Venice and Santa Cruz – two classic California beach towns, each with a boardwalk and colorful personality. While Santa Cruz may have many similarities to Venice, it definitely has more fog. And bigger waves. And much bigger trees. But our northern neighbors are no strangers to great beer, and Humble Sea has been cranking out fantastic beers for more than five years at their compound on Santa Cruz’s West Side. Their “foggy” IPAs were some of the first to claim a uniquely Californian style of hazy IPA that draws influence from the early pioneers of the style in New England, while fusing it with a more West Coast sensibility: a bit of dryness, a hint of more classic PNW hop character, and a sense of playfulness shaped by years of surf and sun.
Though he’s been a resident of the Central Coast and LA for over a decade, Propagator Brewery Manager Sam Tierney grew up in Santa Cruz, and he jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Humble Sea after meeting co-founder Frank Krueger a couple of years back. 2020 proved to be a poor year for collaborations, but he kept this one in his back pocket, and this year we were finally able to connect again and get a beer on the schedule. From there, Sea Haze DDH Foggy IPA was born.
“We decided to run with Humble Sea’s naming convention and developed a Double Dry Hopped Foggy IPA fusing our breweries’ house styles,” Sam told us. Nick Pavlina, Humble Sea’s co-founder and Director of Brewing, worked with Sam to combine what we love about their flagship Socks And Sandals Foggy IPA with complementary elements from Mind Haze IPA and the more intense style of hazy IPA that we typically brew at The Propagator. The result is Sea Haze, an intense showcase of both classic and modern American hops in a densely foggy package full of silky oats and pillowy wheat malts.
Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe are a throwback to Sam and Nick’s West Coast IPA roots as homebrewers in the late aughts, when beers like Pliny The Elder and Union Jack ruled the IPA game. Fusing the classic with the modern, they chose a few hops from Mind Haze that push things in a juicier direction: Idaho 7, Cashmere, and El Dorado bring ripe tropical fruit notes to round out the more classic citrus notes of the others. And it wouldn’t be a proper Firestone Walker IPA without a German wildcard: Callista hops from Hallertau bring soft peachy notes that complement the stone fruit esters produced by our expressive yeast strain during fermentation. Large dry hop additions both during and after active fermentation layer on a complex hop profile showcasing the evolution of hops over the past decade.
If you want to get even more out of the Humble Sea x Firestone Walker collab, be sure to check out their new release Seavo Pilsner, a name mashup highlighting their brewery and our iconic Pivo Pilsner.