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10 Best Hazy IPAs in Houston Stores

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10 Best Hazy IPAs in Houston Stores

Northeast IPA, New England IPA, hazy IPA, or hazy Pale Ale, whatever you call it, they’re the kind of beers that hop-heads like us chase after. But what if you can’t make it to every Friday release?

 

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Houston’s beer community has gone from bourgeoning to bubbling to booming, and there could be a few new beer releases in a single weekend regardless of style. NEIPA, or hazy IPA as some call it, is easily one of the most sought after styles that has folks lining up in front of breweries every weekend. After discussing the future of the IPA with Jeff Handojo of 11 Below as well as a few others around town, it felt only right that we also discussed the current climate.

That conversation has to include the sub-style NEIPA that has beer nerds around the country clamoring for trades.

But if you’ve got a stiff work schedule you may not be able to make it to all the releases. If you’re hunting for the hops, here are a few nationwide beers that have distro in the H, so you can get your fix even if you can’t make the releases and don’t have a mule.

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These are a few of the best hazy IPAs in Houston stores that we came across. We scoured the shelves of several grocery and liquor stores, bought the beer, drank and wrote, and force ranked them for you.


 

10. Shiner Wicked Juicy IPA

This is the newest to the market, and you can’t really blame Shiner for entering the haze race. It’s an approachable style that seems to be bending the rules of what beer can be (even further than Craft has already done in the last three decades).

This one’s really mild on all fronts, and the appearance is really telling. If you’re a beer nerd looking to skate by because you missed this week’s release, this won’t cure your itch. However, if you’re a fledgling sipper getting into IPAs, this might be a great gateway beer for the same mild reasons.

Much like the original Wicked Ram, this Wicked Juicy IPA is very tame in all aspects  – a decent beer overall just not winning any awards in the sub-category of hazy IPAs. From appearance to aroma to flavor, this feels like the beer version of the kid that gets picked last for kickball – not inherently bad, just not great compared to the other options. The mild yet bright aroma and flavor is all tropical, but no distinguishing characteristics jump out. However, it is not one of the best hazy IPAs in Houston.


 

9. Six Point Brewery Puff

Puff isn’t really cloudy or hazy, it’s amber-ish haze at best. It has a nice head that quickly runs its course.

We received this beer as a gift and had no real expectations other than what the label suggested. After getting the beer we were really excited to try it. The beer doesn’t live up to the hazy style, though. It’s far from being one of the best Hazy IPAs in Houston. Far.

Don’t get us wrong, the beer itself is good and we would get it again. It just isn’t haze. It’s a double IPA. No creamy mouthfeel, and lacking on the tropical notes. It’s barely even hazy! We wouldn’t offer this beer to someone and sell it as a hazy IPA at all despite being a decent beer.

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8. New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

This one pours a golden-amber color that’s fairly clear in comparison to some of others. The pic above is pretty hazy, but we had one that was straight clear. This may be a case of, “My haze is gone, but can I get it back?” There seems to be some inconsistency from batches in terms of appearance, much like others on this list.

It’s full of juicy, tropical hop aroma and flavor, but the heff yeast seems to impart a bit of spiced flavor that’s a little off.

Overall it’s a good beer, but it’s also somewhere in the middle of the pack.


 

7. Celis Citrus Grandis East Coast IPA

A very wheaty take on the style, it pours a pale, bright-yellow color with a healthy haze and even heartier measure of head. Celis focuses on Belgian styles, so they’ve broken out of the mold a bit and made a bit of a hybrid here.

It’s a bit off on the pillowy mouthfeel despite a medium body, and the spicy aromas leave me wondering if it’s a real entry into the conversation. However, the citrus notes welcome us to argue with ourselves.

Either way, it’s a light, crushable, citrusy take on the style that you might be able to find on shelves in Houston.

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6. 8th Wonder Procrastinator IPA

This one pours varying degrees of crystal clear to full-on hazy depending on the batch, draft, or cans. We’ve seen photos reminiscent of 5% tint in terms of haziness as well as uber-clear like a well-brewed blonde.

