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Belt’s Beer Garden: Cornering the Market

Haymarket’s Blood Orange Blonde & Hazy is Lazy

For today’s tap takeover, I have a few brews from Chicago’s Haymarket.

Haymarket Pub and Brewery opened back in 2010 right in the West Loop area downtown, near the Sears Tower (the correct name for it!) and both train stations. In 2016 they expanded, opening a location in Bridgman, Michigan, some 84 miles away from their first location.

While the two are connected, and will share beers between locations, they don’t always make/have the same beers on tap or in cans.

For example, today I have a pair of beers that were both brewed and canned at the Michigan location – Blood Orange Blonde and Hazy is Lazy.

Blood Orange Blonde is, as you can guess, a blonde ale brewed with massive amounts of blood oranges. It’s sold in six packs of cans that will set you back the usual $10 with each beer having a moderate 5% ABV.

Hazy is Lazy is another brew you can easily guess the style of…it’s a hazy IPA that tries to merge the West Coast IPA with the New England style. Brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops, it has a 6.6% ABV and a six-pack costs the typical $10.

Let’s start with a can of Blood Orange Blonde.

It poured a bright, mostly translucent straw color with minimal head ever appearing. Less than a finger of white foam builds up and quickly fizzles away, leaving a minute gathering of bubbles around the edge.

On the nose this brew was dominated by the sticky-sweet aroma of oranges and a light bready malt backing. There wasn’t much else to the scent…it was all orange and malt and was very inviting.

The sip starts off with a moderate carbonation fizzle before the rest of the flavors hit. And, much like the aroma indicated, this brew is packed full of the blood orange juice.

Immediately my taste buds were overrun with the sticky-sweet taste of those blood oranges. There was a dash of tartness that accompanied the citrus fruit flavor but, first-and-foremost, this beer delivered a sugary rush of orange.

That malt profile did its best to control the beer with some flaked wheat and light crackery characteristics midway through but the sweet and tart oranges would not be deterred.

For as sticky as the beer was up front, Blood Orange Blonde actually ends cleaner than I was expecting. Sure, there is still some orange juice clinging to my tongue and a decent level of dryness but, all-in-all, it gets better towards the end.

It’s a good late summer brew. It was a little to sticky for those super hot days we have looming ahead of us but was still pretty refreshing and packed with a lot of flavor…and, with how orangey this brew is, probably enough vitamin C for the day.

After a few gulps of water to cleanse the palate, let’s move right on to Hazy is Lazy.

Hazy is Lazy poured a bright golden straw color and was not hazy at all. In fact, it was more translucent than anything and was topped with a finger of eggshell white head. The bubbles quickly fizzled down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma was that of dank tropical fruits with a heavy dose of grassy, earthy notes sitting behind. The hops provide a slight twinge of bitterness in the aroma and completely overpower any malt base in the smell.

My first sip starts off with a big rush of carbonation that prickles the entirety of my tongue. From there the hops start their ascent with a bitter bite of pine that is quickly joined by those fruit flavors.

Grapefruit peel, orange, and lemon kick things off with some softer notes of melon and mango hitting behind.

Midway through those grassy notes from the aroma really pop in the taste and leave a somewhat oily resin feeling that coats my tongue. But the grass doesn’t last too long; some pillowy citrus characteristics, mostly the grapefruit, wash over the earthy notes and take the flavors to the end.

This IPA then finishes off dryly and with a light bitter twinge but nothing too harsh.

Hazy is Lazy is a decent bridge between the West Coast and New England styles but ends up leaning more towards the West Coast style. It’s hopped up and has some moderate bitterness while not being overly sharp or super juicy.

Decent IPA that’s worth a try but nothing that stands out too much.