Although IPAs have taken the United States beer industry by storm, this iconic beer was dreamed up across the pond in Great Britain. IPAs were born out of necessity; essentially, the British troops and sailors realized that hoppier beers kept better than maltier ones; and thus, they created IPAs.
IPAs are an acquired taste. Although beer snobs tend to think that hoppier is better, others feel that too many hops lend a grapefruity or bitter taste to the beer.
If you’re all about the big and bold hoppy IPAs, this list of the 30 best IPA beers is for you. Cheers!
Bright and Citrusy Sierra Nevada’s “Hazy Little Thing”
If there’s one thing that Sierra Nevada does well, it’s creating beautifully appointed, balanced beers. Their Pale Ale is a superb example of a great IPA, but “Hazy Little Thing” really takes the hop cake.
Todays’ beer culture skews heavily towards “the hoppier, the better,” and Hazy Little Thing fits the bill and more. It’s a New England-Style IPA that’s had a loyal following since Sierra Nevada first rolled it out in October of 2019.
This flavorful beer gets its punch from citrus, which balances out the natural firm bitterness of an IPA with fresh fruity flavors. The secret is in the combination of hops, including El Dorado and Citra.
It’s a solidly drinkable beer, perfect for a summer afternoon hanging out with friends. Thanks to Sierra Nevada’s reach, you can find it virtually anywhere!
Hubbard’s Cave’s “Milk of the Murder Hornet”
Milkshake IPAs take your traditional IPA formula and add one key ingredient; lactose. Hubbard’s Cave “Milk of the Murder Hornet” is a superb example of this style of beer and one that will take you right back to your childhood.
Milk of the Murder Hornet is strawberry-forward and kind of tastes like Neapolitan ice cream. It’s a grown-up riff on a childhood classic, and we here are for it 100 percent.
Milkshake IPAs like Milk of the Murder Hornet cut back on the bitterness that you get with traditional IPAs by supplementing them with plenty of fruit and more than just a hint of sweetness.
Sip on this IPA, and you will get heavy notes of summery strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and a light cherry finish. It’s a medium-bodied, golden beer that goes down easy.
Unfortunately, Hubbard’s Cave doesn’t have a vast distribution, so make sure to pick up this beer if you find yourself in the American South.
Bold and Rich Sierra Nevada’s “Hoptimum”
This legacy brewer certainly deserves more than one spot on our list. However, they hit the mark with “Hoptimum,” an incredibly hoppy beer that expertly walks the line between being super hoppy and too aggressive.
You won’t be overwhelmed by the hops in Hoptimum, but you will undoubtedly know that they’re there. It packs a punch with its ABV as well, clocking in at 10.4 percent. Hoptimum is one beer that can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
Hoptimum is known as a triple-IPA, and it has seven distinct varieties of hops. In addition to hoppy flavor, you’ll find tropical notes like juicy pineapple and mandarin.
It’s an incredibly well-balanced beer that’s both refreshing and satisfying. Even discerning beer palates will have a hard time finding any fault with Hoptimum.
Delicious Goose Island’s “IPA”
Image by Pixabay
Want a drinkable IPA that tastes a bit like a summer ale? Then, it’s time to reach for Goose Island’s “IPA.”
Goose Island Brewery is a Chicago legend that is well known for producing solidly balanced, good beers. Their IPA is an inspired blend that balances hops and malts expertly for a summery drink that pairs perfectly with baseball games or barbecues.
Goose Island’s IPA is fruitier and takes a light hand with the malt. More malt gives it a distinct IPA flavor without any lingering hit of bitterness that so many people take issue with.
This beer is so good that it’s won six medals at the Great American Beer Festival. If you have a friend who swears they can’t stand hoppy beers, treat them to a pint of this golden goodness.
Ruby Red Mother Earth’s “Hoppy Red IPA”
When you think of IPAs, you probably think of golden-colored beers that have that signature citrusy crisp bitterness. Mother Earth’s “Hoppy Red IPA” turns that assumption on its head with this vibrant offering that looks almost scarlet in the glass.
Hoppy Red IPA’s distinct color is just the beginning of this beer’s surprises. It’s crisp, dry, and has a remarkably low-key mellow bitterness that renders it palatable to even people who don’t usually like IPAs.
You’ll get tons of floral notes with this craft beer, as well as a touch of sweetness and pine. It’s an unexpected combination that makes it the perfect transitional beer between summer and fall.
