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Best IPA

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I am an IPA guy through and through. Dogfish Head 60 minute is tops for me, although I recently had a Snake Dog and thought it was pretty close. Harpoon IPA is my staple. I also love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which doesn't claim to be an IPA, but nonetheless.

Other votes?

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  1. Lots of responses in these fairly recent threads:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/310115

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/509623

    1. Check out Green Flash WC IPA (recently became available in MA) while its still fresh. Original shipment is about to turn the corner - after another month, you'll never know which ones are fresh and which ones aren't since they're not dated.

      Bear Republic Racer 5 is a great IPA - but I haven't purchased any bottles - I just drink it whenever its on tap at Redbones.

      This year's Smuttynose Big A IPA was just released last week if you like them big. And if you do, head to CBC ASAP while this year's Red God is still flowing.

      4 Replies
      1. re: LStaff

        LStaff is right on with Green Flash WC, their entire line is awesome. Racer 5 is also can't miss, look for Apex from them as well. Pliny the Elder from Russian River is great. I would steer clear of all Smuttynose, the East coast breweries CANNOT brew IPA.

        1. re: CAMRA

          Dogfish Head and Victory (among other obvious names) make some of the best in my opinion. Just because it isnt loaded with wonderful cascade west coast style doesnt make it a bad IPA.

          1. re: Insidious Rex

            Grand Teton's Sweetgrass IPA is really tasty.

        2. re: LStaff

          Wow, over two years later, and I still think GF WC IPA is one of the better ones we get to see on the east coast.

        3. There have been recent threads on this but it is always a worthy topic to start fresh in my opinion.

          Had the pleasure of opening and drinking a Bells Big Head IPA last night, mind blowing to say the least. here are my all time favorites (not all typical IPAs, some double..etc)

          Dogfish 90 minute
          Bells Hopslam
          Stone Arrogant Bastard
          Goose Island IPA
          Victory Hop Devil
          Troegs Nugget Nectar
          Alesmith IPA
          Founders Harvest
          Bells Two Hearted
          Surly Furious
          Weyerbacher Double Simcoe
          Urthel Hop-It

          28 Replies
          1. re: yankeefan

            Arrogant Bastard is technically an amber, not an IPA. Stone's IPA, and their Ruination DIPA, are stellar examples of the IPA style. Bell's Two Hearted is an amazing beer.

            1. re: Josh

              Youre right, I personally taste it being an IPA and thats why I listed. Also, Nugget Nectar is technically an 'imperial amber' but by all means is an IPA in my opinion. Both are absolutely tremendous.

              Didnt list Sierra Celebration, also not listed but I would find it hard to argue against this also tasting like a top notch IPA.

              Just writing about IPAs makes my mouth water.

              1. re: Josh

                How exactly can a DIPA be a "stellar example" of an IPA? I expect something very different from the two.
                And from the suggestions given so far it looks as though we are discussing AIPA (with the exception of Urthel which is made closer to the American style).

                Thanks

                1. re: Chinon00

                  I just had a bottle of the Urthel Hop It and do not see how it could be compared to an AIPA. Tasted like a Belgian blonde with some residual bitterness and a color midway between a Sierra PA and Miller Lite.
                  As for great IPAs, I will gladly take a Racer 5, Green Flash WC IPA, Firstone Union Jack, RR Blind Pig, Port Wipeout, or 21st Ammendment 21A IPA. Now I am thirsty.

                  1. re: pininex

                    Per their website Urthel Hop-it is a "Superior Hoppy Blonde Ale". And to be clear I stated that is made "closer to the American style" of IPA.
                    Also from the site: "[f]ollowing a visit to the American Northwest in January, 2005, Hildegard returned to Belgium enthusiastic about of the different IPA's (Indian Pale Ale) she had tasted. With her passion for barley, yeast and especially hops, she wanted to brew an IPA of her own. It had to be special, an hommage to hops in the style of American Craft Brewers, but with a real Flemish touch. Her touch!
                    "
                    Thanks

                  2. re: Chinon00

                    Funny, after I typed that I had a feeling someone would make mention of it. Stone's Ruination is a very early DIPA in terms of the style, so I think it's much closer to an IPA than what a DIPA has evolved into. It's "only" around 8% alcohol, and is very, very hoppy, and not especially malty. When I think of the modern DIPA, I think of a beer with substantial malt, as well as substantial hops. I believe the Ruination is classified as DIPA because it does have more alcohol than a typical IPA, and is hoppier, but it doesn't have that same high level of maltiness. If you taste the Ruination side-by-side with the IPA, you'll see what I mean.

                    1. re: Josh

                      My comments are not directed primarily at you but I’ve noticed that on here and on other food oriented websites whenever favorite IPAs are requested often an equal (and sometimes greater) number of DIPA will be suggested. Well, I think that we need to learn, appreciate and respect each style as defined otherwise I don’t see the point of having styles at all.

                      And when an ~8%abv IPA (and at 100 IBUs) is NOT considered as extreme or “imperial” or “double” but rather I guess “typical” then where have we drifted to?

                      Thanks

                      1. re: Chinon00

                        Well, I've seen a number of standard IPAs come in around 6-7%. So to me an additional percentage point doesn't seem that significant, especially when a number of the doubles start hitting 9 and 10%.

                        You make a good point, I'm not really disagreeing with you. Sometimes at the extreme ends of given styles, there's enough overlap that someone who likes one might also like the other. I wouldn't hesitate to give an IPA fan a glass of Pliny the Elder, because as DIPAs go, it's quite approachable and very similar to a standard IPA.

                        1. re: Josh

                          Speaking of Piney the Elder, I had it tonight, and to me Piney the Younger is a better beer. I know its a Triple IPA and we are suppose to be talking about just IPA's, but it has yet to be mentioned. It is a must try if your local bar can get a hold of a it.

                          I know Alesmith's IPA has been mentioned before, but it is a great IPA and worth a try for those who haven't had it.

                          1. re: JonDough

                            In your opinion, outside of scale, what to you makes "Younger" better than "Elder"?

                            Thanks

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              I guess it comes down to preference, I haven't had the chance to taste them side by side yet. This is all my opinion, so I am sure someone will disagree with me.

                              The Younger is less bitter and the taste of pine is less pronounced, it actually tastes less hoppy to me. The Elder is more of a hop-bomb, with a bitter finish. I really like the citrus flavors of grapefruit, orange, lemon, apricot, the malt backbone and the dry finish of the Younger. The Younger seems to be better balanced and carbonated as well . It doesn't taste like a beer that is 11% alcohol.

