Beer Reviews

Cloud Five (Hazy Imperial IPA)

Reviews are done by Travis Houston, our Sensory Specialist, and Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.

Our 5th Anniversary Party release is a juicy journey on the hazy hop highway. Hopped with a blend of five hop varietals — Simcoe, Citra, Cascade, Mosaic, and Amarillo — Cloud Five cruises with a round and fruity profile accelerated by the clean, citrusy notes of Conan yeast.

Malts: 2-Row, Pilsner, Naked Oats, Wheat

Hops: Simcoe, Citra, Cascade, Mosaic, Amarillo

Cloud Five is a Hazy Imperial IPA. Talk about the haze craze and the rapid emergence of this modern style.

Well, some would say the haze craze started with The Alchemist's Heady Topper and/or Tree House’s Julius and the craze snowballed from there. People are going wild over it for the time being, given the lively fruit flavors and aromas, low bitterness and silky mouthfeel.

This is our 5th Anniversary beer! Talk about the four anniversary brews that predate Cloud Five.

Year one was Rookie, an IPA with El Dorado, Azacca and Mandarina Bavaria hops. In year two, Deuce was up to bat, a Red IPA with Citra, Mosaic and Galaxy hops. For year three, we diverged a bit and brewed a big sour beer called Trips — an American Sour with currants and sour cherries. Year Four was another deviation from the path of normality with Quadrafunk, a hoppy beer fermented with Brettanomyces in primary, and then dry hopped.

What are the notable characteristics of Cloud Five?

Light in color, low bitterness, fruity, and, well, hazy!

What makes this beer unique?

This is our first canned Hazy IPA as well as our first canned Anniversary beer!

What are some other Hazy IPAs that you dig?

Heady Topper and Weldwerks' Alpha Bits.

Appearance: Yellow in color, moderately heavy haze, medium carbonation, frothy head with good retention.

Aroma: Medium high hop aroma with notes of grapefruit, orange and pine. Medium fruity esters. Low malt aroma.

Taste: Medium high hop flavor, very orange forward. Some hint of tangerine, melon, and mango. Medium bitterness. Medium fruity esters (hint of pear). Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that is silky and creamy. Low alcohol warmth, light yeast bite, light astringency.

Overall: A balanced Hazy IPA that delivers in its upfront hop flavor and aroma component, while being refreshing and not overly bitter.

What foods would pair well with Cloud Five?

A creamsicle or pork tenderloin with a tangerine glaze.

Ideal glassware for Cloud Five?

Any clear glass so you can appreciate the haze!