Hoppy Red IPA’s presentation is impressive, with a clear, sharp red color and a prominent head. You’ll immediately get the aromatic notes of flowers and pine, as well as some fruity sweetness.
Aromatic Russian River’s “Pliny the Elder”
Many beer enthusiasts think that Russian River’s “Pliny the Elder” is the gold standard of IPAs, and it’s very easy to understand why. This double IPA has been around for decades and has amassed a very loyal following.
While some IPAs are flashes-in-the-pan or experimental beverages rolled out by breweries, Pliny the Elder has stood the test of time. This robust beer is heavy on pine and citrus notes and doesn’t shy away from bitterness like so many other brews do.
It’s also superbly balanced, with plenty of malt, hops, and aromatics. Russian River suggests that you enjoy your brew fresh, so don’t leave bottles of Pliny the Elder lingering around for a rainy day.
Crack one open and enjoy it now! Since this is such a wildly popular beer, you might not be able to get your hands on another one for a while.
Summer Blend Interboro’s “Premiere IPA”
As the name suggests, this is one premiere IPA! Interboro’s “Premiere IPA” prides itself on being a clean, delicious beer that doesn’t waver from traditional East Coast-style tradition.
It’s a beautiful drink, with a little bit of a hazy look to it and a generous head. Full of Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic hops, this beer has layers without being overly complicated. Like some of the other beers on our list, it’s a good IPA for people who swear they can’t stand that beer style.
Sip on a Premiere IPA, and you’ll get a strong dose of citrus and melon. It’s a pleasant, familiar combination that makes this beer perfect for an afternoon of chilling out with friends.
Also, Premiere IPA has a lower alcohol content than many other IPAs. It’s only 6 percent, so you don’t have to worry about getting too loopy on a single pint.
The OG IPA Dogfish Head’s “90 Minute IPA”
This beer is the Holy Grail of IPAs. Dogfish Head’s “90 Minute IPA” takes the same formula for their 30 minute and 60-minute IPAs and adds a whole bunch of extra hops during the brewing process for an additional amount of time.
Through actively adding more hops over an hour and a half, Dogfish Head ensures that their 90 Minute IPA is as citrusy, hoppy, and juicy as possible. At 9 percent alcohol by volume, 90 Minute IPA is no slouch, but you can easily enjoy one or two of these on a summer day.
Sip on 90 Minute IPA, and you’re bound to find a lot of citrus flavors, as well as pine, resin, and herbs. It’s a beautiful, delicate balance that stands up to just about any other beer on the market.
If the 90 Minute IPA is a bit too hoppy for you, you can always check out their lighter versions. However, if you find yourself hooked on the hops, remember to stock up as this beer always goes fast.
Classic American Port Brewing’s “Wipeout IPA”
Port Brewing’s “Wipeout IPA” is a solidly good beer that holds fast to its American IPA roots. American IPAs or APAs tend to be maltier and lighter than IPAs.
APA is a style that not a lot of brewers are embracing these days. Instead, many move further in the IPA direction, loading up their offerings with hops and making them as bold and juicy as possible.
Port Brewing’s adherence to tradition and their desire to make a solidly good beer makes Wipeout IPA a clean, crisp offering that is not too hop-forward. It’s a good beer for people who swear that they don’t really like IPAs.
Even though Wipeout IPA is a great, drinkable beer, it still has those heavy citrusy notes that make IPAs so delicious. It just happens to be a whole heck of a lot more subtle about them.
This restrained, understated nod to IPA tradition in a uniquely American style certainly deserves a place in your refrigerator this year.
A Torpedo of Hops Sierra Nevada’s ” Torpedo Extra IPA”
Yet another fine IPA from the guys at Sierra Nevada, this ale was the result of an idea sketched on a napkin in a pub (like many of the best ideas are born!) When the sketch idea was built and became a reality it revolutionized the way beers were dry hopped and inspired this Torpedo Extra IPA.
Traditionally dry hopping involves suspending nylon sacks of hops in the fermentation tank, with some of the hops in the middle of the sack still being dry when removed weeks later. Instead, Torpedo hopping circulates the ale from the fermentation tank through an external column (torpedo) of hops and then back into the tank, maximizing the use of every hop.
