Masthead’s Haze Craze

Quick, what’s the commonality shared by Jordan shoes, iPhones, early 2000s Black Friday shopping and Masthead Brewing Co.’s special can releases?

Long, wrap-around lines and anxious demand, of course.

In the 14 months since its inception, Masthead has quickly branded itself as the creator of some of the city’s most sought-after brews. People constantly comment on the brewery’s Instagram page wondering when the next special release will take place. They want to know which beers will be sold, how limited they will be and what elaborate ticketing process they will have to undergo to quench their palettes.

Meanwhile, people in Facebook’s Cleveland Craft Beer Community group provide tips and make arrangements with one another to make sure they can get a four pack.
Masthead’s dive into the haze craze is one chief element that made recent releases such a success. The popularity of hazy, New England IPAs has breweries all over rushing to produce their takes on the beer profile that visually resembles a tropical juice. Masthead has released seven such brews since the New Year that were only available at its 1261 Superior Ave. site in Downtown Cleveland.

A recent rollout included A Series of Tubes, Centennial Vice and Baby Fleeb Juice, a low-alcohol session IPA. I lucked up on the March 3 release day by furiously checking Facebook and learning that there were four-packs of all three NEIPAs available into the evening. The Winter Warmer Festival taking place on the same day undoubtedly made that possible, a Masthead bartender told me that day.

The canned results were juicy, smooth and had no hope of lasting in my refrigerator for more than 10 days. If a brewery really is “just a series of tubes,” as the can bearing that namesake states, Masthead will keep the juice flowing for the foreseeable future.

When will its next special release day be? Stay tuned. The staff could post it on social media at any moment, and folks will flock.

Brandon Baker likes a good beer. Follow him on Twitter @BBakerJNP.

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