The hazy IPA craze continues to make its way out of New England and into all corners of the craft beer world. Earlier this summer, we published a story about some of the best versions of the juicy, hazy style that are being produced outside of New England, and now Washington-based Redhook is getting into the haze game.
Redhook, which is part of Craft Brew Alliance and has breweries in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, decided to brew a beer that would bridge both coastal styles. They wanted the haze and juiciness of the NE-style IPA and the malt bill and hop bite of the West Coast style IPA. The end result is good, but doesn’t quite hit the hallmarks of either style.
Bicoastal is hazy, but doesn’t look like the cup of pulpy orange juice that some breweries are churning out in New England. It smells like a mix of pineapple and orange juice, and has the soft, creamy mouthfeel associated with NE-style IPAs. It’s a little thinner than I’d like, but the creaminess is there. It’s juicy too, but not overly sweet, brought back to the center by a significantly hoppy, bitter edge and a dry finish.
I could’ve used more of that West Coast malt, and a bit more of the juicy aromatics from the East Coast. This isn’t a palate wrecking hop bomb, but it’s not a glass of juice either. It’s something in the middle. A bridge, which is exactly what Redhook intended, but not necessarily ground breaking. It almost has more in common with that first wave of New England IPAs, which were more tempered than the juicy beers that are being produced today. If Redhook introduced Bicoastal five or six years ago, it might’ve been cutting edge. As is, it’s just really good. And that’s okay, because I’ll drink the hell out of a really good IPA like this, even if it doesn’t break any ground.
Bicoastal is part of Redhook’s Limited Release Series. Each beer in the series features original artwork from Seattle artists. They’re launching the beer in Seattle next week. Look for it at your favorite beer store shortly after the release. If you’re looking for a reason to revisit this “heritage” craft beer brand, Bicoastal might be it.
City: Seattle, Washington
Availability: Limited, six packs