An aggressive yet balanced beer, Torpedo features those complex citrus, pine and herbal characteristics you only get with whole cone hops. It may only use three hops (Citra, Crystal & Magnum) compared to the seven or eight of some IPAs we have tasted but you can sure taste those hops due to the torpedo hopping method. With bitterness of 65 IBUs it’s easier to drink than some hoppy IPAs but be warned at 7.2% ABV you don’t need to drink too many, even though you may want to!
Interestingly enough, to celebrate a decade of Torpedo brewing, Sierra Nevada cellared away a fresh batch of Torpedo in hand-shaped bourbon barrels to release a celebratory barrel-aged version of Hop Torpedo. You still get the same bold, fruity hop flavor but with added notes of rich bourbon and vanilla from the oak casks.
A British Lion Inspired IPA Firestone Walker Brewing “Union Jack”
Don’t be fooled by the name, this is a killer West Coast IPA which uses 3 hop varieties in the kettle during the boiling stage, and then follows up with dry hopping with seven varieties of hops to produce a hoppy IPA that the brewers describe as “hopped to high hell.”
Winning Gold Awards at the Great American Beer festival in 2008 & 2009 with a silver award in 2013, Union Jack is considered one of the trail-blazing IPAs which helped set the standard for the revolutionary West Coast style. (It’s actually named in recognition of the British “Lion” who co-founded the brewery.)
Most hop heads will enjoy this refreshing beer with pronounced aromas of pineapple, citrus and pine and intense flavors of tangerine and grapefruit notes.The list of hops used in the dry hopping for aroma includes Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo, and Chinook. Balance this with a hint of malty sweetness which comes from the use of three different malts, Two Row, Munich and Crystal light and you get a very drinkable IPA with a bitterness of 60 IBUs and a reasonable ABV of 7%.
Pliny the Elder’s Younger Sibling Russian River Brewing Company’s “Blind Pig IPA”
Although it may not be as well known as Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA is just as deserving of your attention. Named after the brewery where Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo toiled for years in San Diego before moving to Russian River, Blind Pig IPA recipe has changed very little in the last 20 years or so except Cilurzo describes it as less of a bitter beer than it once was and now uses small amounts of Amarillo and Simcoe hops in the brew.
Priding themselves on “clean” beers, Blind Pig IPA is a bright, fairly light golden ale. The aroma is one of a gentle pine note with a generic hoppy character. But if the looks and aroma seem subtle, it’s hard to believe the taste which comes next. If this beer used to be less bitter, God help us! The hops are sharp and almost cutting with the malt flavors only existing in the background like a spectre. The mouthfeel is almost all bitterness with notes of pine sensation for good measure.
At a slightly below average ABV of 6.2%, Blind Pig is a classic example of an early era IPA which is both sharp and clean yet easy to go down.
Ohio’s Finest Fatheads Brewery “Head Hunter”
Ohio doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough as one of the hotbeds of American craft beer brewing but that just acts as a testament that a brewery like Fatheads can blend into the landscape.
Brewing since 1992, Fatheads started life as a brewpub which soon won accolades for their great beers. it was only a couple of years later before they opened a full-scale production brewery and their beers became available to the masses. Recently doubled in size, the brewery now features a large beer hall and amazing restaurant with Fathead beers also distributed nationwide now.
Rarely seen on tap outside Ohio, keep an eye out for this in your local bar’s beer fridge, especially if you are a fan of the West Coast style of IPA. For those who really love their hops, Fatheads describe this as a “punch you in the mouth brew”. Ouch!
Using the classic IPA hops of Simcoe, Centennial, Mosaic, Citra and Chinook this ale is aggressively dry hopped. With a bitterness rating of 80 IBUs, it almost makes your eyes water bitter and aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, citrus fruit and notes of pine gently emanate from your beer glass as it pours. Although it uses five malts in the brew, including wheat, they are overpowered by that bitter flavor.
Latin Roots in Florida Cigar City Brewing’s “Jai Alai India Pale Ale”
Originally a game native to the Basque region of Spain, Jai Alai involves players using a curved mitt to launch a ball to try and outwit their opponents on a small court. The flagship ale of Cigar City Brewing, native to Tampa in Florida, Jai Alai IPA is a bold and citrus IPA. Using a generous six hop varietals it features bright flavors of orange peel, citrus zests, clementines and melon balanced with light flavorful notes of caramelized malts to make it more approachable.
