m making it a thing) it can be tough to tell the difference between a juicy IPA and a hazy IPA and a New England IPA and a double or imperial IPA. That’s partially because none of those things are necessarily mutually exclusive in a beer, and partially because one palate’s ZOMG JUICE BOMB may be another palate’s faint whiff of tropical flavors.
Before we get started, though, let’s get one thing straight – there’s a good chance you’ll disagree with at least a few of the beers I included here, or think I should have added others, so I guess we should talk about my bona fides. I spent five years or so as a craft beer bartender in central Vermont, the epicenter of hazy New England IPAs (NEIPAs as the cool kids may or may not call them). I was actually born and raised in Waterbury, VT – also the birthplace of mighty NEIPA OG The Alchemist’s Heady Topper (which unfortunately didn’t make this list since it’s not widely distributed). Another fun fact is that I drank enough hazy/juicy/new england IPAs at my peak that I’m mildly allergic to ale yeast, so my sacrifice should stand for something.
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s do a little Q&A to make sure we’re all on the same page, shall we?
What is a juicy IPA?
When we’re talking about beer, the term “Juicy” refers to the aroma and taste of the beer being reminiscent of fruit juice, typically citrus or stone fruit. These flavors and aromas can be affected by things like yeast esters, but a juicy IPA is all about the juicy hops!
What is a Hazy IPA?
Hazy IPAs, also known as New England IPA (NEIPA), East Coast IPA, or unfiltered IPA are a specific type of juicy IPA. They tend to be less bitter than traditional IPAs with tropical and citrusy flavors, and often land higher on the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) scale. They also tend to have a creamier mouthfeel and are a bit sweeter.
What Types Of Hops Are Usually In Hazy Or Juicy IPAs?
Most of these beers use fruit-forward hops like Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, Amarillo and El Dorado, during the initial boil and then in mind-bogglingly copious amounts when they are dry hopped.
As for how I came up with this list:
I narrowed down to two categories – namely imperial/double IPA and New England / Hazy IPA. There’s nothing in the rulebook that says a regular old India Pale Ale can’t bring the juice, but usually you get the most flavor out of those higher ABVs.
I combed through our product reviews (and some reviews on external sites…looking at you, ratebeer) to find references to the beers identified as “juicy” in product descriptions and user reviews.
I looked at total orders on the Drizly platform this year, with product ratings being the tie-breaker if necessary.
Did I mention a whole lot of…um…product research?