Beer: Bow Echo Hazy IPA
Brewery: Wiseacre Brewing Company (Memphis, TN)
Style: IPA – New England / Hazy
7% ABV / 45 IBU
One of the more intriguing things about this generously hopped haze is that the grain bill is arguably more complex than the collection of hops. Bow Echo Hazy IPA has all of the hallmarks of a juicy IPA—oh yeah, there’s the Citra and Mosaic—but it really doesn’t punch you in the face with the fruity/ripe melon/tropical flavors. It’s hazy but not too hazy, hoppy but not too hoppy, and potent enough to ward you away from ripping through more than one can during daylight hours. It’s very solid. It’s an IPA. If they found a way to brew it with fluoride, I’d probably replace my water consumption with this.
Anyway, back to the grain bill: Bow Echo incorporates 2 Row Pale, Pilsner, Carapils, Crystal Malt, and Flaked Oats. Some version of Pale malt and Crystal are pretty standard for any IPA, but the Pilsner malts are a winner here. Pilsners are the OG ultra-crisp and crushable style—like, why not brew every IPA like that, with toothsome hops and a tight, clean finish? This Memphis brewery has also nailed it with the mouthfeel, approaching something that is a little closer to a medium-bodied version of a style that is frequently thin. Hazy IPAs tend to live at the surface, and Bow Echo has some layers.
Also props to the inclusion of English Ale yeast, which tends to show up in British pub styles like ESBs. Like Belgian style IPAs, the inclusion of the yeast produces a beer that is medium carbonation, with a generous (but quick to dissipate) head and a ton of lacing. The latter, of course, has no bearing on the taste of the beer itself, but it’s fun to look at when you pour the brew into a pint glass or goblet and swish it around. And the text above about waiting until sundown? That’s bullshit, this beer is bright, like a warm hug, and can turn your day around instantly. It’s always hazy IPA o’clock somewhere.
For more info on Wiseacre Brewing Company, please head here.