Hazy beers catch a lot of grief.
On social media, users sometimes make fun of the turbid IPA craze by posting pictures of chicken soup with hashtags like “#lookatthathaze” and “#juicy.” They contend the unfiltered appearance of beers from breweries like Treehouse and Trillium is off-putting, regardless of taste.
But there’s no question hazy, hoppy beers are wildly popular, inspiring lines on release days and crowding online Top 100 lists.
“I don’t care what the beer looks like,” says Daniel Lanigan, founder of Woburn’s Lord Hobo Brewing Co. “If the beer tastes good, I’m happy.”
Lord Hobo’s beers aren’t as hazy as most — the flagship, Boomsauce, is unfiltered but presents mostly clear, with a few floaties (yeast and protein particles) toward the bottom. But Glorious, a new pale ale brewed with Galaxy hops, ups the haze factor to delicious effect.
Lanigan has charged Lord Hobo with explosive growth — the brewery is now shipping a million cans every four months — but he’s kept the beer lineup small, focusing mainly on an IPA (Boomsauce), a double IPA (Consolation Prize), and a session IPA (Hobo Life).
Glorious has been a long time coming, the release delayed until Lanigan could secure enough Galaxy, the Australian hop known for aromas of citrus, peach, and passionfruit.
Late additions of these hops add to the beer’s haze, says Lanigan, and it’s noticeable in the glass, though the beer looks far from milky. I get a big burst of mango and pineapple when I sniff, and there’s a softness to the first sip that’s new for Lord Hobo.
“Galaxy creates some real subtle elegance,” says Lanigan. “It’s really soft and tropical. It’s complex, but it’s also subtle. It’s very rewarding.”
At 6.5 percent, Glorious is listed as a pale ale, and that’s consistent with a reduced bitterness compared with the rest of the brewery’s lineup. This is Lord Hobo’s best beer — and rest assured, Lanigan says he’s secured more than enough hops to keep brewing it.
Glorious is rolling out to all of Lord Hobo’s territories (New England, New York, Colorado, and Delaware) soon, but that’s far from the only change the brewery is making. Free Bird, an American wheat beer, will be released later this year. A smaller brewhouse in Woburn will bring experimental brews to the tap room there. And — in perhaps the biggest news — Lanigan says he’s close to signing a lease in the Seaport on a space that will house a brewery and brewpub.
“We’re hustling,” says Lanigan. “I want to build the most beautiful brewery in downtown Boston.”Gary Dzen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen