Murkbombs. Pint o’Murk. New England IPA. NEIPA. Murkbier. Cloudybeer. Whatever you wanna call it, New England style IPA’s are popping up everywhere. If you’re a brewer, you want a piece of the sales action on this style right now. And if you are already as a brewer, kudos to you. It’s good for business. But, I’m just not down with the haze-craze. I was over it before it even began.
Look, not to create controversy or nothing, but if you want a milkshake, go visit a milkshake bar, or an icecream stand that knocks them out. I just don’t care for the fruity-milkshake IPA’s knocking about right now. Yes, I keep trying them at my own expense. And mostly, I find myself with raw-floury fruit gloop beers. There’s little I find redeeming or enjoyable about tasting raw-flour in my beers. And for those who don’t know, some of these beers in this style do have wheat flour added to them to help with ‘ze murk’.
However I feel about the style, I can acknowledge the difficulty in making a good one of these, & wringing out every inch of flavour into one. However, there are so many bad ones of these floating about that people are whooping over like giddy children its a case of fashionable fandom. I get that ‘people like what they like’. But I can guarantee that people who are drooling over the countless shit-versions of this style of beer floating about our market were to try ‘Heady Topper’ by Alchemist, they’d start a burning torches & pitchforks mob against the inferior beer creators.
There’s a reason Heady Topper is held in the esteem it is. It was a beer that existed before there was a raging hard-on for murkbombs. It was the OG murkbomb. And it has been perfected over many years. It has earned its place in the pantheon of great beers of the 21st century. And even when the fixation for murk has dissipated & people move on to the next ‘big thing’ in beer, it will remain as awesome as it ever was & in production.
BrewDog have turned out a couple of these hazy beers better late than never to their credit, but each one was just so disappointingly bad, it felt like they shouldn’t even have bothered releasing them, They felt like a late-attempt at cashing in on a craze without their usual maniacal attention to detail & pizazz, being first past the post with something new in their European market.
Irish craft brewers have turned outa few of these now, & honestly, they’ve been well made beers. Thankfully none of them have been ‘riddled with flour’, but they just have not floated my boat from my preferred style of IPA. I can appreciate the massive gamble taken by Irish breweries in producing beers in this style. It’s massive given they’ve all been brow-beaten into clear beers for the market without sacrificing aroma/flavour, & done capital investment in things like centrifuges to achieve the clarity.
Beer style appreciation can be two fold; a technical appreciation, and or a personal appreciation. When it comes to incredibly well produced NEIPA’s, I have a technical appreciation for them. But when it comes to a personal appreciation, I don’t think I’ll ever be a card-carrying, flag-waving fanboy for them. Sorry. Not sorry.