Firestone Walker brewery set to release Mind Haze New England IPA

Jacopo Mazzeo

Jacopo Mazzeo

14 March 2019

California-based Firestone Walker Brewing Company is entering the New England IPA (NE IPA) category with the release of Mind Haze.

The beer ticks all boxes of the NE IPA style, with its golden colour, cloudy appearance and fruit-driven nose. Tropical notes blend with a fresh, citrus character of lemon juice and candied lemon peel. The palate is creamy, with a light-to-medium body that makes Mind Haze easily quaffable, despite its high abv (6.2%). The finish is long, with plenty of lemon juice character and white spices lingering in the background.

Although the NE IPA style has been in fashion for a while, Firestone said that they wanted to wait ‘until they nailed what they were after’ before releasing one.

Firestone brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Firestone brewmaster Matt Brynildson

In order to replicate NE IPA’s characteristic haziness, Firestone brewmaster Matt Brynildson found inspiration in Bavarian hefeweizen.

‘I recently spent some time at Gutmann brewery in Titting, [Bavaria,] and they have this amazing beer called Weizenbock,’ said Brynildson. ‘It’s this beautiful 7.2%-abv hazy beer with a creamy mouthfeel and a tropical banana aroma that fits right in with the hazy IPAs of today and yet they’ve been making it for more than 50 years.’

Bavarian hefeweizens get their cloudiness from the high percentage of malted wheat in the recipe and by not filtering the beer before bottling (hefe is German for ‘yeast’). The use of wheat is the element that Brynildson decided to borrow from hefeweizens to devise his new beer: ‘The haziness and mouthfeel of Mind Haze are cultivated by… using 40% wheat and oats in the grain bill while nailing the timing and interplay of our hop additions,’ he explained.

‘We are not claiming to reinvent the style. That said, we’re going about it in a different way, and I think that’s what gives Mind Haze its own unique signature.’

Mind Haze will be officially launched on Thursday 18 April at The White Horse in Parson’s Green, London.

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