                              1. re: JonDough

                                Interesting. I prefer the Elder for pretty much the same reasons. I find the Younger too malty for my tastes, and don't like the high level of alcohol. I like the crisp, piney, citrusy zing of the Elder quite a bit.

                                1. re: Josh

                                  I am with you on that. The Younger is a bit too sweet and alcohol laden for me. Still its very good, you just cannt have more than two.

                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                    Let's not forgot Blind Pig, another outstanding IPA from Russian River.

                                    1. re: tofuburrito

                                      all i can say is northern California comes with the best ipa in the country racer 5, blind pig, celebration i am so proud to be from nor cal i love russian river brewery

                                2. re: JonDough

                                  I'm with you on that but truth be told I love them both. I actually like Alpine's Exponential Hoppiness more than Pure Hoppiness for similar reasons.

                                  1. re: JonDough

                                    Its pliney not piney btw

                                    1. re: phatchris

                                      Pliny, not Pliney.

                                      1. re: Josh

                                        I heard an NPR report about the historical figure Pliny the Elder and the show hosts pronounced Pliny in a way that would rhyme with skinny rather than the usual way I hear the beer pronounced (rhyming with piney).

                                        1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                          Yeah - apparently that's the correct pronunciation.

                                          Beer geeks often are bad with that. Diacetyl is one I hear mispronounced a lot.

                                          1. re: Josh

                                            How would one mispronounce "diacetyl"?

                                            1. re: RB Hound

                                              The "e" should be long, and the stress should be on the third syllable. I usually hear it pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, with a schwa pronunciation for the "e".

                                              1. re: Josh

                                                Humorous thread on the topic.
                                                http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/pleas...

                                                1. re: Josh

                                                  Both Merriam-Webster and Oxford say that both of those pronunciations are acceptable. Back in my college days (where I took many a chemistry class and lab), I almost always heard the second pronunciation.

                                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                                    The dictionary guides I've seen on this are pretty unanimous in that the "e" can be either a long or short one, but the stress remains on the third syllable (I meant third, not second, above) and the e is not a schwa (that's the upside down e, not the e with the little u shape above it).

                          2. re: Chinon00

                            Just a friendly discussion here, no need to get overly technical.\

                            to avoid this conflict, lets maybe describe this thread as your favorite hoppy beers, annoys me when technicalities enter. Its all in good fun.

                            1. re: yankeefan

                              Pointing out that we might be confusing and melding two different styles is "get[ting] overly technical"?
                              And reducing the conversation to "favorite hoppy beers" as you suggest is more simplistic than where the original post could have taken us.

                              To respond to the OP, Weyerbacher Hops Infusion I think is a solid example of a very good AIPA. Per their website they use seven types of hops: Simcoe, Magnum, Cascade, Liberty, Saaz, Fuggles and E. Kent Goldings. Once it warms a bit the complexity kicks in and the beer becomes very interesting I find.

                              Thanks

                              1. re: Chinon00

                                Thats fair, I wasnt trying to be difficult. Always do like your insights on this but Im not much into forcing beers into a category. but yum.... Simcoe..

                                I want to invent a new category for Nugget Nectar: DSA- delicious strong amber

                      2. No one's mentioned Anchor Liberty....that's another I'd put on the good list.

                        19 Replies
                        1. re: podence

                          Tell us what you like about it.

                          Thanks

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            Probably what I like most is that I first had one with Fritz Maytag the owner of Anchor Brewing after a very cool, low key tour of the brewery about 25 years ago. But you don't need that experience to enjoy it. Good head, good carbonation. Medium body. Crisp, bitter, slightly citrus flavor. Probably not the hoppiest, but certainly hoppy. Cool looking label.

                          2. re: podence

                            Not sure why my comment was removed, but no matter how you slice it Liberty Ale isn't an IPA. That's a fact, not an opinion. It's classified as an American Pale Ale. Sorry if this offends anyone.

                            1. re: Josh

                              You are absolutely right. I often wonder why some of my comments are removed as well.

                              1. re: Josh

                                Well, since the beginning of my "good beer" experience pre-dates the craft era and the ensuing beer style explosion (some of it driven by home brew competition, which I feel doesn't always "work" with commercial beers) and its sub-sub-styles, I try not to get involved in "What style beer is this?" arguments. I was just noting (on another beer site) that the early Michael Jackson- who is pretty much the "father" of many beer style classifications- books (World Guide, Pocket Guide), listed only 20-25 beer styles and now there are that many "American Ale" styles listed on BA.

                                I *like* the fact that the many beer styles can assist me in shopping a new brand but I don't like the rigidity some feel is necessary. I like to think of beer styles as closer to a color wheel, than sorting mail into pigeon holes. When one's over in the "torquise" section, when does "green" become "blue"? Sometimes its just the eye of the beholder.

                                Certainly, with beer styles there are "mis-files", by both brewers (Alexander Keith's IPA, Miller Lite a "pilsener") AND by the two biggest beer website (when I first started paying attention to the rating sites, Rolling Rock was listed as a "pale ale" on one of them- no doubt by a rater confused by the term "pale lager" on the label). Too, there are IPA's not labeled as such by the brewer- S-N calls both "Celebration" and "Anniversary" ales "IPA's" on their website, but not their label. Note, too, that BA and RB style lists aren't the same and in many cases a beer's style is simply what the first lister decides it is.

                                So, as much as I hate to do it, Josh, I'll disagree (sorta) that it's a "fact" that Liberty is an "APA" rather than an "IPA". I'll say that it *is* generally recognized by most beer people as an APA but I do have a problem with the word "fact". I agree that it's not simply one's "opinion" that determines a beer style ("informed opinion" is needed, at least) but there's always going to be a "grey" area where the styles overlap or when a beer pre-dates- or creates- a later recognized beer style.

                                Seems I recall a Maytag interview with beer writer Lew Bryson where he was specifically ask that question and he said (paraphasing) that an IPA wasn't necessarily what he was aiming at but the results (hoppy, all malt ale) were pretty much along the lines of what craft IPA's were to start from. I suppose one could also say that Liberty pretty much *created* the "American Pale Ale" style (in some of his books, Jackson just calls them "American Ales").

                                Obviously, the 20+ "American Ale" styles didn't exist in the 1970's when Maytag created Liberty Ale (20 US *ales* probably didn't exist then) and, perhaps somewhat relative, the term "India Pale Ale" was still listed in industry magazines as a *brand name* owned by Falstaff, brewers of Ballantine India Pale Ale (which, by current style guidelines *could* fall into the "double/imperial IPA" pigeonhole based on ABV). Brewers Digest's annual "Brewery Guide" listed it as such as late as 1984- around the same time Bert Grant's IPA- generally recognized as the "first" craft IPA.

