The current trend for brewers to produce hazy IPA, often called New England IPA after its origin point, has had me thinking about haze as a fundamental component of specific beer styles.
German hefeweizen, which literally translates to English as “yeast-wheat”, is an obvious example. In this style the German yeast produces phenolic flavours of banana and clove, which are an intentional component of the beer, hence it is often left hazy to maximize these flavours.
Another beer that sprang to mind was Cooper’s Pale Ale, an Australian beer that was very popular in London seven or eight years ago. If you order a bottle of this beer, then more often than note the person serving you will gently roll the beer along the bar top to wake up the sediment in the bottom of the beer. This will also give it a hazy appearance when served.
Yet IPA has always been clear, or at least that’s what much of beer’s recent history tells to think. Craft beer has always been about finding a point of difference though, especially in a market with so many breweries. As such its not difficult to work out why exactly the hazy IPA craze sprang into being.
Manchester’s Marble, however - in particular its head brewer James Kemp - has always been vociferously supportive of clear or “bright” beer (and personally, so am I), but enter Hop Burns & Black and their new collaboration Murk du Soleil.
Murk du Soleil is, as far as we know, Marble’s first intentionally hazy IPA – and a number of factors contribute towards that haze. Plenty of oats and wheat were added to the grist along with malted barley to add protein, which should give the beer a luxuriously thick body as well as aiding the suspension of particulate in the beer. According to Kemp this should also aid the perception of “juiciness” within the finished beer. No kettle finings were added during the boil either – usually a substance called Protofloc, made from seaweed, is added to pull particulate out of the beer during this stage of the brewing process.
Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops from New Zealand – with HB&B’s Kiwi heritage, what were you expecting? - were added at the end of the boil. The same two hops were used in the dry hop at a ratio of 16 grams per litre, added over four different periods. If you were being technical you could call that a quadruple dry hop (and if you were being intentionally trendy you could print QDH on the can…).
The end result? A typically aroma-heavy example of the New England IPA style, with punchy notes of passion fruit, mango and melon dominating the nose. The texture is thick and pulpy and the finish is a little sweet and not too bitter.
Marble advises you to pour this beer carefully to avoid adding too much sediment to the beer. However, a true murk aficionado might appreciate giving the can a gentle roll on its side, Coopers-style, before pouring. The decision is all yours.
The fundamentals of beer are anything that makes up the sum of a beer’s parts. Water, barley, wheat, oats, sugars, yeast, bacteria and even adjuncts such as fruit or maize are all fundamental parts of what make up our favourite beers. You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog Total Ales, Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up a can of our amazing collab with Marble in store or online while stocks last.