Should You Store Hazy Beers on Their Side?
Maximizing the haze factor with Backlash Brewing Co.
Written by Alex Weaver
Photography by Backlash Beer Co.
The Haze Craze is so firmly rooted in the beer drinking psyche these days, that some breweries are intentionally hazing beers to make them look and sound more appealing.
One such brewery is Boston’s Backlash Beer Co., which upped the haze factor when it brought back its popular IPA, Salute. The thinking, founder Helder Pimentel told me, is that if he could keep the flavor profile on point but tweak the mouthfeel and appearance to align with that the people crave, well, why wouldn’t he?
There’s another side to this, though. When customers poured Salute, or their bigger DIPA, Hostile Takeover, the appearance sometimes didn’t match the glitzy photos they’d seen on Instagram or elsewhere.
“We’ve taken some heat over our beers not being as hazy as they look in some pics we post,” Pimentel said. The culprit, according to him: storage.
“Storing the cans on their side gives you a more uniform pour and helps put a lot of that haze back up into suspension.”
“All that haze that people crave and lust over will flocculate and settle out over time. So we’ll package up a beautifully hazy beer and then between it sitting cold at the distributor and sitting cold in your fridge, you’ll pour off a pretty clear beer, with the last 15 percent being pretty thick,” he said. “Storing the cans on their side gives you a more uniform pour and helps put a lot of that haze back up into suspension.”
It’s the same reason you’ll see serious beer drinkers agitate or tip a canned beer upside down before cracking and pouring it into a glass. The haze, that is, must be handled with care.
“If you truly care that much, store the can on its side,” Pimentel added. “Otherwise, just pour it off and put it in your face.”