                                I suppose part of my "rejection" of rigid beer style classification is that often (like in music and other fields) the most interesting beers are often ones that step outside the box and "violate" a rule or jump a boundary line. Going back to a beer like Thomas Hardy's (which has been called a number of styles- old ale, barleywine, etc) or a "bastard" style like porter (originally brewed as an ale, brewed with lager yeast in the US and the Baltic countries- well, sometimes -g- ), etc.

                                But, I agree, don't know *why* your comment would have been deleted and I, too, find it extremely frustrating when the friendly debates are cut off without explanation. (When it's happened to me, it's usually a longer post that I put some thought into like...oh, damn... the above).

                                1. re: JessKidden

                                  Great post. In some respects I agree with you, but in this case I am sticking to my guns mainly because Liberty Ale has never tasted IPA-ish to me at all. Its hop profile is simply not pronounced enough for that designation to make sense to me. The differences between APA and IPA are pretty distinct, IMO. APA is usually an easier-drinking beer, with less astringency and bitterness than an IPA, and less alcohol.

                                  I freely admit I probably care more about categorization than many people do. It's in my nature, and is something of a curse at times.

                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                    Quote from JessKidden
                                    "I suppose part of my "rejection" of rigid beer style classification is that often (like in music and other fields) the most interesting beers are often ones that step outside the box and "violate" a rule or jump a boundary line"

                                    I was going to suggest Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, but I knew it didn't fit the guidelines.

                                    The styles have changed so much over the years that most people think the hops have to be extreme to be an IPA, not just more pronounced.

                                    For homebrewers Liberty is listed as a commercial example of the style
                                    From the BJCP site
                                    Commercial Examples:
                                    Stone IPA, Victory Hop Devil, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin', Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Three Floyds Alpha King, Harpoon IPA, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, Avery IPA, Founder's Centennial IPA, Mendocino White Hawk Select IPA

                                    And Josh, I freely admit I'm less cocerned about categorization than most, and it is something of a curse at times. So I understand

                                    1. re: niquejim

                                      I'm more than happy to place Liberty on the border of IPA and APA; it's placement on the BJCP list is most likely a remnant of a bygone era. I remember many a 'discussion' among judges back about 15 or more years ago about why Liberty was an IPA when Sierra Nevada was an APA- it just seemed like a lot of hair splitting back then, and to me it still does. In the end it remains a quality beer.

                                      FWIW- we had Bob Brewer (Anchor rep extrodinaire) speak at our club a few times and he said that it was intended to be an IPA when it was brewed, and that they competed with it as an IPA at the GABF where it won Gold, so in his mind it was an IPA.

                                    2. re: JessKidden

                                      Internet sources quote Liberty Ale at 6% alc and 54 IBU. According to the "opinion" of the BJCP, their Beer Style Guide (2008), lists and an American IPA as having alc: 5.5 - 7 and and IBU: 40 - 70, whereas and American pale ale has alc: 4.5 - 6.2 IBU: 30 - 45 IBU, so Liberty would qualify more as an IPA. It appears to be generally referred to as an APA because that's what the Anchor Brewery wanted it referred to. Anchor does not publish the IBU, likely because it want to maintain it's marketing.

                                      1. re: xprmntl

                                        Of course, one must remember that as you correctly point out, the BJCP's definitions are merely opinions. They are not an authoritative last word on what a given beer style is or should be. The BJCP guidelines were put in place _only_ to serve as a common language for judging _amateur_ brewing competitions.
                                        The style guidelines are a relatively recent conceit and may be somewhat useful for those amateur competitions, but they have no relevance whatsoever in the real world.

                                        1. re: The Professor

                                          History is always about opinions based on factual data. "No relevance whatsoever in the real world?" I believe that's a bit silly to believe. The BJCP's guidelines are based on historical brewing and naming conventions and have input from beer historians (those who actually research such things). They are guidelines, for sure, and are subject to revision based on current trends as well as continual historical findings. If people aren't happy that guidelines are in place, so be it, but it doesn't mean that they have no relevance. And since the mid-80's the BJCP has been fairly universally recognized as body that certifies (most) professional judges (some are recognized authorities like Michael Jackson). These judges judge amateur competitions, like those held by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) as well as professional competions like the Great American Beer Festival. For the time being, this is as professional as it gets...

                                          1. re: xprmntl

                                            Of course, by using the term "real world" I meant the world of commercial brewing. So, as I said, I have no problem with the BJCP's guidelines being used for their original stated and intended purpose: the judging of amateur beermaking competitions. I (and a growing number of other beer judges, beer afficianados, beer historians, and beer experts) maintain that what is "silly" is the idea of considering the amateur guidelines to be the _last word_ regarding any given style. The BJCP guidelines are hardly that and I believe that they were not ever intended to be that.

                                            1. re: The Professor

                                              I think the BJCP, when followed, has some good uses. I was judging a competition of professional brews, and one of the judges in our group dinged a Belgian dark strong for not being hoppy enough. Of course, hoppiness is nowhere in the guidelines for that style of beer, so she had to climb down on that one.

                                              1. re: Josh

                                                Glad it works for you (and others). As one with some background judging competition beers going back 20+ years I will reiterate that it may have _some_ value as long its use as it is kept to the arena for which it was originally intended.

                                                But really, the whole BJCP "style" list is lately starting to get a little bit ridiculous ...and a growing number of "good beer" folks do agree with me.
                                                Funnily enough, the list of 'guidelines' has evidently now been revised and expanded yet again ...perhaps because someone added a few hop cones to some existing 'styles' so it was deemed necessary to coin a handful of new 'styles'. LOL. It is becoming a bigger joke, really, with each passing year.

                                                Beer enthusiast/ writer/blogger/author Lew Bryson recently said (more briefly and eloquently than I am able) precisely what I've been harping on for more than 10 years (along with other 'good beer' lovers).
                                                Lew's suggestion to the brewing world is: "...Brew good beer. With style…not _by_ style".

                                                I say AMEN to that.

                                                1. re: The Professor

                                                  Some of these issues came about because of the origins of the Brewers Assn as the AHA. The guidelines were great education, and they are great as ways to measure how well someone can brew to stylistic criteria. But, as all have been saying, they create a regimentation in the minds of some.

                                                  I remember years ago when a brewery around here made a white beer. The brewer mentioned they had added, I think it was ginger, in addition to the usual stuff in witbier. A judge type questioned that, and the brewer, tongue in cheek, said they'd misplaced the style book when they designed the beer.

                                                  It's particularly amusing when someone views Belgian styles in such a regimented way, since the country tends a bit toward anarchy in its brewing philosophy.

