The Forecast for 2020? Cloudy – so says Gene Muller, Founder of Flying Fish Brewing out of New Jersey during the Beer Tourism and Marketing Conference this week in St. Petersburg, Florida. This week on Beer Notes, we will explore just what cloudy means.
Most people don’t love cloudy days, and many beer drinkers won’t love a prediction that cloudy or hazy beers will continue to grow in popularity in 2020. Others, however, might be thrilled with the hope that all IPAs won’t be as bitter as the early entries to this beer style.
Cloudy or hazy beers, with New England IPAs at the top of the list, are beers that still have sediment in them. This sediment consists of yeast or proteins that are produced during the brewing process or that are created by bottle conditioning.
Most traditional brewers spent the time to either pasteurize the beer or to filter it before bottling. If you don’t do either, sediment ends up in the beer. Many brewers today skip the filtering process in favor of a hazy beer.
Bottle conditioning can also create sediment, but again, it is a byproduct of fermentation. Sugar or unfermented beer is added to beer containing live yeast. The yeast eats the sugars, creating CO2 which keeps the beer fresher longer in the bottle. Sediment is the byproduct.
For many, hazy means fresh. For those of us who aren’t keen on the extremely bitter profile of the traditional IPA, New England, or Hazy IPAs use different hop varieties, keep the haze and come out full of the hop aromas without the bitterness.
If you want to eliminate the sediment when you drink a cloudy beer, just pour your beer carefully into a glass after letting the sediment settle to the bottom. Cheers to a cloudy 2020.