With bitterness of 65 IBUs, Jai Alai has a respectable ABV of 7.5%. The shelf life is recommended to be 90 days so always check the base of the tin if you want to fully appreciate that delicate hop character of the Amarillo, Simcoe, cascade, Moteuka, Centennial and CTZ hops used in this hoppy brew.
`A Cloudy Hop Bomb from Vermont Hill Farmstead Brewery’s “Susan American IPA”
Hill Farmstead are considered by many to be at the top of the crop of Vermont brewers who are known for making cloudy hop bombs of ales, Hill farmstead beers are still slightly hazy but not quite as cloudy as many others in the region.
Susan is one their hoppier beers which falls into the IPA category and was named in honour of the brewery’s grandfather’s sister. Using hops form the Yakima Valley and Riwaka hops from New Zealand its is a prime example of the IPA styles with subtle notes of citrus, piney notes and grapefruit aromas.
At 6% ABV the flavor is that of a New England IPA with full layers of tangerine and passion fruit and a soft mouthfeel. With very little bitterness there is a thick maltyness that restrains the fruity juiciness often found overpowering in NEIPAs.
An Imperial IPA The Alchemist’s “Heady Topper”
No article would on hoppy beers would be complete without a mention of Heady Topper from Vermont Based The Alchemist. Often very hard to find, Heady Topper is a legendary Imperial IPA which at the time of writing well-known beer review site Beer Advocate rates as the fifth best of ALL beers.
A double-IPA style beer (also known as Imperial IPA, Heady Topper has an ABV of 8% and is unpasteurised and unfiltered. This gives it a hazy appearance and full bodied mouthfeel typical of many of the ales of the region. Those who are lucky enough to taste Heady Topper love the balanced flavor which combines a bitter bite with fruity notes. A citrus crispness is complimented by a resounding “dank” taste which has come to be known as a pine or resin flavor. Although a double IPA and quite boozy you can still drink it quite easily without feeling like you have just downed a pint of battery acid!
Heady Topper is not designed to be the most bitter (although it is rated at 100 IBUs) or strongest of DIPAs, but instead offers wave after wave of hoppy goodness from the proprietary blend of six hop varietals used in the brew. Although the brewer keeps the exact recipe close to his chest, there’s such a hoppy flavor it’s hard for anyone to stand out in particular. Like many NEIPAs, The Alchemist also uses a specialized type of yeast, a very rare strand from the UK which owner John Kimmich acquired while learning to brew, under the promise he wouldn’t share it with anybody.
A beer of legendary status if you only try one hoppy IPA from this list (why would you do that?), it has to be this one. That’s if you are lucky enough to find it. Demand for Heady Topper exceeds the supply so unless you are traveling through Vermont you are going to find it hard to track down. The Alchemist does occasionally distribute beers over the state lines so build up a friendship with your local beer distributor to advise you of any incoming deliveries.
A Double IPA from the West Coast Stone Brewery “Ruination Double IPA 2.0 Sans Filter”
One of my favorite craft brewers of recent years, Stone from San Diego are known for their range of challenging to drink beers with aggressive names like Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale and Lucky Bastard Ale used in the past for their stronger beers.
Ruination Double IPA however is all about the hops rather than the strength and was the first full-time brewed and bottled West Coast Double IPA on the planet as Stone boast. Over the years Stone have innovated new ways of maximizing the flavor of hops in their beers and this Double IPA uses a combination of dry hopping and hop bursting to ensure every last bit of flavor is extracted from the hop. Piney, citrusy, tropical fruit punk and a mixture of metal & hard rock essence from the hops give this beer an assertive characteristic tropical aroma and taste. Plus now it’s unfiltered so you get all the hop goodness without anything removed.
Although reasonably strong at 8.5% alcohol by content, this is a remarkable brew I just can’t drink enough of, although sometimes maybe I shouldn’t! Some of our favourite IPA hops feature dominantly in this beer including Magnum, Nugget, Centennial, Simcoe, Citra and Azacca to provide a flavor which is hoppy, piney and fruity.
Washington’s Finest Ice Harbour Brewery “Fresh Hop IPA”
Ice Harbour Brewing are located in eastern Washington which is, without doubt, the countries number one hop-producing region. They have a reputation for producing some of the finest beers in the US and you would expect them to all be on the hoppy side considering the abundance of hops available on their doorstep.
