Five on Five: West Coast IPA

From bright and classic to tropical and crisp and various combinations thereof, these West Coast or American IPAs reflect the past and future trajectory of the style. Five pros offer up their favorites.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Nov 14, 2021 - 3 min read

Five on Five: West Coast IPA Primary Image

Photos: Courtesy Societe; Courtesy Breakside; Matt Graves; Courtesy Pizza Port; Courtesy Georgetown

Societe The Pupil

Nick Mader, owner and head brewer, Alma Mader Brewing in Kansas City, Missouri

“The first time I had The Pupil was about seven years ago, and it was a watershed moment that redefined West Coast IPA for me—incredibly balanced, and soft bitterness with loads of bright tropical fruit on the nose and flavor, as well as the mid-palate grapefruit-pine character and bone-dry finish that makes it so dangerously drinkable. Seven years later, I think it is still a wonderful representation of the style, and the beer I always look forward to drinking when we’re back in Southern California visiting family.”

Breakside Wanderjack

Steve Luke, founder, Cloudburst Brewing in Seattle

“I’ve been digging the new Breakside Wanderjack IPA, which is a collab with Barley Brown’s. When two of the best IPA brewers from our region make a beer together, you pay attention. And the end result is an outstanding example of a true PNW-style IPA: Ample bitterness! A touch of actual malt character! A clean, neutral fermentation! And an abundance of fruity and piney hops from start to finish! What more do you want? Another pint.”


Tree House Bright

Lane Fearing, cofounder and brewer, Roaring Table Brewing in Lake Zurich, Illinois

“We popped our cans in a local BBQ joint and the room filled up with fruity citrus awesomeness. Rich, dry, and delicious, Bright is the definitive modern IPA.”

Pizza Port Swami’s

Mike Morrison, cofounder and head brewer, MadeWest Brewing in Ventura, California

“It’s a solid San Diego West Coast IPA with a hop-forward citrus-and-pine character and a firm bitterness. You can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be fresh, and the quality is never compromised with their killer canning facility. Definitely a go-to West Coast for me.”

Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale

Nick Gislason, cofounder, Hanabi Lager in Napa, California

“Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing is a super-classic version of this iconic craft beer style. A partner in many Pacific Northwest adventures, this beer for me is just so balanced, aromatic and flavorful, yet super clean and lively, a total desert-island beer. A testament to this beer’s drinkability, Georgetown has a record of producing an impressive draft-only, 50,000-plus barrels per year, and almost all of it is consumed within an hour or two drive from the brewery. A true beer of the people!”