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Good HOPPY Cheap Beer

Browsing the Best Cheap Beer thread (which was a great read), I was a little frustrated by how I just didn't like a lot of those beers, regardless of how dollar-efficient they are. "Good" is way too subjective.

Perhaps there should be a category of sticky "recession" threads for great buys on specific styles of beer.

In any case--I am a lover of hop-centric brews, and given that a) I am far from alone in that preference and b) hoppy beers tend to be pricier than their compadres, I was hoping to engage in a lively discussion on budget-friendly beers with an IPA ethos.

Let me begin by saying that I, too, miss SN Celebration Ale. I find that the Pale Ale does a pretty great job for the money. Any other suggestions for cost-efficient hop experiences?

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  1. The thing is, hops aren't cheap. Demand spiked a couple years ago just as supply shrunk, and to no surprise prices skyrocketed. But for just a bit more than the Sierra Nevada beers, which are quite good, Stone IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5, Lagunitas IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA or Hop Head Red, and Ballast Point Big Eye are all pretty tasty. They all usually retail around 9 - 10 dollars for a six pack, at least in southern California. Wish I knew a good hoppy beer that cost less, but that's the best I can do.

    1 Reply
    1. re: juantanamera

      great list, I'll add Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Troegs Nugget Nectar. both are great, hoppy, and only $30-35 a case here in PA

    2. Without knowing where you are from, my best advice is to support your local micro brewer. I too am from PA. I can stop by a local brewer for a growler fill of a good IPA for $7-$10 or pick-up a case of something like Victory Hopdevil for around $30

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chefmonty

        Mmmm, Torpedo is really good.

        That said, I agree to go local if you can. Unfortunately, we can't get growlers here in GA.

        IIRC, Torpedo runs within a buck or so of Sweetwater IPA here. So, I'll get whatever the mood strikes me to.

        Dale's Pale Ale is in the same ballpark, price wise. Admittedly, some don't like the level of diacetyl (buttery flavor) in it.

      2. Southern Tier IPA is reasonable at $8 for 6. Availability is mainly NY/PA/OH I think.

        4 Replies
        1. re: maple99

          You can often find 60 Minute for around $8/sixer (if you want to call that cheap). And I can get Clipper City Loose Cannon, a fabulous IPA, for less than $8 here. But that goes back to the local thing. No idea how much it costs in other parts of the country. You might also look into Long Hammer which is a completely reasonable IPA.

          1. re: Insidious Rex

            Where do you get Loose Cannon that cheap? I pay $9 and feel lucky to get it for that price.

            1. re: JonParker

              Ive seen it at Total Wine & More in Virginia for $7.99 although I havent been there in a few months. Ive purchased it more recently at Ricks Gourmet nearby for maybe a dollar more. Its certainly a bargain at those prices.

            2. re: Insidious Rex

              I'm a hophead and I approve of Long Hammer- a Red Hook brew and usually under $14 for a 12-pack at the supermarket here in Maine. Harpoon IPA is also not bad for affordable hops; if you're in NH definitely look for Long Trail IPA: major hops and available in 1 12-pack at the grocery. Mmmm!

          2. I have been satisfied with Brooklyns' East India Pale Ale. Price is right, $7.99 here in NC. There are certainly better IPAs,I love Sweetwater, but none that cost as little and taste as good.

            1. I think Stone Pale/IPA and SNPA are probably 2 of the most economical hoppy beer choices around. Not necessarily my favorite beers but they are damned good and a solid choice for a daily beer.

              It probably doesn't help you much unless you live in San Diego, but for my money Alpine puts out the best hoppy beers and they're usually the cheapest for growler fills as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DougOLis

                Got a growler of Alpine Nelson IPA a few days ago and it may be my all time favorite IPA. Eleven dollars for a growler fill, not really cheap but well worth the money for that delicious brew.