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What's that extra bitter taste in IPA's that make them so delicious?

Recently had Dogfish 60 minute IPA the other day and whatever that strong biiter flavor is, this brew's got plenty of it. So delicious. What is it?
Also recently had Stoudt Winter Ale from a fresh tap--yum!
Anything you can recommend for someone with such tastebuds?

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  1. They have more Hops. If you like IPA's and you like Hops I would recommend the following beers for you, if you can find them where you live:

    Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA
    Victory Hop Devil
    Stone IPA(if you REALLY Love hops, go for their Ruination DOuble IPA)
    Russian River Pliny the Elder

    Since you are in NYC, try going to DBA oon First Avenue, they generally have some good west coast IPAs on tap, or The bar next store to the Belgian Room on St Marks Place. I think its the hop devil grille.

    Also in NYC you can get Rogue beers from Oregon, they aggresively hop their beers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MVNYC

      If you can get Troegs on the other side of the river I'd suggest looking into the Hopback Amber as well. And when(and if) the seasonal Nugget Nectar hits the shelves, well...just buy as much as you can. That beer is simply amazing.

      Of all the beers mentioned so far I'd say that the Stone IPA is my fave, and I appreciate its availability in sixpacks.

      1. re: TongoRad

        Nugget Nectar just got to NJ earlier this week- and it definitely is amazing this year. People in the region should definitely be on the lookout for it.

    2. Thanks--I take from your username you're from NYC, can i find these beers in NYC?
      Also, I always thought of myself as a top notch beer drinker, and I mostly drink Brooklyn, Sam Adams, Siera Nevada...after checking this page (and trying a couple of new brews), i must wonder--am i a total beer amateur??

      3 Replies
      1. re: abu applesauce

        My favorite IPA is Smuttynose, widely available. Lagunitas is another hoppy one from the west coast.
        Top NYC beer stores for the best brews:
        New Beer Distributor, 167 Chrystie St betw Delancey/Rivington
        American Thrifty, 256 Court St (Kane), Carroll Gardens, Bklyn
        Bierkraft, 191 5th Ave (Union), Park Slope
        Beer resources:

        1. re: abu applesauce

          You can find Anderson Valley and Stone at Whole Foods in Uniion Square. You should be able to find the others too. Try the bars i emntioned, they should be able steer you in the right direction.

          As far as being a top notch beer drinker, there are always new ones to try and you are on the right path. Sierra was the beer that introduced me to the wide world of American craft beer. Sam Adams and Brooklyn produce some good beers, esp Brooklyn. But the world of beer is so vast, and learning is fun.

          If the Blind Tiger ever gets its liquor license back, that will be the place to go in NYC. That is where i first tasted many west coast beers

          1. re: MVNYC

            I was in NYC 2 years ago, and I was surprised at how frequently I saw Stone for sale. I saw it in a few different liquor stores and markets in both Greenwich Village and the UWS.

        2. If you like Dogfish Head 60min, then try the 90min much more pronouced hop bitter and flavor. Also Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale(my personal fave), but hurry it is seasonal.

          1. If you like hops, look for Alpha King from Three Floyds.
            They use Cascade, Centennial, and Warrior hops, and I haven't found anything I like as well.
            Did just get Bell's line here. The Two Hearted Ale is a damn fine beer.
            Tried a can of Hopluia that I found in Omaha. Yuck. Tasted off.
            I can get Dogfish 60 minute. I like it fine, just not as much as the Alpha King, and it's 3 dollars more a six pack.
            I'd really like to try the 90 minute, or Three Floyds Dreadnaught. Something to look forward to.

            1. Red Seal Ale tops any fine list

              1. Southern Tier IPA, Victory Hop Devil, Anchor Liberty Ale, Smuttynose IPA, and Lake Placid Frostbite Ale are among my favorite hoppy beers. All are available here in the Albany area, so I assume they are in NYC as well.

                1. Looks like 2007 is going to be a good year after all--thanks everyone

                  1. Check out Sixpoint Craft Ales. It is a small up and coming brewery in Red Hook Brooklyn. They use huge amounts of hops in most of their offerings. Great stuff, and I'm not typically hop head.

                    They offer brewery tours w/ free pints every Saturday and you can find their beers on tap around town.


                    1. All beers already listed by the other posters are fine hoppy specimens..you may also want to check out Blue Point Hoptical Illusion (a Long Island beer widely available in NYC)or Dale's Pale Ale (which comes in a can but is one of the best American beers around-and my personal fave along with Stone IPA). Stoudt's Winter is a type of Brown ale brewed with cocoa. I'm not sure if you like the brown ale aspect or the chocolate aspect, but you may like other brown ales brewed by Brooklyn, Smutty, Sierra, etc. or if you're up for a little extra strength, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout. Also, if you were thinking of venturing to Bierkraft as suggested by kenito799, you may also want to check out Eagle Provisions about 2/3 mile or so furhter down 5th Ave in Bklyn (at 18th St). The beer selection there is dizzying and the prices are slightly better for the most part.

                      1. It's not really more hops, it's just a better blend of more bitter hops. Hop bitterness is measured in IBU's (international bittering units), an dthe hops have a lot of alpha acids. Historically, IPA was ale with extra hops as preservatives so it would survive being shipped to India via sailboat.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mpm

                          It really IS more hops. I think you'll find that IPAs have way more hops than other brews. Yes, the hop variety plays a significant role, but to achieve the high IBU numbers, you need lots and lots of hops.

