Five on Five: IPA Picks from the Pros

West Coast? Hazy? Fruity? Dank? From our Spring 2023 issue, these five brewers’ tastes in India pale ale maps the breadth of the style itself.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Aug 6, 2023 - 4 min read

Five on Five: IPA Picks from the Pros Primary Image

Photos from left: Mountain Trout Photography; Courtesy Thin Man; Courtesy Grand Armory; Jamie Bogner; Courtesy Smuttynose

The ABGB Superliner IPA

Ryan Joy, head brewer, SweetWater in Fort Collins, Colorado
“I didn’t go to The ABGB to drink IPA on a recent Austin visit, but after a few rounds of fantastic lagers (including their award-winning Industry Pils), I finished with a Superliner and was blown away by this absolute Simcoe bomb. Crisp, light malt led to pine and grapefruit aroma and flavor with moderate bitterness and way more juiciness than I expected. An absolute standout in my recent IPA drinking experience. Go to The ABGB, drink the lager, stay for the IPA (and pizza, and music)!”

Thin Man Brewery Trial By Wombat

Jessie Smith, quality manager, SingleCut Beersmiths in Clifton Park, NY
“Although I tend to shy away from New England IPAs, this beer may have converted me. It’s visually very hazy; however the mouthfeel is soft and approachable. As a Galaxy-heavy beer, its tropical and peach notes really shine through with a slight floral note in the background. This beer is my go-to for an upstate New York summer evening.”

Grand Armory Wheezin’ the Juice

Terry Lancaster, head brewer, Broad Leaf Brewery & Spirits in Kentwood, Michigan
“Made specifically for ‘nugs, chillin’, and grindage,’ Wheezin’ the Juice was one of the earliest juicy IPAs to gain traction in Michigan. The range of big citrus and deep tropical hop flavors, the softer mouthfeel, and the lack of caramel malt hit me with a lot of IPA flavor-firsts (including the magical Citra and Mosaic hop pairing), and it remains a favorite to this day.”

Alvarado Street Mai Tai P.A.

Erik DeBellis, head brewer, Absolution in Torrance, California
“Years ago, the taproom manager of a brewery I was working for brought us a growler from a brewery called Alvarado Street. Upon that initial sip, I knew they meant business. They make a ton of amazing IPAs, but there’s just something about Mai Tai that makes it an easy go-to beer. Bright, juicy hop aroma? Yup! West Coast IPA dankness? For sure! Crushable and satiating? You betcha! Simple recipe, excellent execution, and a banger of a beer.”

Smuttynose Finestkind IPA

Juleidy Peña, lead brewer, Notch in Brighton, Massachusetts
“Before moving to New England, I was pretty oblivious of the New England IPA craze. Much has changed since then, but one thing that stays true is that when I think of my favorite IPAs, Finestkind is always on top of the list. What I think of as a classic American IPA, Finestkind has that clean bitterness that is not abrasive or burning and a nice full, malty backbone that rounds up the flavors to make a 6.9 percent beer surprisingly enjoyable and easy-drinking.”