A summer night, hot and humid… You are together with friends, catching up, laughing and talking non-stop. Then the sip of that ice cold beer you just took touches your lips then fills your mouth with joy. As it travels down to your stomach, you don’t feel the disturbing heat anymore. The ice cold beer had just made your joyful night even more perfect.
This is how I see beer; such a great drink when it is consumed in the just right amount at the right time with the right people. Among all those types of beer out there: stouts, porters, pilsners, lagers, sour ales, pale ales, red ales, brown ales; my absolute favorites are India and American Pale Ales. This blog post is dedicated to best IPAs I have tried so far. All the tastings I did was just for you all, so that you would know what to try next time when you order an IPA. Mind you though, the USA is an IPA land, there are so many breweries that I haven’t tried yet. But I tried many through the years and finally I can share with you what I experienced.
THE IPAs THAT I LOVED
9. Lord Hobo Boom Sauce ( Massachusetts )
Let’s start from Number 9. I’m not big fan of double IPAs although I enjoy grapefruity ones once in a while. Boom Sauce is a good transition between double IPA and IPA. It is very hoppy but not too bitter. Leaves a nice non-metallic taste in the end. Slight notes of citrusy sweetness is present in the second wave after you take a sip. Golden, slightly hazy.
Alcohol: ABV: 7.80% IBU (bitterness scale 1-120): 78
8. Brooklyn Defender IPA (New York)
This hoppy, golden IPA has strong notes of tropical fruit, well-adjusted hop bitterness, and an incredibly dry finish. This would be perfect with barbecue, vegetables and spicy food.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.5% IBU: 59
7. Revolution Anti Hero IPA (Illinois)
This iconic ale features a blend of four hop varieties which creates a crisp bitterness and imparts massive floral and citrus aromas. So, it is flavorful but also beware of the bitterness!
6. Harpoon IPA ( Massachusetts & Vermont)
Harpoon has a bitter hoppy start but it is in overall smooth to drink. It is medium bodied, the bitterness hangs for a while. The only thing I didn’t like about Harpoon is that it has low carbonation. Sweet citrus, resin, syrup & caramel aroma.
ABV: 5.9% IBU:42
5. Night Shift Brewing – Santilli IPA ( Massachusetts )
Really hoppy, flavorful beer on the bitter side. Two full layers of hoppiness quickly fades. It is very similar to Harpoon but I would say this one is more flavorful. It could be paired with fries, pizza or sharp cheeses! Bronze Medal Winner in the 2016 World Beer Cup American IPA category.
ABV: 6.00% IBU: No IBU
4. Lagunitas IPA (California)
Lagunitas IPA has a strong full start and smooth finish. It leaves a bitter taste but it doesn’t last more than 4 seconds. This IPA is full of flavor with notes of spice, roasted malts, caramel, and citrus fruit. Perfect for drinking out with friends.
ABV: 6.20% IBU: 45.6
3. Sierra Nevada – Hazy Little Thing IPA (California)
This super mild IPA is easy to drink, very citrusy, still hoppy, no bitterness at all, closer to a wheat beer. Its after taste is sweet tones of tropical fruit aroma like mango and overripe grapefruit. The after taste dissolves quickly. The color is quite hazy.
6.7 percent ABV IBU:35
2. Wormtown Be Hoppy ( Massachusetts )
This really hoppy and citrusy beer doesn’t resemble in taste to Harpoon or Santilli. Three notes takes place in the order of: sweet, bitter, then citrusy sweet. Reddish-gold hazy unfiltered brew. Pungent aroma of citrus, floral spice, and grapefruit. A real IPA taste without bitterness ruining it.
ABV: 6.5% IBU: 70
1. Bell’s Brewery-Two Hearted Ale (Michigan)
Here comes my favorite! this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions. Great with any occasion, perfect when paired with steak or kebabs. It has a hoppy start but fills your mouth with a full taste. Bitter finish doesn’t last long. With its high quality taste, surprisingly it is on the cheaper side.
ABV: 7.0% IBU: 55
THE ONES THAT I ABSOLUTELY DIDN’T LIKE
Brooklyn Brewery – The Stone Wall Inn IPA (New York)
Sour, low alcohol, more lager tasting than IPA. It is too citrusy and sour for me, giving some metallic sweet under tones. bright gold with a fizzy white head. Tastes like biscuit malt, lime, pine hops, very smooth. Light body and low carbonation. Smells like biscuit malt, lime, and pine hops.
ABV: 4.8% IBU: –
Founders All Day IPA (Michigan)
I know this beer has a lot of fans, and I don’t want to offend anybody. It is just ‘meh’ for me. It has this sweat-like smell that I can’t overlook. It has mild bitterness, and low carbonation. Its metallic plus cirtusy taste is not something I look forward to.
ABV: 4.7% IBU:42
Stone Brewery – The Stone IPA (California)
Don’t get fooled by my smiling face in the photo, this beer has a terrible after taste. Deep golden- orange beer. Taste starts sweet malty becoming bitter grapefruit, pine at the back of tongue and lingering there on the swallow.
Medium body with nice carbonation and persistent bitterness – super hoppy IPA.
ABV: 6.9% IBU:77
Everyone has their own taste for sure, but after this beer tasting adventure I realized I like not too bitter (IBU 45-65), high alcohol,high carbonation, flavorful and smooth IPAs.
What is your favorite?
2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Beer”
So what about Trillium and Fiddlehead IPAs? And it would be useful to describe the difference between East and West Coast IPAs.
I will try my best to add those next time! We went to Trillium beer garden last week. Although I quite enjoyed their IPAs, my colleagues and I got sick afterwards. So, it is not going to be at the top of my list 🙂