Chicago, hazy IPA capital?
3 CITY BREWERS WIN MEDALS AT NATIONAL BEER COMPETITION
Gary Gulley, who founded Alarmist Brewing in 2013 after nearly 20 years in web development, swore his brewery would never make a hazy IPA.
“We thought it was lazy brewing,” Gulley said.
Hayley Shine, of Eris Brewery and Cider House, acknowledges she didn’t understand hazy IPA when she first made one earlier this year. Perhaps, she said, she still doesn’t.
Brant Dubovick, of Corridor Brewery & Provisions, started making hazy IPA mostly to boost business after a tepid response to the brewery’s farmhouse ales.
Yet here we are — Gulley, Shine and Dubovick are among the nation’s hazy IPA elite.
Each scored a medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in September, the inaugural year that hazy IPA — a lush, fruity style that has transformed the craft beer industry with astonishing speed — was granted its own categories at the nation’s pre-eminent beer competition.
A total of 673 beers were entered in three juicy or hazy categories: Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale, Juicy or Hazy India Pale
Ale, and Juicy or Hazy Double India Pale Ale.
Nine medals were handed out. Three of them went to breweries within a 4-mile radius of one another on Chicago’s North Side.
The flurry included the biggest honor of all — gold in the Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale category, among 391 entries, for Alarmist Brewing. Eris won bronze in the same category. Corridor scored Hazy Double India Pale Ale silver, among 150 entries.
Chicago’s towering showing raised eyebrows in all directions, due mostly to the style’s roots. Hazy IPA is also called New England-style IPA for a good reason: The style was pioneered in that corner of the nation, most notably by two Massachusetts breweries, Treehouse and Trillium.
If anyone would seem poised to top New England at its own hazy game, it would be breweries from one of the nation’s brewing centers: Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; or Denver.
But, nope. It was the big city flatlanders, marooned in flyover country. were the biggest thing in the biggest style at the
At Alarmist Brewing, on the Far Northwest Side, founder Gary Gulley, left, presents head brewer Aaron Dahl with the gold medal won for Le Jus hazy IPA at the Great American Beer Festival. The beer style was pioneered in New England.