Their flagship Fresh Hop IPA won the first prize at the Yakima Fresh Hop Festival in 2011with beer judges crowning it the number one hop ale from the number one hop-producing region in the US. No mean feat!
Using various hopping methods, Ice Harbour’s Fresh Hop IPA involves kettle hopping, dry hopping, mash hopping and first wart hopping for a brew which allows 12 pounds of fresh Amarillo and Centennial hops per keg. The result is a flavourful brew with a complex depth of hoppy flavors such as orange, pine and wood.
A San Diego Hoppy IPA Green Flash “West Coast IPA”
More like a warehouse than a tasting room Green Flash Brewing have developed a wide range of award-winning craft beers, with the game changing West Coast IPA still notorious for it’s complex layering of hops throughout the brewing process (even the label boasts “extravagantly hopped”!)he
Simcoe is there for tropical and grapefruit zest, Columbus gives that hop pungency, Centennial for pine notes, Citra for citrus zest, and Cascade for floral aroma make this a multi-dimensional hop experience.
With a bitterness of 95 IBUs, the overriding taste is one of complex citrus hops character (blood orange, grapefruit pith) with a little nice pineapple, and substantial bitterness A bright malt character provides a good balance to the hops with some sweetness and hints of dark caramel from the use of British Crystal malt. The mouthfeel as you would expect from this style of IPA has a dry finish with a bitterness which lingers but is not unpleasant. At 7% ABV its very drinkable solid beer too without ruining you day too much!
An IPA with History Anchor Brewing “Liberty Ale”
Anchor Liberty Ale is considered to be one of the earliest origins of the beer category now known as the West Coast IPA.
First brewed in 1975, it was named Liberty Ale to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride to liberty. Although not originally classed as an IPA, this English-style pale ale used a little known British dry hopping process with a hop from Oregon which was also not to well known at the time, the now ubiquitous Cascade hop.
Liberty Ale is brewed using traditional craft brewing methods with only natural ingredients — pale malted barley, fresh whole-cone Cascade hops and special top-fermenting yeast, and water.
Many of the subtle flavors of Liberty Ale come from the use of a specialised top-fermenting yeast, with a natural process called “bunging” creating a gentle carbonation.
The yeast used during fermentation produces many of Liberty Ale’s subtle flavors and characteristics. A natural process called “bunging” creates gentle carbonation, and the practice of dry hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during aging), revived by Anchor, creates its unique aroma.
A bright straw and golden color, Liberty Ale boasts the dank aromas of modern IPA with resinous pine upfront, backed with notes of grapefruit and citrus. Assertive bitterness is complimented by the taste of a light biscuit malt with the smooth dry finish of an IPA.
If you’re a fan of the Cascade hop, this is the “IPA” for you. As America’s first craft brewery, Anchor pioneered the use of the Cascade hop in West Coast IPA’s and continue to use only Cascade hops in their flagship ale, Liberty Ale.
A Tropical IPA from Georgia Creature Comforts “Tropicàlia”
The brewers at Creature Comforts proudly claim they built Tropicàlia IPA around the flavor of the hops rather than the bitterness.If you’re a fan of hoppy beers but not too much the bitterness this could be the IPA you have been looking for. For IPA lovers who are seeking more than just a bitter punch to the mouth, Tropicàlia offers a hop bomb of juicy stone fruit and citrus flavors.
Cracking the can open, Tropicàlia pours with a copper color with a large-bubbled tan head for a pillowy mouthfeel when drinking. The aroma is that of orange juice, tangerine, vanilla and a breadiness. The flavors you detect instantly are orange peel with a slight hint of caramel with a nice semi-dry bitter palate.With a crisp dry finish Tropicàlia is lighter bodied than most IPAs of this style but this makes it more drinkable with only a slight bitterness. At 6.6% ABV it has a bitterness of 60 IBUs but an aromatic hoppy quality that is hard to beat.
A Burst of Citrus Deschutes “Fresh Squeezed IPA”
One of my all time favorite brews, imagine my delight when I found this on draft in a recent visit to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. This flavorful brew certainly gets about with beer lovers all over the world now able to enjoy it in bottles, cans or on draft.
One of the juiciest American IPAs you are likely to ever try, the iconic image of a hop being squeezed on the Deschutes packaging tells you most of what you need to know about this juicy beer. Consider it a citrus bomb with a generous blend of Citra and Mosaic hops giving it huge hits of grapefruit and citrusy flavors.
