Endless Beers: Happy IPA Day!
You may not know it, but it’s National IPA Day! Donut day, coffee day, ice cream day…why not have a day for those of us who take pride in the name “hophead”? Well today’s that day. Many consider the IPA (India Pale Ale) to be the brew that really made a name for craft beer. The IPA is a bold, typically strong in alcohol content, and bitter (in a good way) brew that includes strong notes of citrus. Regardless, today is a day to try an IPA for the first time, try out a crazy new IPA flavor, or crack open your favorite IPA. In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, we worked with some of the best breweries in the nation to bring your our “National IPA Day Roundup.”
Sierra Nevada 2014 Hop Harvest: 6.5 % ABV
Sierra Nevada brings out this annual 5-bottle series that features a single hop, wet hop, fresh hop, and wild hop brews. I had the Equinox Single Hop IPA. Single hop meaning they used only one kind of hop to highlight the aromas and the bitterness. The brew is an easy drink that will put you in the mood for fall. The IPA has typical hop flavors you would expect and then the taste of fresh peppers and spices from the garden comes through.
Dogfish Head Sixty-One: 6.5% ABV
Dogfish founder and owner Sam Caglione was with his friends at a local pizza and wine place when they started pouring wine into some 60 Minute IPAs. Apparently Caglione thought – “I could make a beer like that,” and the Sixty-One was born. Currently, the Sixty-One is my favorite beer. The foundation of the suds is the continually-hopped 60 Minute IPA. Then, Syrah grape must is added during the fermentation process. As it pours, the appearance is the same color of a blush wine. The flavor of the brew is balanced between the hoppy flavors of the 60 minute and the dry fruity notes similar to a red wine. This brew is now offered year round.
Flying Dog Single Hop Imperial Citra IPA: 10% ABVFor those experienced hopheads, Flying Dog suggests the strong and bold Citra Single Hop Imperial IPA. Citra hops are a new staple for many strong IPAs. The citra flavor really comes through, bringing out notes of grapefruit, strong citrus, and even grassy hints. The beer finishes with a boozey/warming feeling going down. While not for the faint-hearted, it’s worth sipping on at least once to get the idea of the flavors of the citra hop.
Stone Go To IPA: 4.5 % ABV
Recently released in March, the Go To IPA is Stone’s session offering to their IPA. The Go To IPA is in the running with Founder’s All Day IPA. While it is a session brew (allowing you to drink it frequently), it includes the bold hop flavors of an IPA. Stone uses “hop bursting” by infusing TONS of hops into the brew at the last moment of the brewing process. The result is strong hop bitterness with a light body.
21st Amendment: The Triple Threat
21st Amendment couldn’t decide on just one beer. So they suggest THREE.
Back in Black IPA: 6.8 % ABV
If you’ve never had a dark or black IPA, today is the day to do it. Especially if you prefer stouts and porters, this gives you some of the profile that you look for while also kicking your ass with some hops. The beer is black in color, but you can taste the hops throughout. The main difference here is that the black IPA offers a unique malty sweetness that other IPAs do not offer.
Brew Free or Die IPA: 7% ABV
First off…the name just kicks ass. The attitude on the can just asks to be enjoyed. Next, the IPA is a perfect copper/orange color and has the strong citrus flavor with most IPAs. The balance of malts and hops creates a solid sweetness with the strong bitterness of the west coast Centennial and Cascade hops. The copper/orange color is a tribute to the balance of malts. If you are just starting to introduce your taste buds to IPAs, this is a good start.
Hop Crisis IPA: 9.7% ABV
This is a strong, oak-aged IPA with A LOT of hops in it. With a stronger ABV, the brew pours a nice transparent orange color and sweet, crisp malty flavor. Then, the hops take over with strong citrus and floral scents and flavors. The brew finishes smooth with a warming feeling all the way down. Two of these will give you a nice relaxing feeling once you’re done.
IPA Day Pairings:
After picking a bitter and tasty IPA, you’ll have to pick some tasty eats. Here are some of our suggestions to pair with your IPA:
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Sushi (any kind)
- Gouda Cheese
- Gruyere Cheese
- Buffalo Wings
- Bacon Cheese Burger
If you’re going for some cigars:
- Acid Kuba Kuba
- CAO Brazilia
- Padron Maduro