Like many large breweries, Bell Brewery was quite slow to accept that fuzzy IPAs were here to stay. I remember being quite surprised when their Sideyard Hazy came out through their Eccentric Cafe and then Bell’s Official didn’t come out until 2019. Years after Michigan’s Old Nation exploded onto the scene with their now ubiquitous (but still expensive) M-43the brewery released its second big hazy on a massive scale in the form of this extension of the Two Hearted brand, which is the way of the brewing world these days.
I admit it: the Hazy Hearted is a pretty decent beer. The first time I released a pre-release version of it at a local bar, I also admit that I didn’t. to want loving him, in a stubborn sense of loyalty to Two Hearted. But I love this. It lacks the legendary refinement, straightforward assertiveness and bitterness of its much older sibling, but it’s head and shoulders above the slim and easily forgettable Light Hearted that launched a few years ago. .
Sadly, it’s also not a significant improvement over Bell’s Official, which was smoother on the palate, a bit sweeter, and at a 6 percent ABV just more approachable than Hazy Hearted’s 7.5 percent. .
Is the official finished? It would be a shame, but if the corporate clout is behind Hazy Hearted (and all the other -Hearted expansions currently available), then it seems unlikely that Official will continue; I know I haven’t seen it on store shelves lately. I am, however, happy to continue to see Bell’s other recent success, their golden beer No Yeah, continue.
I will say that Hazy Hearted is a significant improvement over one of New Belgium’s current rockets, Juice Force. Having recently spent about $10 on a sixer, I found it to be downright mediocre: gritty, with acrid bitterness over gooey apricot, cantaloupe, and orange juiciness. The 9ish% ABV is probably responsible for a lot of that roughness, but that’s what drinkers expect of it, and in large numbers, so who am I to say New Belgium is wrong to post that? Nobody, who is it.
So is Hazy Hearted a net positive for drinkers nationwide increasingly able to access beer from Bell’s? I’m sure this beer will do just fine, but hopefully not to the detriment of the original Two Hearted…and to anyone who digs for their first Bell’s Hazy in this form, I’m sorry you didn’t could give Official a shot.
No more guys drinking beer
30 breweries. 18 holes of golf. A great “Chicago Brews Back” event.
August 1, 2023
2023 Beer World Cup winners in the Midwest
May 16, 2023
Sunsets and Sap Beers: A Brewery Trip Emancipation Brewing Company
May 10, 2023
Bell’s Hazy Hearted IPA: I like it, but…
April 24, 2023