                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                    Absolutely true. I have been a fan of Belgian beer for over 20 years, and despite all of my experience drinking it, I find that Belgian ales are virtually impossible to categorize beyond a few generalizations.

                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                      Agreed, some beers defy categorization. Where would you place houblon chouffe?

                                                      1. re: chuckl

                                                        I would call it a modern golden ale that has been influenced by U.S. microbrews because of the high hoppiness. Haven't had it in a while, though.

                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                          I'm not sure who did it first, but B United Importers was in there with an early "Belgian IPA", for lack of a better term, w/Chouffe IIRC. B United seems to encourage their brewers (even pairs of them sometimes) to produce interesting new products for Americans.

                                                          A while back on the Burgundian Babble Belt, a Belgian got quite incensed about this, saying these beers aren't "Belgian". Of course, all productive economic activities are influenced by many factors, some external, and this is no exception.

                                                          By his logic, IPA is not British.

                                2. My two favorite IPAs are Great Divide's Hercules and Titan. I'm also very fond of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale and IPA; and of Dogfish Head's assorted IPAs. Their 90-Minute is probably the DFH brew I enjoy the most.

                                  Harpoon IPA tastes pretty good, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a pale ale.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Kenji

                                    Don't know if this distinction will interest you at all but Harpoon IPA is made in a less hop-forward, more English style of IPA (i.e. 42 IBU, 5.9% abv) and maybe that is why "as far as [you] are concerned it's a "pale ale".

                                    Thanks

                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                      I'm aware of that distinction. Most fans of Harpoon IPA I speak with tell me about the West Coast IPA/East Coast IPA distinction. Harpoon embodies the latter style, I'm told.

                                      I've actually had stints Down Under where breweries make "IPAs" with 4% ABV and *no* hop flavor! To my mind, these were misnamed milds. Others might suggest we must allow for the New Zealand IPA.

                                      1. re: Kenji

                                        I'll agree on it being an East Coast AIPA. I enjoy categorizing things but I know to some that it can become tiresome..

                                        Thanks

                                      2. re: Chinon00

                                        >Don't know if this distinction will interest you at all but Harpoon IPA is made in a less hop-forward, more English style of IPA

                                        Didn't used to be - at least back in '98 when I started drinking it. Used to very hop-forward.

                                        1. re: LStaff

                                          >Don't know if this distinction will interest you at all but Harpoon IPA is made in a less hop-forward, more English style of IPA <

                                          The English have seemingly forgotten what IPA is, or perhaps don't brew to strength due to the high taxation rate in the UK...I've yet to taste one from England that has anywhere near the hop level or strength that the traditional definition of the style would indicate. The best ones seem to be made in the US, The best one ever was made by a large brewing company and hasn't been available for at least 20 years.

                                    2. Amazing IPA's....in no particular order.....hope I listed a few that haven't been mentioned....

                                      1) Three Floyds Dreadnaught (bready yeasty peach mango grapefruit)
                                      2) Flossmoor Station Brewer's Whim Series IPA's (uniquely creamy in aroma/flavor--lactose sugar?)
                                      3) Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow (definitely lactose sugar--creamy & citrusy)
                                      3) Bells Hopslam (similar to dreadnaught.....awesome balance of huge malt and hops--citrus and tropical fruit)
                                      4) Bells Two Hearted Ale (perhaps a more acquired taste--soapy lemon pledge flowery extremely refreshing)
                                      5) Three Floyds Alpha King (king of pale ales--more like an IPA w/ the 66 IBU's, maltier now than it used to be? prefer the grassier/citrus-dominated version of old)
                                      6) Stone IPA (classic)
                                      7) Alesmith IPA (very dry grapefruit and belgiany tasting yeast presence--amazing rocky bone-white head)
                                      8) O'Dells IPA (remember this one being incredible--similar to Alesmith IPA--on the drier side)
                                      9) Goose Island XXX IPA (italian dessert wine--white grape, pear, orange?)
                                      10) New Holland Existential Ale (barley wine-ish)
                                      11) Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree (huge, but smooth and balanced 'triple ipa' = barley wine essentially...13% abv)
                                      12) Avery Maharaja IPA (along the lines of Goose XXX IPA)
                                      13) Founders Devil Dancer Triple IPA (perhaps the hoppiest beer on the market--but also contains a huge malt structure--caramelly, bourbony, bitter, super complex, needs age)
                                      14) Three Floyds Broodoo (best fresh hop harvest ale on the market)
                                      15) Three Floyds Blackheart (oak chips somehow give it a floral/fruity/herbal pinot noir wineyness....amazing)

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: njmarkovich

                                        Your list has giant "Pliny the Elder"- and "Blind Pig"-shaped holes in it.

                                        1. re: Josh

                                          The list appears to be very East Coast centric. The West Coast representatives (Alesmith & Stone) are good but some of the weaker ones in my opinion. There are quite a few off the top of my head I'd put above them: RR Pliny, RR Blind Pig, Green Flash West Coast, any of the Alpine beers, Ballast Point Sculpin, Ballast Point Dorado, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Port Wipeout, Port Hop Suey, etc.. Some of those were IIPAs but so were quite a few on his list.

                                          1. re: DougOLis

                                            "The list appears to be very East Coast centric."

                                            Huh? "njmarkovich's" list? There's not one East Coast brewery's IPA on that list.

                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                              sorry, Midwest. anything East of Colorado is East Coast to us West Coasters. ;)

                                            2. re: DougOLis

                                              And one of my favorites: Racer 5 from Bear Republic.

                                          2. re: njmarkovich

                                            I'd add ballast point sculpin IPA

                                            1. re: njmarkovich

                                              Came to this thread, and hit Cntrl-F typed in "O'dell" and was overjoyed to see it mentioned. O'Dell's is just fantastic.

                                            2. I saw someone said the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. It is a great beer. As is the 120 Minute if you are looking for something a little more boozy.

                                              I love the Stone Brewing Ruinition IPA.

                                              1. Victory's Hopdevil IPA

                                                1. Sweetwater IPA! from Georgia(not former USSR)

                                                  1. Valley Brewery in Stockton, CA, makes an outstanding IPA, one of the best I've had, including Pliny, Stone, Firehouse Walker, Drakes, Dogfishhead, SN Torpedo, etc.. Speakeasy Big Daddy is also a very nice brew, and its bigger sibling, Double Daddy

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chuckl

                                                      You hopheads will go nuts for Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA. Check it out.