The use of 2 Row Pale, Munich and Crystal malts give a muffin-like malt character to the beer with a balance of citrus flavors from the Pacific Northwest Citra and Mosaic hops. At only 6.6% ABV with a lingering bitterness of 60 IBUs its an easy-to-drink beer, although some beer geeks complain it is a little on the sweet side and not as full-bodied as some other IPAs.
A Beer Industry Modern Classic Lagunitas “IPA”
I say modern but Lagunitas has been producing this fine IPA since 1995 and it is considered a revolutionary beer that set the standard for West Coast IPA classic beer style together with such luminaries like Piny The Elder or Anchor Liberty Ale.
Using the C hops commonly found in IPAs, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook, Lagunitas also throw in some Simcoe hops for an explosion of hop aromas. Pine aromas (all from the hops) balance with the more dominating citrus & caramel notes. A selection of malts including English Crystal, caramel and Munich Malts bring a depth of flavor to the beer with caramel malted barley tastes and biscuity flavors and give a beautiful orange hue to the color.
With an ABV of 6.2% and a relatively low IBU count of 51 Lagunitas IPA is bordering on the category of beer known as a session IPA but with a more complex hop profile than most session beers. Currently, Lagunitas are one of the better-known brewers in the American Craft beer movement and now distributes to thirty- two of the states and also export abroad too. You shouldn’t have too much trouble tracking down this classic beer.
A Bit of IPA Voodoo Magic New Belgium Brewing Company “Voodoo Ranger IPA”
After a biking trip to Belgium, co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch were inspired to bring Belgian brewing traditions back to their hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally they produced award-winning Belgian ales like an Amber ale called Fat Tire and a Belgian style dubbed called Abbey. It wasn’t until 2016 they launched the Voodoo family of IPAs using trendsetting hops and malt varieties.
Voodoo Ranger IPA is their original flagship IPA in a range that also includes an Imperial IPA, a Juicy Haze IPA and a Juicy Hazy Imperial IPA. Using the 3 Cs, Cascade, Chinook and Citra, they also add to Voodoo ranger IPA, Amarillo, Mosaic, Strata and HBC 522 hops to bring the hop variety count up to an eye-watering seven types.
Tropical aromas abound with juicy fruit flavors from the Mosaic and Amarillo hops, this light golden IPA is slightly bitter with an IBU of 50 and a refreshing finish and an ABV of 7%. If you like your beer with a more distinctive bitterness check out the Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA which bumps that bitterness up to 70 IBUs with an ABV of 9%.
Although they distribute to all 50 mainland states and export to countries like Canada, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway and even Belgium, the easiest way to track this beer down is to use New Belgium’s beer finder on their website.
Another Stone Classic Stone Brewing’s “Stone IPA”
The guys at Stone originally produced this IPA in 1997 as an anniversary beer but it proved so popular it is still available all year round. Using Magnum, Chinook and Centennial hop for a super crisp version of the West Coast IPA Stone’s IPA still packs the same punch it did over 20 years ago.
As one of the most respected IPAs and also a top-selling IPA here in the US, Stone IPA is a light golden beer that explodes with the hoppy aromas of tropical fruits, citrus and pine hops. many of my hop friends say it was Stone beers, especially the IPA which first awakened their taste buds to hoppier beers.
A subtle malt character balances with the hops to give flavourful notes of delectable pine, citrus flavors and a little tropical too. The aroma from the plentiful hop selection used (Magnum, Chinook, Centennial, Azacca, calypso, Ella & Vic Secret) is one of intense lemon rind, fruity cereal and a dank piney finish. With a medium body and an ABV of 6.9% this is one of Stone’s less challenging creations with a clean lingering bitter finish.
Stone boast on their website “This beer is as bold, fresh and flavourful today as it was back in ’97” and I am tempted to agree with them.
Iowa’s Goliath of an IPA Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.’s “King Sue DIPA”
hailing from Iowa this Double IPA is the grown-up big brother of their incredibly popular single hop pale ales Psuedo Sue.
With a beefed-up ABV of 7.8% and a staggering IBU of 100, this double IPA packs one helluva Citra punch. A full-bodied hazy DIPA, King Sue is a juicy brew of mango, orange, lime, and pineapple flavors finished with the distinct bitterness of Citra hops and a grapefruit aroma.
