SweetWater Brewing Company - H.A.Z.Y. IPA
- ABV: 6.2%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 45
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: IPA Glass, Pint Glass, Mug
- Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Oats
- Hops: Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado, Azacca, Simcoe
SweetWater describes H.A.Z.Y. IPA as a “juice bomb” and, boy, they ain’t lying. The juicy aromas explode as soon as you pop it open. Pouring a golden straw color that’s very hazy, naturally, and capped by a rocky head of pale foam, this brew offers tons of fruits on the nose, running the gamut from grapefruit and lime-like citrus, mango tropical notes, stone fruits tending towards apricot, and melon character conjuring cantaloupe. It’s quite the fruit cocktail on the palate, too, and double dry-hopping has allowed the brewers to extract maximum hop flavor without a ton of bitterness. That being said, there’s plenty of hop bitterness here to keep this dry, so despite the fruity character, it’s not cloying. Malts do a good job of mostly staying out of the way, offering some light crackery undertones along with the structural balance to support this very quenching and satisfying hazy IPA. For pairing options, naturally we’ve got to steer towards dishes with a fruity element, such as shrimp or fish tacos with onion, cilantro, and a spritz of lime; herb and panko crusted chicken with a citrus aioli; or roasted pork with an apricot glaze. Cheers!
SweetWater founders Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney met as roommates at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They quickly realized that they had more of an affinity for beer than books, and began dreaming of starting a microbrewery. After graduating, they headed off to California to attend brewing school at UC Davis, after which the two friends honed their craft by working for a number of breweries on the West Coast. In 1996, Freddy visited Atlanta and decided that the town was in dire need of a quality microbrewery. With the help of family and friends, Freddy and Kevin amassed enough capital to get their dream off the ground.
SweetWater Brewing Company (named after a local creek on which Freddy liked to kayak) opened for business in 1997, and after driving all over the city in an old van, Freddy and Kevin managed to line up a few bars interested in their new West Coast style beers. Their beers were a hit, and in the 1998 World Beer Cup, SweetWater walked away with the second highest number of medals. Then in 2002, they were named Small Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.
After several years of strong growth, the brewery was relocated in 2004 from its original location on Atlanta’s west side to a larger facility near Ansley Park in mid-town Atlanta. But, within just a few short years demand increased to the point that the brewhouse was in near continuous operation – 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year – necessitating a major expansion in 2012. The new features included Atlanta’s largest privately owned solar array, capable of generating 157 KwH of clean electricity, as well as top-of-the-line computerized brewing equipment that allows SweetWater to slow down the human side of the brewing process to increase quality control, while simultaneously increasing their overall output. In 2016, SweetWater launched their "Woodlands Project" in an adjacent building, which is focused on their barrel-aging program and small batches of sour, funky, and experimental beers. For more information about the brewery and their taproom, visit them at www.sweetwaterbrew.com.
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