Check out the podcast version here: https://hoppedla.com/stories/podcasts/ranked-hazy-ipa-breweries
If you’re a craft beer drinker in Los Angeles, you’re already very familiar with the West Coast IPA. But over the last couple years, a new style of IPA has descended upon LA – the Hazy IPA.
In case you’re not familiar, Hazy IPAs, or New England IPAs, are a style of IPA that started out on the East Coast in the mid-2000s and are typically characterized as low bitterness, fruit-forward, juicy tasting hoppy beers that look, well, hazy.
To put it simply, that sweeter taste and turbid appearance is typically achieved by late hop additions as well as not filtering out malt proteins, hop particulates, and suspended yeast. And when done right, the combination results in a bright, hop-forward juice component and a softer, full-bodied mouthfeel that is unlike any other beer style out there.
The haze craze in Los Angeles started in April 2016 with a collaboration Hazy IPA between Monkish in Torrance and Other Half from New York, and just snowballed from there.
Today, more and more breweries are dabbling in the style, but there’s only a handful that really pull it off well. Here’s your guide to the best Hazy IPA breweries in Los Angeles.
Monkish Brewing Co
As mentioned above, Monkish Brewing led the NE-style Hazy IPA charge in LA, and helped put California on the map for this style. Henry Nguyen and his brewing team’s rotating series of can releases bring people out in droves, selling out within a couple hours and serving as trophies for people’s Instagram accounts. If you miss a can release, you’ll also find more than enough hazy IPAs on tap in their tasting room, alongside some of the best barrel-aged Saisons and mixed fermentation sours you’ll find in LA. But heads up, this place gets packed. Plan accordingly.
Mumford Brewing Co
Located at the cross section of Skid Row, Little Tokyo, and the Arts District in DTLA, Mumford Brewing opened in 2015 and jumped into the haze game shortly thereafter. They quickly made a name for themselves in the local beer community, with head brewer Peter Mumford experimenting with his own twists on the NE-style, dropping collabs with other breweries around the country, and releasing cans on an almost weekly basis. Keep an eye out for their beers on draft and in cans around town, but your best bet is the tasting room where they’ll have more than enough pouring for you to enjoy.
Highland Park Brewery
Sitting on the DTLA outskirts in Chinatown is Highland Park Brewery, arguably one of the best breweries on the West Coast. Yes, they brew up some delicious NE-style IPAs on a regular basis, but by no means are they a one hit wonder. In addition to Hazy IPAs, head brewer Bob Kuntz and his brewing team are known for their award-winning West Coast IPAs along with a fantastic lineup of Pilsners, Stouts, Saisons, mixed fermentation wild ales, and more. You can find a nice selection of their beer on tap at their original Highland Park location at The Hermosillo, but you’ll want to make it a point to swing by their newer Chinatown location where they release West Coast and Hazy IPAs in cans at least once a month.
Modern Times DTLA Dankness Dojo
With a brand new pilot R&D brewhouse and an awesome new cafe and tasting room in DTLA, Modern Times continues their barrage upon our palates with delicious beer upon delicious beer. In addition to getting kegs from their SD and Portland locations that don’t make it anywhere else in LA, MT is putting out some LA-brewed Hazy IPAs that rival anyone else’s in town. On any particular day, you’ll have several NE-style hoppy beers to choose from, with the chance to try some early recipes before they get brought down to San Diego for scaled-up production and wider release to the public.
Indie Brewing Co
Across the Los Angeles River in Boyle Heights, just a few minutes from Downtown LA, lies Indie Brewing Company. Their head brewer James hails from the East Coast, so the hazy brewing talent must be in his genes. Indie’s take on Hazy IPAs is probably the most approachable of the bunch, not going too heavy in any one direction, giving you a nice balance of juicy taste and aroma, soft mouthfeel, and the slightest hint of bitterness just to let you know you’re still consuming hops. They typically have a Hazy IPA can release every month or two and their cans do make it out to some of the more respected bottle shops around town, so make it a point to pick up their next drop.
Los Angeles Ale Works
Los Angeles Ale Works comes from a group of homebrewers who, if you knew them before they opened, seemed like the least likely brewery to put out the trendiest of beer styles. But, since dabbling with Hazy IPAs after their opening in 2017, have gone on to really master the style. Meseeks Joose is probably their most popular Hazy IPA, but they’re on a roll of one-off hazy releases right now. Keep your eyes out for their can releases which happen every few weeks out of their Hawthorne tasting room or in distribution at select bottle shops around town.
Opened in 2016 by husband and wife team, Matthew and Lauren Garcia, Homage Brewing is known as one of the premier barrel-aged wild ale producers in Southern California. But their brewing prowess does not end there. They’ve also been early to the haze train and have been putting out fantastic examples of the style on draft as well as the occasional can release out of their Downtown Pomona brewery. While it’s rare to see their beers anywhere outside of their taproom (it’s worth the drive, trust me!), a new, larger location in Chinatown is in the works for hopefully later this year, so more Homage is definitely in your future. And that is good news for everybody.
With an original focus on Belgian-style beers during their gypsy brewing days, Brouwerij West has settled into their San Pedro WWII-era warehouse home and is putting out some amazing takes on a bunch of different styles. And one of those styles that they’re excelling at? Hazy IPAs, of course. And while most brewers put the majority of the attention on the hops, owner Brian Mercer and head brewer Rian Van Nordheim also shine a spotlight on their malt bills, typically sourcing small batch estate grade malts that give the beers the flavor, foundation, and body that makes their Hazy IPAs so good. We highly recommend making their tasting room a weekend destination for your beer drinking needs. But if you can’t get there, look out for their cans at bottle shops around town, their can labels are works of art in and of themselves.
Arrow Lodge Brewing
Just 20 miles east of DTLA in Covina, the haze continues at Arrow Lodge Brewing, where they’re putting out a lot of different beers that are getting LA to take notice. The youngest brewery on this list, Arrow Lodge and head brewer, Amy Heller, are incredibly adept at both West Coast and North East IPA style. They’ll almost always have a Hazy IPA on tap in their tasting room and they’re releasing cans every couple of weeks. Add to that, the fun branding around the beers, the awesome design of their tasting room, Arrow Lodge has quickly shot up our list of Best Breweries in Los Angeles.
But there's more!
With more and more breweries stepping up to try their hand at the Hazy IPA style, this list will grow over time. Here are some other breweries that are currently putting out some great Hazy IPAs in and around Los Angeles:
Beachwood (Long Beach)
Casa Agria (Oxnard)
Green Cheek (Orange)
But by no means are these the only breweries making Hazy IPAs in LA, so we encourage you to go out and try as many as you can. Have any more we need to add to the list? Shoot us a message and let us know!