2022 Zany Zitrus
It’s always interesting to see how new beer styles evolve from their infancy, and the New England-style IPA is no exception. At BJ’s it culminated in BJ’s Zany Zitrus® IPA.
Several years ago, the bitter, clear West Coast IPA dominated the scene. But there were whispers about flavorful, hoppy, cloudy beers coming from the East Coast. There was a lot of gray area as to what these beers would become. Some people were brewing Hefeweizens with lots of American hops; others were putting flour into their IPAs to make them cloudy. What finally emerged was a straw-colored IPA with an unmistakable haze bursting with juicy hop deliciousness.
At BJ’s we had our finger on the pulse of it all. I knew I had a great flavor profile on my hands with citrusy hops like Cashmere and Citra. Most of the research had suggested a higher protein-based malt bill and copious amounts of late-addition hops. I thought, “Just do this and we’re all set.”
The first test batches were successful and had a great hazy look. Our first few nationwide releases tasted great but were pouring clear beer from the faucet.
What happened? All those important proteins and magical hop polyphenols were settling out. After readjusting our malt recipe and hop additions, we finally saw successful and sustainable hop haze, and BJ’s Zany Zitrus® IPA emerged. It has grown into one of my favorites in this style. I will also mention that this process was a result of many sleepless nights and multiple team meetings to achieve perfection. Josh Fulk and Alex Puchner helped with additional research. In the end, all the trial and error was absolutely worth the effort. Zany Zitrus is truly something to behold with its fantastic yellowy-orange color, and delicious hop profile. The aromas are bursting with citrus and tropical effervescence with a smooth and delightful flavor that simply begs for another sip.
Aaron Stueck Brewery Director of R&D
Next: BJ’s Nit Wit