Firestone Walker Expands its National IPA Profile with Release of New Mind Haze IPA
“We’re finally ready do a hazy IPA the Firestone way.” Those were the words from Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson in this week’s press release. While 2018 created the initial haze craze, 2019 represents the second wave of the trend, with more major players like California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co. entering the fray with their new Mind Haze hazy IPA.
The words of Brynildson are a compelling assertion that hazy IPAs are here to stay and showcases the nuances of an increasingly complex craft beer market. Instead of jumping in headfirst, Firestone decided to be methodical in their approach to hazy beers, creating their new hazy IPA that looks to bolster their already robust national IPA roundup and compete with other IPA titans like Deschutes, Odell and Sierra Nevada who already distribute hazy IPAs on a national stage.
The new Mind Haze IPA is a result of several test batches from Firestone Walker’s large research and development program. The winning recipe includes fruity characteristics thanks to the infusion of hops like Cashmere, El Dorado and Azacca. A smooth body made up of a grain bill that includes 40% wheat and oats follows. Coming in at 6.2% ABV, Mind Haze is smack dab in the middle of what consumers expect from a hazy IPA. However, it remains unique to Firestone due to the German brewing inspiration that Brynildson brought to the brewing process.
“I recently spent some time at Gutmann brewery in Titting, and they have this amazing beer called Weizenbock,” Brynildson said. “It’s this beautiful 7.2% ABV hazy beer with a creamy mouthfeel and a tropical-banana aroma that fits right in with the hazy IPAs of today—and yet they’ve been making it for more than 50 years.”
With a name that is supposed to evoke scenic marine mist that frequently envelops the California coastline, Mind Haze fits the brand of Firestone well. All the while, checking the necessary boxes that consumers expect with the hazier and juicier IPA options filling their shelves. So, is this the first of many hazy creations from the Californian stalwart? Brynildson says no. Instead, Mind Haze will act as a standalone addition to Firestone Walker’s robust national IPA line. The IPA line also includes Union Jack, Easy Jack, and Luponic Distortion. From session, to West Coast, to haze, Firestone Walker is confident that their lineup of well-crafted IPAs will play well together in the national market. They also don’t doubt that it will pique the interest of curious consumers.
Mind Haze will be available in 6-packs of 12oz cans and will retail for $9.99. The new IPA launches in all Firestone Walker markets starting this week. It will also be available year-round.
*Feature image courtesy of Firestone Walker