Beer of the Month: Hazy Nosh IPA
Beer Name: Hazy Nosh IPA
Brewery: Uinta Brewing Company
Serving Style: 12-oz. can
Folks, it’s been a couple months now that we’ve had a higher-percentage alcohol available on tap and at our grocery and convenience stores—5% alcohol-by-volume (4% alcohol-by-weight). Leading up to the conversion, many Utahns observed interesting things around town. Store shelves looked like post-apocalyptic clips from zombie movies with empty beer cold cases, local breweries sold their flagship brands at deeply discounted rates (which was an excellent byproduct of the change—let’s be honest), and some breweries held “kick the keg” contests to help rapidly clear out the 4% supply. Plus, the state-run liquor stores threatened to pour remaining inventories of low-point beer down the drain. There were certainly out-of-the-ordinary happenings, to say the least.
At the same time, things were shifting behind the beer scenes. Many brewers accepted the challenge to revise existing recipes or come up with completely new brews. In some cases, breweries took two leaps at once by immediately canning or bottling their fresh innovations. That’s what local craft beer powerhouse Uinta Brewing Company did. On Nov. 1, they introduced a twist on a community favorite. Capitalizing on a hot trend, they brought us a new variant, Hazy Nosh IPA. “The hops for this beer were selected for their oil content and citrus-forward presentation,” says Patrick Keahey, Uinta Brewing Head R&D Brewer. “We want this beer to exhibit all the over-the-top hop flavor that is expected for this style.” They bridged the higher-ABV beer of yesteryear, the original Hop Nosh, to a session thirst-quencher at 5% for the new norm. Tweaking a classic, Uinta presented a supermarket gem.
Hazy Nosh IPA showcases renewed branding, enticing patrons to take a first and second glance at the fresh brew. Snaggin’ a six-pack, we cracked open a cold one and poured it into a tulip. Liquid of golden-yellow with a light dusting of fog danced in the glass. The first glimpse and fragrant whiffs are nice on this one. A sheet of brisk, white bubbles quickly come to a rest, leaving no foam. As opposed to a traditional haze-bomb, this looks like more of a purified-halo glow. “The largest challenge was managing haze stability,” says Keahey. Aromatic hops are in the forefront, wafting delightfully. The first sip is equally pleasant, with notes of mango and a soft hop bite. Fluid layers of flavors like pineapple and citrus then emerge a surprisingly velvety mouthfeel.
Granted, the recent adjustment from 4% to 5% ABV wasn’t the most satisfying result for many craft beer lovers. A fear going into the change was the chance of big beer companies gaming the aisle and squeezing out the little guys. Luckily, our resident brew houses are full of clever and energetic leaders, who quickly innovated in response. Hazy Nosh is one of many firsthand treats of this movement, and all of our neighborhood breweries embarked on this journey. From a community standpoint, let’s team up to ensure that our locals won’t be stamped out. How? By continuing to support the local beer we love and always looking out for their brands, or by swinging into the breweries—where fresh is best—for a pint poured at the new limit.