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My IPA Is Full of Clouds

Michael Donato, August 23, 2016 -   

One side effect of New England IPAs is the understanding that not all beers need to have crystal clarity. Even without the juiciness and turbidity of the trendy beverages, unfiltered IPAs and beers with extra dry-hopping have been adding some cloudiness to our favorite beers.

Sixpoint released a beer called Puff which is just an unfiltered, and extra dry-hopped, version of their existing DIPA, Resin. This provides us with an interesting opportunity to see just how cloudiness affects ratings. 

Beer Rating Style+
Resin 3.787 104.951
Puff 3.754 100.411

 

Interesting. I would’ve expected the trendiness of cloudy IPAs to work in Puff’s favor, but it seems that Resin edges it out. It’s close, but these ratings are head to head and only take into account check-ins since Puff got released.

When you think about it and taste it some more, it does make some sense. New England IPAs are specifically crafted that way, with the cloudiness meant to hold and accentuate fruity hop flavor. Resin isn’t that beer. Resin is danker, crisper, and more specific. Filtering the beer makes those characteristics shine in Resin, and leaving it unfiltered and adding yet more hops seem to muddy the waters a bit and dull the sharp edges.

That’s not to say Puff isn’t delicious. I’m still not sure which one I like more personally, and the ratings are pretty close. I still generally favor the idea of unfiltered beers, even IPAs, but every beer is it’s own specially crafted recipe that may or may not be better that way.

Michael can be found on Twitter and Untappd and likes all types of IPA. You can also email him at beer@ceetar.com.

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