The citrus from the hops really shine on both the aroma, flavor and finish of this beer. It’s no wonder that it’s medaled for session IPA. While it’s really low in ABV, hence being a session IPA, the mouthfeel isn’t necessarily as thin as others on the list.

This would probably fall somewhere towards the top-middle of the pack in terms of juicy, hazy IPAs you can find on the shelf.

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5. Martin House Friday IPA

It pours a hazy golden-orange, much like Hazy lil thing and NOLA Revivalist, and there’s a hellafied amount of lace that sticks around for the Friday party.

As far as a shelfie goes, this one’s everything you want. However, if you thought of everything in terms of a single knob from 1-10 (mouthfeel, flavor, aroma, etc.) it’s about a 6-7.

The mild nose and flavors make this one a quiet entry albeit a fair one. Peach, apricot, and muddled tropical fruitiness make this a solid beer, but the mildness of it all leaves it somewhere slightly above the middle of the pack. There’s also a lingering bitterness that’s a just a hair much for the style.

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4. Abita Hop On

It’s a pale, straw-yellow with just a little bit of haziness. We can actually see through it a little.

This is a super solid beer in and of itself, but it’s a little bit off in terms of a replacement for the hazy IPAs. It’s a little too thin, and a little too bitter on the finish.

Overall the citrus and tropical hop aromas are there, and they’re great, but they’re just a little too mild. The mouthfeel being a little on the thin side and the lingering bitterness are all minor points against Abita Hop On. On its own, it’s a great beer (and one we’ll be keeping on deck because it’s so easy to find). This could possibly act as a replacement.


 

3. NOLA Brewing Revivalist Pale Ale

We actually found this one (what seems like) before the haze craze and knew it was special. With a nose reminiscent of really good, fruity bud, it pours a hazy golden-orange that’s pretty opaque, but not full on juice.

What it lacks in creamy mouthfeel and true haziness, it makes up for in citrus and peach flavors. Big time. It’s easily one of the best hazy IPAs in Houston stores right now.

This is easily one of our favorite shelfies, and it has been for quite a while. If we could find it more often, it’d be a regular for sure.


 

2. Sam Adams New England IPA

This one pours a golden haze with a perfect 2 finger white head and lacing all the way through the glass.

Sam Adams killed it with this beer. It’s another one of the best hazy IPAs in Houston stores. We had very low expectations and assumed it was going to be a money grab, but they actually did a really good job with this style and hopefully they continue to make it available year round.

This, in our opinion, is one of the best available. It’s not B52 or Spindletap but it’s damn good! They hit all the classic characteristics you’d look for in a hazy ipa. From the tropical notes to the mouthfeel they did the style justice.

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1. Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA

It pours a hazy gold with a fat, foamy, white head, and it may be tied with Sam Adams, but we have to force rank them for the article, so here we are.

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA is one of the best hazy IPAs in Houston. It’s a champ. While we’ve noticed some surprising inconsistencies between batches, even the thinnest batch has been a little better than most of the others. Tons of tropical notes are accompanied by a soft, pillowy mouthfeel.

This has to be one of the best we’ve come across. We love Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing. One of the best for sure.

Conclusion

You can find a handful of really good hazy IPAs on the shelves. None of them will be quite as good as what you’d get from Houston Juiceton area breweries like SpindleTap, Baa Baa, B52, and Ingenious, but these towards the bottom of the list will hold you over for a week or two.

It’s worth mentioning that SpindleTap 5% Tint and Houston Haze are sold in stores every now and again, but they usually don’t last too long on the shelves. While these two are some of the best hazy IPAs in Houston altogether, until they’re something we can find readily on shelves, they’re not really a fair mention in this list.

If we missed one, let us know in the comments below. Maybe we can hunt it down and add it to the list!

 

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Beer Chronicle Team
beerchronicle@gmail.com
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