The holiday season is upon us and, to celebrate, we're launching a brand new beer into our core range. Say hello to our little friend — HAZY MID is an easy drinking, hazy pale ale that packs a hoppy punch but weighs in at just 3.5% ABV. Light malt and oats are perfectly balanced with the tropical hop flavours of Citra, Simcoe and Chinook. It's a ripper backyard beer and we bet it will become your new best friend for all of those summer sessions ahead.
You can grab tinnies of this sessionable brew in bottle shops and venues all across Australia as of Friday, 11 December. Until then, we've sat down with Head Brewer Shaun Blissett to bring you all of those hazy details.
What's the story behind Hazy Mid?
"The real story behind Hazy Mid is that two of our brewers, Matt and Brett, were drinking too much in the bar on Thursday nights. We needed something that was less alcoholic so they could enjoy their Thursday sessions but still make it to the brew floor on Friday. So the Hazy Mid was born.
We've actually wanted to put a mid-strength pale ale in our core range for a long time. We have our Raspberry Berliner Weisse — which, like most berliner weisse styles, comes in low at 3.8% — but we wanted to add a low ABV option that wasn't a sour. We’ve been slinging the Hazy Mid in kegs at the Wayward Taproom for most of 2020, and it’s a ripper of a beer, so we decided it was the perfect addition to our lineup."
Why did you choose a hazy style for Wayward's mid-strength beer?
"We really love hazy style beers. I prefer the look of a pale ale when it has a bit of haze to it — you just know a hazy beer is going to be tastier, hoppier and juicer. As a beer drinker, I think it’s pretty important to enjoy your beer with your eyes as well as your taste buds."
What about the haze makes the beer taste so much better?
"There's absolutely a haze-to-flavour correlation. Haze is a byproduct of excessive dry hopping early in the fermentation process. The haze we see in the beer can be a good visual indicator of hopping rate — a.k.a the amount of hops we've been able to pack into the brew. Basically, it means you're going to get a fresher, juicer tasting beer than you would with a crystal clear beer."
What makes Hazy Mid stand out from your average mid-strength brew?
"There’s this perception that mid-strength beers are basic and don’t taste like much, but this is not your average mid. It’s got big hop character and great pale ale flavour — it just happens to be low in alcohol. It's just as tasty as our full-strength hazy pale ales, packed into a 3.5% ABV beer. We haven't compromised on flavour at all."
What combination of hops did you use to get that flavour?
"We went with Chinook, Simcoe and Citra. They’re all classic west coast IPA hops that give off really great hop aromas. That being said, this beer isn’t just for hop heads. At its core, it’s a super balanced, easy-drinking beer. The ingredients we used give very clean hop flavour. You don’t need to be a craft beer drinker to love it."
How does Hazy Mid fit into Wayward's existing core range?
"Hazy Mid slots in nicely with our core range Everyday Ale and IPA, giving our punters another pale ale option. Now there are three ABV levels to choose from, each with their own flavour profile. And each is as good as the next."
Heading into these summer months (and the holidays), what makes Hazy Mid the perfect warm weather bevvie?
"This beer is going to be great for summer sessions. It’s refreshing, full of hops and full of flavour but low on alcohol — so it’s perfect for parties and will keep you from getting too sloshed in front of your family during Christmas lunch. As usual, there will be heaps of celebrations and social(ly distanced) gatherings happening over summer, and Hazy Mid is just a good decision for all of those sessions."
Get your hands on a few tinnies of Hazy Mid this Friday, 11 December.