Beer Review: STONE NEVERENDING HAZE IPA

Beer Review: STONE NEVERENDING HAZE IPA

The Stone Neverending Haze IPA makes quite an entrance, pouring into the glass with an unsettling turbidity akin to a beer still undergoing its primary fermentation. The murky, brownish-amber hue is marred by an excess of yeast and protein particulate suspended within. However, it does redeem itself somewhat with a thick, yellowish, cream-colored head that impressively lingers for a solid 2-3 minutes before succumbing.

Aroma

Despite its visual shortcomings, this brew offers an inviting aroma. Ripe papaya, pineapple sorbet, and banana-like esters waft from the glass, teasing the senses with tropical promises.

Taste

Unfortunately, the Neverending Haze falters on the palate. It appears to have taken a page out of New Belgium’s Juicy Haze playbook, but the execution is lacking finesse. Overwhelming yeastiness dominates the flavor profile, accompanied by gritty, chalk-like particulates that render it unfinished. It’s as if the yeast is still actively fermenting in your mouth, resulting in a tingly effervescence. Sweet tropical juice notes are conspicuously absent, replaced by an unwelcome presence of wet cardboard and a noticeable lack of sugar to counterbalance the bitterness. The finish is a struggle, characterized by extreme tannins and a wool-like, wicking sensation that pushes the mineral profile to an overwhelming 10/10.

Mouthfeel

Hazy IPAs are known for their unfinished character, but the finest examples boast a symphony of blended fruit smoothie flavors and a focus on hop aromas while dialing down the bitterness. They tend to be notably sweeter, enhancing mouthfeel and distancing themselves from traditional IPAs. Regrettably, Stone’s rendition falls short on multiple fronts. At a meager 4% ABV, it struggles to find the necessary sweetness for balance. Moreover, the yeast sediment is off the charts, rendering the brew so turbid that it takes on a brownish hue in the glass.

Overall

Stone Brewing’s Neverending Haze IPA raises questions about their claim of not being exclusively focused on IPAs. While a hazy IPA would seem like a logical addition to their lineup, this interpretation serves as a stark reminder of the New England-style IPA’s origin. Larger breweries from the Midwest and West Coast have had mixed success when attempting to replicate their New England counterparts, and this is no exception. It joins the ranks of disappointments such as Bell’s Official and New Belgium’s Juicy Haze, both of which suffer from excessive turbidity and lackluster execution. Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing stands out as a rare example of a West Coast brewery capturing a New England-ish aesthetic while still delivering a palatable product.

Similar Beers

For those seeking alternatives to Stone’s Neverending Haze IPA, there are better options on the market. Firestone Walker Mind Haze, Victory Cloud Walker, Green Flash Tropical DNA, Belching Beaver Digital Bath, Mikkeller Windy Hill, Modern Times Critical Band and Orderville, Offshoot Relax, Alpine Nelson, Cellarmaker The Snuggler, and Fremont Head Full of Dynomite all offer more satisfying experiences in the realm of New England-style IPAs.