Endless Beers: Our Top 10 IPAs
Summertime. Hot days, no more school, and yes, our fourth round of the beer exchange. This was one of my favorites—IPAs. I’m trying to savor these…but at the same time, you can’t let them sit too long, or they’ll go bad! While reviewing the exchange beers, and thinking about my favorite IPAs, I’ve done you the great pleasure of creating our “top ten IPAs” list. Here they are in no particualar order. You’re welcome.
10. Founder’s All Day IPA (ABV 4.7%)
IPAs don’t have to be high in alcohol content. Enjoy this bitter delight ALL Day…and more than once. Packs a punch of hops and malts without the dangers of having three on a hot day and feeling groggy for the rest of the day.
9. Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA (9%)
Hop. Garden. There really isn’t much more to say here. If you like the aroma and flavor of hops…this is the one for you.
8. Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA (ABV 5.7%)
For those drinkers who are looking for something light and sweet…but still packing a hop-forward punch. The Snow Wit is surprisingly tasty with a refreshing sweet taste of summer.
PHOTO: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
7. 21st Amendment “Back in Black” IPA (ABV 6.8%)
First off…just look at the can. Kick ass. But anyway…people forget about the dark IPA’s. This is for those who find it hard to steer clear of stouts and porters during the summer, but still want the kick of an IPA. Get the sweet malts of your dark stouts with the hoppy bitterness of an IPA.
PHOTO: 21st Amendment Brewery
6. Flying Fish Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA (ABV 8%)
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I haven’t had many brews made with rice. Turns out the wild rice here contributed to a nice, crisp and dry finish that makes the IPA a refreshing treat on a summer day.
PHOTO: Flying Fish Brewing Co.
5. Dogfish Head Sixty-One (ABV 6.5%)
This is my favorite Dogfish Head beer. Period. Made with Syrah grape must, you can both see and taste the wine grapes. The IPA has a sweetness of a blush wine, balanced out by the in-your-face hop tastes known by the Dogfish cult-like followers. I’d even recommend this as a “gateway beer” to those unfamiliar with the IPA styles. This will be their first of many IPA’s.
PHOTO: Dogfish Head
4. Stone Enjoy By IPA (ABV 9.4%)
You will find nothing that tastes as fresh as this brew. The hop flavors shine in this brew and will stand up to the freshness promised by the namesake. Not much else to say – watch for the “Enjoy By IPAs” at Stone when the come out.
3. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA (ABV 7.5%)
One of the best IPAs you can find. Citrus flavors underlie the hops and bitterness of a typical IPA. The sweet malts pair well with the citrus and hop flavors.
PHOTO: Cigar City Brewing
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (ABV 7%)
Bell’s provides a classic IPA with intense hop flavors throughout the sip. What makes the two-hearted ale different is that the malt flavors stand out, without taking anything away from the IPA profile.
PHOTO: Bell’s Beer
1. Avery Brewing Company Maharaja (ABV 11%)
This was a memorable one from our bomber exchange. Often, I can have a full bomber (or less) without getting too full. Or, the flavors are too intense and one is enough. For this bomber, I can have more than one and still enjoy it.
PHOTO: Avery Brewing