                          FWIW, When hops are thrown into the brewkettle, the alpha acids are transformed (isomerized) into iso-alpha acids.

                          In most brews, only traces of the alpha acids and no detectable beta acids are present in the final beer product(only iso-alpha acids remain). Of course with dry hopping, you'll see a lot more alpha and beta acids in the beer.

                        2. I hope you're DECANTING these IPA's by giving them a "hard pour" directly into the glass...

                          Never drink a fine IPA directly from the bottle, and also I don't recommend giving them one of those non-foamy "side pours"... this just leaves the beer too closed and often excessively bitter. Give it a hard pour and it will foam up then recede, and be oxygenated like a fine wine. Often a "bitter" IPA turns much sweeter and truer to taste afterwards.

                          1 Reply
                          1. If you really want to know how and what things in beer give it the flavors each beer has, then you need to make it or get teh ingredient and try them.

                            Buy a couple different types of hops, and stick the hop leaves (although they mght really be petals) in your mouth and chew on them. Do it with Saaz, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles, Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, Tettnanger, Spalter, Cascade, Columbia, and Willamette (please forgive my spelling errors if any), and notice the taste differences between them.

                            You can do the same thing with barley malt, whether crystal, chocolate malt, black patent malt, any adjunct you might add, etc.

                            I don't think you should really do this with yeasts.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Captain

                              Brewers yeast is very high in B-comlex vitamins so you could drink it in a glass of water, of course you don't get the flavor profile until it ferments.

                              1. re: niquejim

                                I have had some yeast mixed with a bit of homebrew in a bit of a slurry, but the flavor imparted to the beer did not come though. It was overwelmed. Drinking yeast is not bad for you, but there is one side affect to be aware of before you drink it. You're likely to have some potent emissions.

                            2. Sigh, my favorite us beer is no longer produced: Portland's Pintail Extra Special Bitter.

                              Check out ESBs.

                              I also like the Speakeasy brews, Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA.

                              Has anyone tried He'brew's Bittersweet Lenny R.I.P.A.?

                              Sierra Nevada is reliable. Sam Adams errr . . .

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: himbeer

                                That R.I.P.A. from He'Brew is one of the best double IPA's I've ever had. It flies in the face of conventional beer geek wisdom, where many think that contract brewing produces an inferior beer.

                                1. re: himbeer

                                  actually, wasn't Pintail from BridgePort Brewing, rather than Portland Brewing Co??
                                  shame that BridgePort seems to have 'corporatized' in the last few years. I really miss those cool Pintail, Blue Heron, Coho Pacific names/labels.

                                2. Abu my man, I knew I liked you.

                                  In my experience, the most consistent bar in NYC for selection of West Coast IPAs on tap (my favorite kind of beer) is Barcade in Williamsburg, 2 L-train stops from Manhattan. www.barcadebrooklyn.com

                                  Mind you, I still go to DBA once or twice a week, and Hop Devil Grill every week or two, but Barcade has just the most terrific selection of American craft brews, including the glorious hop bombs. They had a huge number of IPAs on tap in the late summer and fall, but they still have a few hoppy beers right now (Victory Hop Devil, Climax IPA, Smuttynose IPA, and especially Rogue Double IPA).

                                  Other great IPAs, many of which were mentioned already, are Stone IPA and Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA, Dogfish Head 60, 90, or even 120-minute (if you can get it).

                                  Good luck.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Andrew P.

                                    Also, if you can get your hands on Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., do it! They have some on hand-pulled draft at DBA in New York right now (I've gone there for it for each of the last 3 nights). Last night, however, it wasn't as cold as previously. Now, it surely shouldn't be icy, but this was essentially room-temperature. The bartender said, somewhat unconvincingly, that this was because there was less beer in the keg.

                                    Anyway, when it was reasonably chilled, it was probably the best IPA I've ever had. The guy who started Captain Lawrence used to work at Sierra Nevada, so he picked up the west coast IPA vibe and brought it home to Westchester County, just north of NYC.

                                  2. Two other excellent IPA's are Stoudts Double IPA (about 9%ABV)
                                    and Steelhead IPA

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: dfishhead

                                      Stoudt's Double IPA is excellent, but may be too high speed for a IPA newcomer, don't you think?? But then again, if the 60 minute did the trick......

                                      Other IPAs I love:
                                      Yards IPA
                                      Russian River Pliny the Elder
                                      Victory Hop Devil
                                      Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
                                      Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

                                      www.beeradvocate.com is a good resource. And yes Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams are a good starting point but there is so much more (and better) out there.

                                    2. Did anyone mention Blue Point Hoptical Illusion?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: dfishhead

                                        I mentioned the Hoptical Illusion a while back. It's a great IPA since it's nicely balanced in malt and hop and very drinkable--good for both IPA fans and those who are just being introduced to the style. I recently discovered the Great Divide IPAs from Colorado--namely the "Titan" IPA and the "Hercules" double IPA. Just recently being sold in NY (Bierkraft, Eagle Provisions) Pricey here, but great stuff!

                                      2. Nobody mentioned Bell's Two Hearted Ale, a very tasty IPA. They now have a seasonal called Hopslam, which is exactly that, almost too much so.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mqg

                                          going thru my growler of double ipa from the captain lawrence 2 year anniversary bash last saturday. delicious!