                                                    2. Can't believe nothing from Lagunitas was mentioned. Their Classic IPA is incredible - great citrus/hop balance with just the right bitterness. Also, just had their hop-stoopid ale last night, was a very good special brew too, maybe just a tad malty for me. Also agree with the Bell's Hop Slam and Racer 5 fans. One last mention and still th emost affordable case of IPA's for under $30 is the Clipper City Loose Cannon, very similar to the Racer5.....

                                                      1. I just had my first Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, on tap in Vegas. Knocked me out. Very clean, crisp, a bit citrusy, but not fruity. Refreshing but with a lot of body.

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                          You should track down some of the 90 minute IPA. It's even better.

                                                          1. re: jpc8015

                                                            What makes you say that "[i]t's even better"?

                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                              Chinon00,
                                                              You do this a lot. Ask posters to qualify there comments. You've done it to me a couple times.
                                                              It makes me think, and describe. It's what this site is all about.
                                                              Thanks.

                                                              1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                                For someone like me who loves bitter beer it is the ultimate in brew. The 90 minute IPA is just a bit more hoppy and bitter than the 60 minute IPA but it maintains a crispness and refreshing flavor. Dogfish Head makes a 120 minute IPA as well but it is quite different than the other two. The 120 minute is done more in the style of the Utopias, I think it has like 22% alcohol. It is a great drink but not something I would want to quench my thirst on a summer day.

                                                                For me, the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and the Staone Brewing Ruinition are the two best IPAs available.

                                                                1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                                  Agreed, kudos to Chinon00.

                                                                  That's why I don't like the 'worst beer' thread. Everyone just says Beer X is vile! Or something similar. And almost no one says why. It's like going back to conversations in my college dorm room.

                                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                    One of the characters on the show Weeds has been drinking Stone IPA. Odd to see since you usually don't get brand recognition of TV shows.
                                                                    I've been enjoying the 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA. Probably only available on the West Coast but it's a good one and the cans are convenient.

                                                                    1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                      We get 21st Amendment in VA

                                                          2. Ithaca Beer Flower Power (best ever)
                                                            Ithaca Beer Cazcazilla
                                                            Lagunitas Maximus (yummmmmmmm)

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: jlp8

                                                              Ithaca Beer recently raised the price on Flower Power, which is a shame, because if I'm paying $10.99 a six pack, I'm going with Stone IPA or DFH 60 Minute. Those two and Minneapolis's Surly Furious are my favorite IPAs, though I stick with Southern Tier IPA when I want something a little more affordable.

                                                              Since I'm local I can head out to the brewery or to a few local shops and pick up the unfiltered version of Flower Power by the growler, and that might be the best IPA I've had. I'm not sure what it loses in the filtration process, but whatever it is is the difference between a pretty good IPA and a phenomenal one.

                                                              As far as double IPAs go, Southern Tier Unearthly and Stone Ruination are my favorites.

                                                              1. re: writergeek313

                                                                Yes, the unfiltered Flower Power is wonderful. Gateway had it for quite a while but I am not sure if what is on tap there now is filtered or not. Had some last night down there......yum, can taste it now. :-)

                                                                1. re: jlp8

                                                                  That's funny--I don't live too far from Gateway, and that's actually where I first had it, sometime over the summer. They still had it on tap at the brewery the weekend before last. I'm probably going to go out there Thursday or this weekend to see if they still do.

                                                            2. East Coast Bias is getting applied to beer, already is there for football.

                                                              Rogue Track Town IPA - wonderful brew, a standard at Rogue outlets

                                                              Bombay Bomber - Cult IPA created by Steelhead Brewery, been enjoying it for years.

                                                              Come West for good wine and great beer!

                                                              PS - And football

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: duck833

                                                                there is a east coast bias on everything. i say we kept all the greatness we have to our selves haha

                                                              2. If you have access to Sierra Nevada's beers, by all means try their Torpedo IPA. Their Celebration Ale is also a fine IPA, but will be harder to find this time of year.

                                                                I live in MA., where Harpoon IPA is extremely popular. It tastes like a pale ale to me. The version of it they had out in the 90s tasted a lot hoppier.

                                                                Great Divide, of CO., make some fine IPAs: Titan and Hercules.

                                                                1. Now... me thinks the best & HOPIEST by far is "Victory Hop Devil" & 2nd place I would say w/o a doubt is "Yards IIPA"???"

                                                                  1. Bt fr'ggn way.....Victory Hop Devil will freeze dry u'r tongue & that's a fact...

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: premiumwatchsellers

                                                                      If you drink Hop Devil for its tongue freeze drying qualities... then you may have an interest in Hop Wallop, also from Victory, which is far hoppier. Of course its a double IPA technically so its designed to be brutal on your tongue and pleasing if you are a glutton for punishment.

                                                                      1. re: premiumwatchsellers

                                                                        I like Hop Devil but have always found it smooth, sweet, malty, and balanced, in spite of its name.

                                                                        1. re: Kenji

                                                                          I agree...I always found Hop Devil to be plenty hopped, but in the end more about great balance than most of the overdone hop bombs that seem to be the fad these days.
                                                                          It's a_really_ well made beer.

                                                                      2. Squatter's in Salt Lake City makes a double IPA called Hop Rising that is insanely good.

                                                                        1. I would even go with the 90 minute Dogfish. Also Smutty can never do you wrong. Of course Lagunitas is always a winner as well.

                                                                          1. My latest favorite is Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Readily available and easy to drink.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Sam at Novas

                                                                              Lagunitas IPA is my fav...
                                                                              Deschutes Inversion is pretty well balanced.

                                                                              Never got too excited about the Dogfish Head.

                                                                            2. Stone Ruination FTW.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Elispappy

                                                                                +1

                                                                              2. Russian river blind pig is always good.

                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                1. re: chuckl

                                                                                  I'm so sick of over-hoppy Northwest and California beers I could spit. Bitter is bitter, and then there's that oh-so-overused grapefruit overtone of the Cascade dry hop. Please! Beaten into the ground, already. I'm convinced this American hoppier-than-thou beer trend started because when micro-brews here were in their infancy, all there was for flavor was hops, due to the domination of bland malt (i.e. american pale pale malt from the likes of Bud and Coors breweries) available on the market. Now there are malts galore. Explore the malt--the flavor is much more subtle and enjoyable. And for heavier beers, do what the Belgians have done for millenia, enjoy the added alcohol delivered by simple candy sugar (no flatulance) and some interesting biota (i.e. belgian yeasts and bacteria)!

                                                                                  1. re: xprmntl

                                                                                    I think you are making a false assumption that people who enjoy hoppy beers dont also enjoy other styles. I like anything from a belgian pale, saison or sour to a german pils or an english bitter. The great thing about craft beer is that you can find just the right beer for every occassion and every mood, either by itself or with food. If you dont like hoppy beer, well bully for you. But dismissing the american pale ale style because you dont like it is childish.

