The hazy IPA is a style that has become synonymous with New England, representing a beer type that is known for its cloudiness along with the fruity additions brought by the new world hops and a hint of dankness thrown in.
The Original Small Beer has a core range of low ABV beers that does so well that new beers are rarely released, but co-founder Felix James says that the challenge of brewing a New England style in South Bermondsey that punches well above its weight was too exciting to pass up:
"We had a lot of fun experimenting in the brewery and chose three punchy US hop varieties: Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado."
The Small Beer team boosted the oats and malt bill to add in the extra protein needed to achieve the haze required, and the low-abv means it avoids a lot of the bitterness associated with stronger NE IPAs. This allows the sweet, juicier flavours of the hops to take centre stage.
Hazy IPA: Taste Test
There's a melody of fruitiness from the can pop, and the pour is a very aesthetically pleasing yellow - 'sunshine yellow' according to Small Beer. There's little in the way of head and what is there doesn't hang around much longer than the first couple of sips, but the haze is clear.
Opaque and dense looking, it's proof that looks can be deceiving as it's actually got a really light texture and drinks much more like a lager than an IPA. There's an undoubted smoothness to it that works really well with the stone fruit and citrus fruit flavours with just a touch of tartness to balance it out a little.
It goes down very smoothly, with a crisp aftertaste that leaves you chasing the flavours that you almost can't quite reach with just one sip.
It's not quite as big as some of its fellow style, but considering it's more than half less ABV than most hazy IPAs, but it makes a very good fist of competing in a real way with them. The only real downside is that it is only available in 330ml cans.
Hazy IPA: Can Notes
The can for this one follows in the same style as all of The Original Smell Beer's designs - with a finger pinch hand motif on a white can, with a triangular block of colour depending on the style. This one is a kind of sunset pink, with fruity shadows printed on it.
There's loads of information on the back of the can which is always great to see and makes excellent reading while you're trying to figure out the flavour sensations.
A fan of beer since his first can of John Smiths he snook out of his Dad's fridge, Adam is now a craft beer enthusiast. To offset this 'hobby', he also cycles, runs and plays cricket when not spending time with his family.