This full-bodied, hazy orange beer is Citra-hopped with a juicy combination of mango, orange, and pineapple flavors finishing with a grapefruit aroma and ferocious bite. It features regularly in list of the best beers in the US and was awarded a Gold medal for the Best New England IPA beer category in the 2021 Beeradvocate list of Top rated Beers in 2021 and also won a Gold medal at the Annual Brewski Awards in the same year.
Although Toppling Goliath beers have been hard to track down in the past, beer buyers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts can rejoice as Toppling Goliath has just decided to grow their ever-expanding distribution network to these two areas.
Alcohol-Free but Still Hoppy?? Athletic Brewing Co. “Free Wave Double Hop IPA Style”
Who said to enjoy a Double IPA you also had to endure higher ABV beers? Athletic Brewing Co. have been making some of the best non-alcoholic beers out there which even appeal to regular beer drinkers as well as the tee-total crowd.
Free Wave is their take on a hazy IPA which is a mouth-watering brew loaded up with Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops. This soft body ale explodes with juicy, floral and citrus characteristics found in a regular IPA. With an IBU of 50, it has less than 0.5% alcohol by volume so you can take a few on that next road trip.
This non-alcoholic Double IPA isn’t just one of my favorite NA beers, but it’s one of my favorite drinks, full stop.
One of Hop Growing County’s Finest Bale Breaker Brewing “Top Cutter India Pale Ale”
Bale breaker brewing was set up by the grandchildren of hop farmers who built the brewery on a hill which used to supply Sierra Nevada with their hops. Showcasing Yakima Valley Hops at their best, Top Cutter is their flagship IPA in a West Coast Style.
The late addition of Simcoe, Citra, Loral and Mosaic hops to the already present Warrior hop gives this IPA the complex aromas of citrus, fruitiness and floral hints too. The use of four different malts including 2-Row, Munich, C10 and Caramel malts gives a slight caramel malt flavor but it fades into the background with hops dominating both the aroma and flavor. A traditional West Coast IPA it has a smooth yet dry finish with that sharp bitterness you have come to expect from IPAs.
The ABV of 6.8% is about average for this style of IPA with a bitterness of 70 IBUs suiting most discerning drinkers.
Top Cutter, by the way, is named after a piece of farming equipment that removed the hop vines from the trellis during the annual hop harvest.
Hops as Wicked Weeds? Wicked Weed Brewing’s “Pernicious India Pale Ale”
Normally when we look at the Wicked Weed range of beers, they are more known for their impressive sour ales. But this brewer from North Carolina also makes some of the best IPAs on the East Coast now.
Wicked Weed and this beer the Pernicious IPA, both take their name from a quote from Henry VIII of England who referred to hops as a “wicked and pernicious weed” totally unsuitable for beer. Fortunately, nobody listened that much, would you listen to a man who got married six times, really?
Using a variety of hops including six in the brewing stage and dry hopped with a further seven hops, this is a hop explosion waiting to happen. Thick with that dank resinous pine and citrus aromas and flavors, Pernicious maintains a balance with the use of 2 Row, Acidulated, Carafoam and Pilsner hops for added bite.
At 7.3 % ABV, it’s extremely drinkable with a clean dry finish but an often overpowering for some hop aroma.
North Carolina’s Retro Inspired IPA – N.O.D.A Brewing Company “Hop, Drop ‘n’ Roll India Pale Ale”
Among the handful of breweries, you will find lining the North Davidson Strip In Charlotte, North Carolina many agree that NoDa Brewing is the very best. The truth of the matter is this brewery would stand out in almost any town you dropped it.
Hop Drop ‘N’ Roll is a West Coast style IPA with tons of hop flavor which shines through a complex malt backbone. Citra, Amarillo, Centennial and Chinook hops are used to provide an intense hop blast. fragrant aromas of citrus and pine virtually dance out of the glass and across your palate when poured from the can.
With an ABV of 7.2% and a bitterness of 80 IBUs, the rich golden beer color features a frothy head yet a creamy mouthfeel with upfront tastes of bitterness. The rich golden color comes from the use of both English and American malts with substantial amounts of Vienna and wheat malt particularly standing out for a biscuity yet not too sweet flavor profile. It’s hopped before, during and after the boil with late boil additions of Citra and Amarillo to add to that complex flavor profile.