Today, the Brewers Association (BA) released its 2018 Beer Style Guidelines. One of the notable additions to the style guide is recognition of the style often referred to as New England IPA. The official styles named in the guidelines and BA competitions are “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.” As the hazy IPA grew in popularity over the past few years, there were questions about whether there should be a designated New England IPA style or if it should be considered a substyle of the IPA category. This addition seems to have settled that debate.
“What we discovered and verified was that there was a wide range of alcohol content for what was being perceived in the public as just one style,” shared Charlie Papazian, chief of the BA Beer Style Guidelines since 1979, and founder and past president, Brewers Association. “After evaluating appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop characters, mouthfeel and overall balance these beers gave a consistent impression that helped frame the Brewers Association’s inaugural guidelines for three styles of Juicy Hazy ales.”
A few other changes to the style guidelines demonstrate the influence of hops across different styles. The “Contemporary American-Style Pilsener” category was added to recognize the unique hop profile in American made, pilseners. Similarly, a distinction was made between “Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale” and “Australian-Style Pale Ale” to differentiate between the darker and less hoppy Classic Australian Pale Ale and the Australian Pales that feature a stronger hop profile.