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.

 

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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.

PHOTO: Founder’s

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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.

PHOTO: Weyerbacher

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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.

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Endless Beers: What Difference Does a Glass Make?

stoutglassIPA Glass

Hopefully most of our readers have finally bought in to the #drinkcraftbeer movement. Really, it’s not even a movement, but common sense. Why would anyone pay to drink something that tastes like (a) nothing, (b) pee, or (c) crap? You wouldn’t. So the next step in becoming an all-out beer snob is to drink beer from a GLASS, not the bottle or can. I originally thought the whole experience of picking glassware depending on the kind of beer was a gimmick. However, after testing various Spiegelau glasses out, I’ve changed my tune.

First of all, the main reason behind drinking your suds from a glass rather than the bottle or can is to get the aroma of the beer and to allow it to properly carbonate. The aroma will indeed change the taste of the beer – typically heightening your senses as you indulge in a cold one. Typically, I’ll just pour it into a pint glass no matter what kind of beer, and enjoy. But there are different and innovative ways to drink our beer now. Here are two taste tests (I know…my work is difficult) of the latest innovative beer glass collaborations.

The Glasses:

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The Brews of Summer: 100 Beers to Enjoy in the Heat

For those of you complaining about pumpkin beer and Oktoberfest releases coming too early, I bring you this masterpiece. Now you have 100 beers to choose from while you bask in the last month of summer. As per the top ten list, I defined a summer brew as: Wheats, Saisons, Wits, Pilsners, Pale Ales, IPAs, and fruity beers. Of course this list is NOT exhaustive. You should know that you will be able to go to any microbrewery near you and enjoy a summer seasonal. And I included microbreweries that may not distribute as well….road trip, anyone?

I leave you with this: “And I can tell you my love for beer will still be strong after the beers of summer have gone.”

You’re welcome.

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 7_image_brooklyn-pilsner_large  lagunitas-a-little-sumpin-sumpin-ale summerfest-nodate2  SummerLove-Bottle
 kellerweis  60-minute-ipa
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 strawberry  bottledetaillargeporchrockerv2--en--82748a16-b61b-4111-95c7-4e8de783a4f9  sahtea

 2013-08-02_1339  Always-Sunny--300x198
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 timthumb  img.apa.lg  BlackEye_web  Devils-Backbone-Kilt-Flasher-Label
 StarrSaison_Bottle_Fixed1_thumb  3bottles
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 beer_weizen-thumb-75  raspberrywheat_logo  farmhouse-400  woodycreek2013
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 sawtooth_ale_bottle_glass_548862380 (1)  White_Label  hopfive  beer-highway22wheatsmall
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 steam-bio  caferacer22  SummerSqueeze_Bottle_tab  Citra_Blonde_Summer_Webshot
 Blueberry-Belch-poster  Bottle120  cape northerLightsFixed
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 summerlyte  sweetaction_front  goofyfoot_logo
 B&C  our_beers_SOLACE  SummerBeer-2013-Modal  SmmrAleCan_Drps_LRG-e1319817438847
 apollo_front  robot-surf-factory_web-large_transparent  st-lupe-bottle-glass  psblueberrylyte
 ind_bp_label_2xipa  american-amber-label  littlewhitelielogo  Victorian Secret
 Bottle90  a8bacd58-7288-4f6a-8873-d9bb852be99c  beer_pils-thumb-75  saison_logo
 she-monster_web_large_transparent  PILS  kolsch  bitteramerican_can-230x409
 bengali_front  melonheadlyte  tripel-detail  Gose_2013_WebProductPhoto
 racerx  summer-bio  productpic  ind_bp_label_pmx
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 aud-blonde-v2  Hob_Label
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 BottleAprihop

Missed one? Let us know what you would include!

All 100 Ways — 1,500 recipes and counting! — found here.

 

 

100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks: #11 – Pretzels

HOT pretzels. Sorry Philadelphia, I know you like SOFT pretzels, cold from the food cart, but no thanks. I like a crispy outside with a warm and soft interior—not soggy all over. In time, I found a way to fulfill my high standards (call me a snob for wanting a hot pretzel) while also making them out of a beer dough. And you should too.

A word of advice: do NOT make these in the midst of a heat wave .  I thought I was doing the right thing, trying to cook seasonal foods, but still—an oven in the high nineties did not please anyone. Luckily the pretzels made up for it.

I was on a strong homebrew streak, with four cases done within the same week, so I finally had a choice of brews to use. I chose my Dark IPA for the beer-dough. The Dark IPA has a malty undertone that added a little sweetness to the dough, while the bitterness of the hops gave it a slight kick. The final product was very tasty and I’d definitely do it again.

BREWvarian Hot Pretzels

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drink #10: Summer Shandy

Independence Day has come and gone, and my mind continues to believe that the weekend flew by and we’re back at the beginning of the week. Quite the troubles… But fear not, the weekend is almost here again, and this time it’s a true weekend. And I have a drink for those of you who enjoy a sweet summertime beverage.

On the fourth, I decided to try out a drink on my list. I’ve had summer shandys made from actual breweries, but I wanted to make my own with homebrew. For the sweet half, all I had available was pink lemonade. My dad cringed as I explained to him what I was drinking. I was also skeptical, but the summer shandy I made was indeed refreshing for a hot day.

The beer Scrooges out there are scowling and saying something like “this guy is ruining beer.” To you I say, stop reading and go sniff your own flatulence. I thought the Dark IPA had a few similar qualities to an iced tea and the bitterness and malty flavor would go well with lemonade. It did. This isn’t something I’d have all the time, but when it’s a billion degrees out and you need a refreshing drink—it hits the spot while giving the boost of alcohol that we all enjoy.

Dark IPA Summer Shandy

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