The Great American Beer Festival® Haze Craze

Earlier this year, a trio of juicy or hazy styles were formally incorporated into the Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines. The 2018 Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) marks the first time “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale,” and “Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double India Pale Ale” will be judged and awarded medals.

However, what you might not know yet is that the number of entries for juicy or hazy styles in their first year indicates that the haze craze has more than arrived. Just take a gander on the following stat for GABF 2018…

The total number of entries for all three of the juicy or hazy styles is 706

That statistically staggering sum is divided as follows:

  • Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: 131
  • Juicy or Hazy IPA: 414
  • Juicy or Hazy Double IPA: 161

With 331 entries, this marks the first time in over a decade and a half that American-Style IPA is no longer the top entered beer style

This marks the first time in over a decade and a half that American-Style India Pale Ale—which received 331 entries—is no longer the top entered beer style in the U.S. commercial beer competition. How’s that for a juicy year-one showing?

For the numbers geeks out there, here is some recent entry history on American-Style India Pale Ale. Since 2002, it has been the most-entered beer style, with 408 entries in 2017 and 312 entries in 2016.

Bonus content for Brewers Association members: Check out the most recent Power Hour on the craft beer consumer and how juicy or hazy beers are likely to appeal to females over hoppier beers. This indicates that this new category of styles is not only innovative, but also has the potential to appeal to a broader beer audience.

Final official competition statistics will be published on Saturday, September 22, after the GABF competition results are compiled and medals are announced. For now, stay tuned to see who will take home the hazy holy grail gold.

Julia is craft beer program director at the Brewers Association and publisher of CraftBeer.com. She is a homebrewer, a BJCP beer judge, Certified Cicerone®, co-author of the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course and co-author of Beer Pairing (Voyageur Press). In her role at the BA she serves as an educator and as a spokesperson for the association.

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