                                                                                    1. re: chuckl

                                                                                      I'm not making a personal attack on anyone, chukls. I'm making a comment on the industry and beer trends in general. I guess it could be a factual generalization that those who like overhopped beers tend to have a pretty narrow pallet, and/or they have limited beer experience, but that's not what I said. I'm just tired of picking up a new, interesting looking ale from a reputable brewer and having to pour it down the drain because it is a ridiculously unbalanced hopfest. The point I'd like to make better this time, is that in a good beer (and good food in general), ingredients (e.g. hops) should be added in quantities to balance (e.g. the sweetness of the malt) one another, to make a harmony, not to detract and dominate. I liken it to paying $50 for a plate of sushi and destroying the subtlety of flavor of the raw fish and warmly vinagered, sweet rice with marble-sized gobs of wasabi. A look to classic Chinese cuisine gives a good insight into the power of balancing flavors (salty-sweet-sour-hot).

                                                                                      What I'm trying to get people to question is: Why are there so many overhopped beers on the market (>50 IBU's) when there are so many other ingredients that might make for a more innovative and tasty ale (or lager)? I'd like brewers to quit trying to one-up one anothers' hop-concoctions, and branch out and experiment. . Ever tried a good rye ale? Hard to find, aren't they? Should they be? They can be amazing (sorry to rain on your campaign, Mr. Adams--see below). Adding a bunch of hops to a rye ale would kill the subtle and refreshing spiciness. And why is it that no one does any other bittering additions other than hops? Some English municipalities actually banned the hop "weed" in beers before the 17th centry. It has been argued that modern hopped ales are an out-shoot of German "beer purity" laws influenced primarily by the Protestants wish to have a calmative herb (hops) as the only addition to beer. This nonsense is perpetuated by the likes of Samuel Adams in promoting its somehow superior methods (mostly to make Bud, Coors and Miller to somehow look bad for adding rice or corn). I've made a great corn beer. It's just that the big three use these to reduce cost rather than to enhance flavor. Additionally, why are there so few beers out there bittered with herbs, (referred to as gruits) like bog myrtle (sweet gale), wormwood (artemesia absinthe), yarrow (nicely floral), mugwort, horehound, heather, etc.? Many of these have antibacterial qualities, as well, so that flogged story of hops being the wonder anticept for ale (btw, ale is actually the traditional English term for unhopped, fermented malt) is bunk.

                                                                                      Some things to ponder...

                                                                                      1. re: xprmntl

                                                                                        I agree that the super hoppy trend can get carried away among American brewers and youre not the only one who has grown bored with the concept of hops = awesome and therefore more hops = more awesome. And personally Im on the session ale bandwagon, hoppy or not. But I do NOT think that simply because a beer is hoppy somehow makes it inferior or wrong either. "Unbalanced" can be an occasional dining option not a cardinal sin. Some folks drink beer for the hop taste not necessarily for the malt taste. Sometimes I want chicken soup, sometimes I want prime rib. And sometimes I want nuclear wings. They sure aint balanced but theres nothing wrong with that. Growing a little tired of the beer geeks new extreme/session war Ive seen building here the past few years. Theres room for everyone at the table!

                                                                                        And while we are speaking of not often seen styles, Id like to see Berliner Weisses become a lot more common. Im a big fan of the style and you occasionally see one pop up but never with any constancy. I think Dogfish Head had one up until recently. Maybe its seasonal and I havent noticed it lately. But Id like to see that style flourish quite frankly. Its a the best combination of sour and session which often hits the spot for me. I avoid the flavorings but others may like that addition. I just like the bite of the sour wheat.

                                                                                        1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                          I'm largely in agreement, Rex. I've been experimenting with a sour heferoggen (hefeweissen yeast and rye in place of wheat). Working out nicely.

                                                                                          1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                            I believe youre referring to festina peche, which i thoroughly enjoyed. Unlike the classic, berlinerweiss, which germans splash with some woodruff or other flavoring, festina peche had a splash of fruit, though it finished nicely dry. I happen to think the lighter styles like pils and helles are some of the hardest beers to make. They are literally nearly transparent and theres almost no place for mistakes to hide. On the other hand a strong ale can hide myriad sins. I dont get too worked up over the present infatuation with strong hoppy beers in america. It signifies significant blowback from insipid beer and an audience largely new to craft beer. Weve been brewing and drinking beer seriously for about 30 years. The europeans have been at it for centuries. I'll tolerate a little youthful exuberance among american brewers and beer drinkers, even if they err on the side of extremity once in a while. In my opinion american craft brewing in general is having a profound impact on the beer world. We're not only reinventing styles but we're also reviving styles like porter and geuze that were largely in decline.

                                                                                      2. re: xprmntl

                                                                                        I dispute that hops were "all there was for flavor" when the American microbrewery movement started. Sierra Nevada's pale ale, porter, and stout all sported a beautiful hop-malt balance. Anchor's lineup -- especially the porter and Old Foghorn -- had plenty of good malt flavors. Grant's Imperial Stout, Scottish Ale, and Celtic Ale, while hoppy, had fine malt backbones. I could go on but hopefully you get the idea.

                                                                                        No, the "hop bombs" are a relatively recent development.

                                                                                        1. re: Kenji

                                                                                          I'm not arguing that "hop bombs" aren't a recent development, rather the more intense hop profile of western US microbrews has likely contributed to this trend. My hypothesis regarding where this hop dominated flavor profile got it's foothold may or may not be correct, but it certainly did have something to do with a backlash to what was available in the market, namely low-hopped, bland beers, when western US microbreweries took off. Microbreweries originated from brew hobbyists of the late 1970's. At this time there wasn't much for malt diversification in the US market, leading me to think that extra hops additions may have made up for some of this malt deficiency and then carried over in their tastes when more malts became available...

                                                                                          Seems like the hop-head Bert Grant may have been the one who poisoned the fountain. From the Seattle Post: "...Bert Grant, (who) carried a vial of hop oil in his pocket to enliven the taste of a bland domestic"
                                                                                          Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/default/arti...

                                                                                          Both the smell and taste of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is dominated by hops. In comparison, the majority of English pale ale pub beers, or even a bitters, do not possess this profile , especially a true English draught. Friends of mine from England switch up their ale dominated diet to lagers when visiting me in the Northwest because they can't palate the hops-dominated ales.

                                                                                          1. re: xprmntl

                                                                                            Different strokes.

