Five on Five: IPA | Craft Beer & Brewing

Five on Five: IPA

Craft beer's best-selling category offers a deluge of choices. What's worthy of your glass? We asked the brewers of GABF gold-medal–winning beers to share their top picks.

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Half Acre Bodem

Aaron Dahl, Head Brewer at Alarmist Brewing in Chicago, Illinois
“I have admired and been inspired by Half Acre’s IPAs for years. I love everything about their new go-to IPA, Bodem. It’s their riff on what the IPA is, was, and will be. Tropical, juicy, fruit hops saturation rides a clean grist presence into a bright and beautiful beer—a true nod to the IPA currents of today, while maintaining the hops foundations that Half Acre has worked hard to establish in Chicago.”

Pizza Port Ponto

Doug Constantiner, Founder & CEO, Societe Brewing Company in San Diego, California
“Generally, I’m a fan of anything from the wide variety of styles from Pizza Port (Solana Beach, California), but I think they really excel when it comes to IPAs. And of their IPAs, I’m particularly fond of Ponto, their SIPA (sessionable India pale ale).  Since it’s almost constantly summer in San Diego, it’s nice to have the IPA flavors we love so much but in a super- sessionable package. It has all of the hoppy, piney, and citrusy flavors with a low ABV.  It’s the definition of ‘crushable.’”

Fat Head’s Head Hunter

Steve Bischoff, Head Brewer at Root Down Brewing Company in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
“There are many fantastic IPAs out there, and it can sometimes be hard to choose which one will fill your glass next. One of my favorites is Head Hunter from Fat Head’s Brewery (Middleburg Heights, Ohio). Loaded with flavors of citrus and pine, not too strong but not thin either. It’s always reliable and delicious. A great decision in a sea of options.”

Pinthouse Pizza Electric Jellyfish

Brad Kominek, Head Brewer at Noble Ale Works in Anaheim, California
“What Joe and the team over at Pinthouse Pizza (Austin, Texas) are doing is a downright blessing for IPA lovers. They layer those hop flavors throughout the entire brew process with these amazing hops they’ve chosen, and it just makes for some of the most beautiful and complex hoppy beers I’ve ever had. In Electric Jellyfish, it seems as if there is an overall complexity from layering hops that makes their beer an excellent experience. The body is medium and pleasant with just enough bitterness to clean up but not linger. These guys are super-fire!”

La Cumbre Elevated IPA

Chris Keeton, Duke of Alchemy at Alaro Craft Brewery in Sacramento, California
“Elevated IPA from La Cumbre in my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the perfect IPA, in my opinion. A perfect balance of C-hops and new-age hops in the dry-hop give it a beautiful pine and citrus that you can smell before you even pick up the glass. The malt backbone gives this beer the mouthfeel and body to handle the 100 IBUs and keep the hops balanced and oh-so-enjoyable.”

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