We can’t get enough of IPAs, not just because of our evolving palate for hops, but also because the style is so versatile. Piney, citrusy, earthy, floral, fruity, peppery—you name it, there’s an IPA flavor out there for just about anyone.Here, professional brewers from across the country weigh in on their favorite IPAs, and why you’ll love them, too.
Brewmaster at Stone Brewing Co. (San Diego, California)
My favorite IPA? Probably I would have to go with Blind Pig IPA from Russian River Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa, California). I first tried Blind Pig in 1996 at Pizza Port Solana Beach and was blown away by its hops intensity. I still love the beer today and get one any time I see it on tap.
Head Brewer at Alameda Brewing Co. (Portland, Oregon)
My favorite go-to IPA is also probably my first, Hop Devil from Victory Brewing Company (Downingtown, Pennsylvania). I like this IPA because of its balance and nuanced complexity. It is amber red hued with a great malt character that complements the typical grapefruit and pine hops aroma and flavor. Hop Devil manages to be a complex beer without being confusing. At 6.7 percent ABV, it’s an ale that I can consume in quantity, unlike some of our Imperial IPAs on the West Coast.
Brewer at Epic Brewing Company; Denver, Colorado
Can I choose a double IPA? My favorite is The Alchemist Brewery’s Heady Topper out of Waterbury, Vermont. I’ve visited the brewery and it’s worth the hype. Heady is dizzyingly hoppy and has strong grapefruit and citrus flavors, which I adore.
Brewmaster at Social Kitchen and Brewery; San Francisco, California
831 IPA from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (Capitola, California) is what I like to drink when I drink an IPA. It’s a classic example focused on balance and a clarity of dank, resinous hops flavor that may include a hint of that green onion spice but also loads of grapefruit, pine, and pepper. It has a bit of a caramel undertone but finishes dry and crisp. To me, this all adds up to a solid classic West Coast-take on an ever-evolving style.
Owner and Brewer at Ass Clown Brewing Company; Cornelius, North Carolina
My favorite IPA lately has been Resin by Sixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn, New York). It’s a double IPA. The taste is sharp, crisp, and imperial with a strong citrus finish. The can does a great job of retaining the hop aroma.