                                                                                            1. re: xprmntl

                                                                                              @xprmntl
                                                                                              " Microbreweries originated from brew hobbyists of the late 1970's. At this time there wasn't much for malt diversification in the US market"
                                                                                              ----
                                                                                              I would disagree with that.
                                                                                              The bock beers, IPA, and other specialty beers that were my preference in the late 60's/early 70's were clearly made using a variety of roasted, caramel, and other malts. And further...I've been homebrewing since 1971 and when I finally started dipping my toes into brewing from whole grain in the late 70's, there was certainly no problem finding variety malts. They were out there because commercial brewers _were_ using them.

                                                                                              As to the whole "hop bomb" thing, I reiterate that enjoy hop bombs as much as I enjoy more malt forward beers. Maybe the emergence of so many well hopped (and often over hopped) beers possibly _was_ a bit of a backlash against most mainstream beer. Of course, it should also be remembered that very hoppy beers are easier to produce...after all, one can hide a multitude of sins behind that really hefty hop bitterness. The best hoppy beers though (whether in late hop character or in your face bitterness) are the ones that manage to achieve at least some balance. THAT is what requires _real_ skill .

                                                                                              But Josh is absolutely right..."different strokes".
                                                                                              So the real solution is pretty simple: if you don't like the hop bombs, don't buy them. There are plenty of options out there, more choice than there probably has ever been. Finding the _really_ good ones may be a crapshoot these days, but nonetheless there IS a lot of great beer out there. And I don't doubt that as taste preferences shift thanks to a new generation of beer drinkers that actually _expect_ flavor, there will be a lot more showing up on the shelves.

                                                                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                <<Of course, it should also be remembered that very hoppy beers are easier to produce...after all, one can hide a multitude of sins behind that really hefty hop bitterness>>

                                                                                                In general I think you and I are pretty much on the same page as far as beer appreciation goes, but I think this statement is just plain wrong. I've had my fair share of hoppy beers in the past 3 decades or so, and I can pick out flaws pretty easily at this point. I can't think of a single flaw (diacetyl, dms, acetaldehyde, oxidation, fusels, phenols, etc...) that can even remotely be hidden by the hops. The whole point of these beers is to let that hop quality shine on through, so a fairly neutral yeast is usually the most appropriate. Some of these 'flawed' qualities may even be seen as adding character to more traditional styles, but they really do stick out like a sore thumb in the American IPA (and similar beers). The vast majority of these beers that I have come across do not have flaws hidden by the hops: if anything, the poor representations are usually due to balance issues. I've had some butter bombs in my time, or cardboardy messes, or whatever, but the hops usually tend to make matters worse in those cases, not better.

                                                                                          2. re: xprmntl

                                                                                            "I'm so sick of over-hoppy Northwest and California beers I could spit. Bitter is bitter, and then there's that oh-so-overused grapefruit overtone of the Cascade dry hop."

                                                                                            Is someone forcing you to drink them?
                                                                                            I love the oh-so-overused grapefruity Cascades. SNPA is the beer that brought on my Eureka moment and led me to explore the wider beer world and I always have some on hand because I hydrate one of my sourdough starters with it.
                                                                                            I think just about every style of beer can be done well, including very hoppy beers (although I wouldn't put SNPA in the very hoppy category).

                                                                                          3. re: chuckl

                                                                                            But if I have to, it's Stone Ruination and Pike.

                                                                                            1. re: xprmntl

                                                                                              Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Troeg's Hopinator.

                                                                                              1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                > "Troeg's Hopinator"

                                                                                                What's that? A "Scratch" series beer? Never heard of it and the Tröegs website lists no beer by that name. http://www.troegs.com/default.aspx

                                                                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                  Hehehehehe

                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                    I don't get it - what am I missing?

                                                                                                    I thought Tröegs might have a new IPA I never heard of (and since my stock of fresh Nugget Nectar is running low...).

                                                                                          4. Double Wide from Boulevard is my absolute favorite. Lagunitas Maximus is not too far behind, along with Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum.

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                              I used to be a "hop head" but my tastes have changed. Every now and then I love a good IPA. My favorite place to grab a burger, Krug's Tavern in Newark, N.J. has Red Hook IPA on tap. But my favorites are Anchor Liberty Ale and Climax IPA.

                                                                                              Jess Kidden:

                                                                                              Years ago I used to homebrew. The novelty wore off but I remember corresponding with a guy named Paul Gatza who had something to do with the organization that set guidelines for styles. I think it was the American Homebrewers Association. Anyway he had mentioned that Sam Adams Boston Lager is considered a pilsener under their guidelines. I find this odd as I would consider it a Vienna style lager or amber lager, or something else, but certainly not a pilsener. What style or classification would you put this beer in?

                                                                                              1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                Jess Kidden, or anyone who knows:

                                                                                                I bought a 14.9 ounce can of Guiness Draught. I know they make a few versions including Foreign Stout which is brewed in Canada. I noticed the can I bought said it was brewed in Ireland. Obviously 2 different brews. My question is this: the can says Guiness Draught. But below where it says "brewed in Ireland" it says, pasteurized stout. Which is it? I always thought draught meant unpasteurized.

                                                                                                1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                  Guinness Extra Stout in the US market is brewed in Canada (can be Labatt or Moosehead)- we get Foreign Extra Stout brewed in Ireland.

                                                                                                  The TTB rule for beer labeled "Draft" or "Draught" is:

                                                                                                  "Pasteurized beer may be described as “DRAFT” (or “DRAUGHT”) only if the beer is packaged in containers of one gallon or larger the contents of which are to be drawn off through a tap, spigot, faucet or similar device.

                                                                                                  Other than this exception, pasteurized beer may not be described as “DRAFT” (or
                                                                                                  “DRAUGHT”). However, pasteurized beer may be described as “DRAFT BREWED,” “DRAFT BEER FLAVOR,” etc., PROVIDED the fact that the beer is pasteurized is also noted on the label." http://www.ttb.gov/beer/bam/chapter4.pdf

                                                                                                  So, even tho' it seems to skirt the rule, I guess stating "PASTEURIZED STOUT" on the label satisfies the Feds.

                                                                                                  Note that the first paragraph allows for kegs from overseas, as well some US brewers now, that are flash-pasteurized.

                                                                                                2. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                  Boston Beer Co. calls it a "Vienna style" lager, classified under "Amber lagers".

                                                                                                  http://www.samueladams.com/enjoy-our-...

                                                                                                  (You'll have to go through their double age check first, also note the obvious misprints under "Pilsners").

