Let's face it: In just three years, the hazy New England-style IPA has become the most-talked-about beer style in the United States. Packed full of juicy, tropical aromas but very low in bitterness, these beers look funny, inspire a lot of passion (both for and against) and taste great, attracting waves of new drinkers to craft breweries.
We're spoiled in Colorado, with Outer Range, WeldWerks, New Image, Cerebral, Odd13, Ursula, Fiction and others turning out some amazing versions of the style. Sadly, most of the breweries in New England, where the style got its start, are either too small or just too cool to come out to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. But there are tons of great haze makers in other states — and many of them will be on tap in Denver bars and restaurants this week — even if most won't be pouring at the festival itself.
You can find out where these breweries are pouring (hint: Freshcraft, Falling Rock, Finn's Manor, the Crafty Fox, Cedar Creek Pub, Improper City and several others) in our comprehensive guide to 2018's GABF-week events in Denver, but here is a rundown of the breweries themselves.
Alvarado Street Brewing
Founded in 2014, Alvarado Street Brewing doesn't use the New England-style terminology, preferring to focus on "yeast-driven" beers, but it's still pulling customers from all over California.
The Answer Brewpub
Pouring at GABF, these guys do a lot of things well, and although the brewpub doesn't call its beers New England-style IPAs, they are. What's the question? I don't know. But beer is the answer.
Aslin Beer Company
Consistently earning high marks from hazy-IPA lovers along the Eastern Seaboard, Aslin turns out some addictively sweet and juicy IPAs.
Bearded Iris Brewing
The South hasn't quite caught up to the rest of the United States when it comes to hazy IPAs, but Bearded Iris is an absolute standout, and its beers would compete with any in Colorado or the coasts.
From relative obscurity to a cult brewery, Civil Society is making the Sunshine State proud with sunny, hazy beers like Fresh IPA.
Queens, New York
Part of a group of hip young breweries that are coming up in the five boroughs, Finback makes no bones about its focus on hazy IPAs, and New Yorkers are loving them.
Great Notion Brewing
Great Notion has quickly become a must-visit for beer geeks heading to Portland. Two years ago, the brewery was so confident in its hazy brews that it snuck them into an event at Falling Rock.
Interboro Spirits and Ales
Brooklyn, New York
Producing both liquor and beer, Interboro exudes pure hipster cachet from its brewery in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, and the beers stand up to the hype.
Like a lot of brewers, Mikerphone's founder was into music first, but his true passion came out when it came time to get involved in the brewing industry. Mikerphone's beers really sing.
San Diego, California
It doesn't seem fair that a brewery this good should be able to do so many styles so well, and yet its hazy IPAs are right up there with its stouts, its West Coast IPAs and its tart beers.
Founded just a year ago by the former head brewer at Southern California haze specialist Abnormal Brewing, Moska has immediately begun turning out some of the juiciest brews in the northern part of the state.
Night Shift Brewing
One of the oldest of the bunch, Night Shift has been turning out great beer since 2012. One of the foremost brewers of hazy IPAs, the brewery is growing quickly in the Boston area.
Other Half Brewing Company
Brooklyn, New York
People line up for hours to get their hands on Other Half's once-a-week releases, and once you taste them, you'll understand why.
San Diego, California
With a focus on seasonal, organic and sustainable ingredients, Pure Project is one of the foremost makers of California "murky" beers, which is the term they like to use out there on the coast.
Last year's winner of GABF's Best Small Brewery and Brewer of the Year award (bringing home two golds for an imperial red ale and a hefeweizen), Sunriver will be able to showcase its world-class haze this time around.
Shhhh... yes, Trillium is lurking in Denver this week. The somewhat snooty brewer is part of the group of early haze adopters from New England that include Treehouse, the Alchemist and Hill Farmstead.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Trophy Brewing has been gaining friends at a rapid rate with its pizza and beer, and now the brewery will be part of a haze-only festival taking place in North Carolina in November.
Wren House Brewing
Another one of the breweries that can seemingly do it all, Wren House has garnered attention all over Arizona for its sours and its thick, hazy IPAs.