                                                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                              2. Favorites this year, so far:
                                                                                                Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA, RR Pliny the Younger, Brew Dog Hardcore IPA, Napa-Smith Organic IPA

                                                                                                1. The following is part reply, but ends with a request for some assistance.

                                                                                                  First, a disclaimer: I do not have any sense of smell. Really. Can't detect a rose, a fart, bleach, or gasoline. Ammonia, if I get close enough to the source, burns my nose, but I don't think that's about odor. So, I miss the whole bouquet thing with beer. "What's left," some ask. Most sources claim I should be limited to detecting salt, sour, sweet and bitter. Well then, where does capsacin fit, because I sure can taste chili peppers. Also, sour is more complicated than acidity, in my mind. And, there is "mouth-feel," which, in beer, is mostly about specific gravity. If there weren't so many of us (2 million according to American Rhinologic Association), I'd just keep my thoughts on taste and food preferences to myself.

                                                                                                  On to the reply part. Given a choice, I usually prefer an IPA, and the replies to the original post by Podence contain many beers I like. I will also throw in a plug for red Hook's Long Hammer.

                                                                                                  But I also love other beer styles: I especially like Saison Dupont, but it is both expensive and comparitively hard to find. I really love Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Sam Adams Boston Lager, Stock Ale and Light are all highly drinkable. Blashemy alert! I don't like Guiness much; it tastes watery to me. Anyone else get that?

                                                                                                  But, I drink mostly NA beer because I work long days with a long drive home and two Becks NAs help make up for a day working outside guzzling water to compensate for south Florida heat. St. Pauli and Clausthaler do as well. They don't taste quite the same, and that's just fine, because they taste good. I wish I could find a local, or even an American, brew that did as well, to maybe save a few cents while minimizing emissions of CO2 getting beer from Germany to Florida. in short, NAs leave me satisfied, if not ecstatic. More important, I can drink NA beer while driving or while working (at home), without worrying about impaired judgement or reaction time.

                                                                                                  I suppose the three most easily available German NAs I mention are supposed to be in the style of German lagers. They are certainly heavier than American lagers, which I usually find weak and sometimes too sweet.

                                                                                                  So, my request: Can anyone recommend a low- or non-alcohlic IPA? Is such a thing possible?

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Duke

                                                                                                    Well good luck finding it but Nanny State would fit the bill exactly. More hops then any double IPA (they state a "theoretical" IBU of 225) and 1.1% alcohol. But it was a bit of a stunt by the folks at BrewDog so I dont think its readily available and from what I understand the complete lack of malt in this beer leaves you with hoppy water essentially and most of the folks who I have spoken to who have tasted it have been left feeling unsatisfied. So it may work in lagers but a highly hopped low alcohol IPA may be a bit like a Porsche with four spare tires. It sounds great but you cant really enjoy the ride...

                                                                                                    1. re: Duke

                                                                                                      This is probably going to be your best bet:
                                                                                                      http://www.byo.com/stories/article/in...

                                                                                                    2. Bengali Tiger IPA - Six Point Brewing
                                                                                                      Heady Topper - The Alchemist
                                                                                                      Blind Faith - Magic Hat

                                                                                                      1. Sadly, I haven't tried every IPA or DIPA in the usa, but of the ones i've tried the best would be Dogfish 90 and RR Pliny the Elder

                                                                                                        1. My vote is for Ninkasi Brewing Co. Total Domination IPA and their Tricerihops Imperial IPA.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: tacowalker

                                                                                                            Just had some of this action on a trip to Portland. It was PHENOMENAL.

                                                                                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                              small brewery in southwest Delaware called Evolution Craft Brewing Company - its at that stage Dogfish Head was at maybe 20 years ago. They have a great IPA called "Lot # 3" that has become my go-to bottle. They also offer growers (only) of "Lot # 6" which is a DIPA.

                                                                                                          2. In the past few years, I have become obsessed with IPAs, and have gradually moved toward more and more bitter styles. I'm still not clear on how to differentiate between doubles, triples, imperials, etc. but have learned a little from this discussion. I favor doubles or imperials (I think). I will try to differentiate here. This is a nice diverse list from around the country to get started with - if anyone has suggestions for me based on my list, I would love to hear it! (I'm still looking for Bear Republic, and will look for Russian River now)

                                                                                                            IPA:
                                                                                                            *Victory Hop Devil
                                                                                                            *Chinookie IPA
                                                                                                            *Lagunitas - one of the more refreshing I've ever had
                                                                                                            *Philadelphia Brewing Co. New Bold IPA (may need to be in the other list)
                                                                                                            *Terrapin Hopsecutioner (their Rye Pale Ale is also tasty)
                                                                                                            *Bell's Two Hearted

                                                                                                            Double or Imperial:
                                                                                                            *Surley's Furious is awesome, but if you can find their seasonal Abrasive, it is out of this world
                                                                                                            *Stone's Arrogant Bastard is one of my favorites, but I just tried Ruination and was blown away
                                                                                                            *Green Flash is one of the very best I've ever had

                                                                                                            The three above are the three best beers I've ever had - Furious and Arrogant Bastard were recently replaced by Abrasive and Ruination as favorites (thanks to my wonderful brother-in-law). All three have fantastically complex flavor that I couldn't possibly do justice without sitting down with a pen and paper, judiciously taking notes while sipping an entire pint...which I haven't done, but it's an excuse to go pick them up!

                                                                                                            Stone and Rogue always good - I've never had an IPA from either that I didn't love.

                                                                                                            Although I agree that I've found most of my favorites are West Coast IPAs or Midwest, it is extremely bad advice to totally disregard the east coast. Particularly since the poster loves Dogfish Head.

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: sswpgh

                                                                                                              There are plenty of excellent suggestions in this thread, but if you loved Ruination you should look for Pliny the Elder. Here's another thread to check out:
                                                                                                              http://www.beerpal.com/forums/post.as...

                                                                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                joon - have you ever seen Pliny in NJ? If so, please let me know where?

                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                  The only East Coast state that gets Russian River is PA and from what I've seen/read, that's limited to draught only.

                                                                                                                  http://www.russianriverbrewing.com/pa...

                                                                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                    I recently ordered 6 bottles of Pliny from a California Store and had it shipped East. Arrived fast and fresh. if interested contact Gary at Blackwell's 415-386-9463.

                                                                                                                  2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                    Not in NJ, but there're places in PA. I had some at a random bar in a PA suburb some time last year, I'll try to get back with more details.

                                                                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                      The place was Blue Dog, in Landsdale.

                                                                                                                2. re: sswpgh

                                                                                                                  Surly Furious is not a double. Abrasive is. Agree with your comments on both.
                                                                                                                  Green Flash is a brewery, I assume you mean the West Coast IPA, also not a double.
                                                                                                                  If you haven't checked out Beeradvocate.com, I suggest you do. Seems like something you would enjoy.