any IPA fans?

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any IPA fans?

Post by changabang » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:13 pm

As in India Pale Ale? Discovered this heavenly ale at a local brew pub a few years back, and now, when I'm in the grocery store, I find myself seeking out new craft libations to try out. We have local favorites Long Trail, Magic Hat, Harpoon and Smuttynose, all pretty decent refreshments. What, if any, are your favorite IPA's from your neck of the woods?
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Post by TRBeck » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:31 pm

James, I'm a "hophead," and have met few IPAs I didn't like, to the detriment of my liver.

My favorites are Bridgeport for its balance and English-style approach; Harpoon for its English hopping and soft floral notes; Stone Ruination for its hammer of piney hop-candy pucker; and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, a rye-driven IPAish red ale with a racy, spicy finish. This last beer is my favorite American ale, hands-down, and I could drink it at every meal, every day, forever.

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Tim

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Post by franz » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:02 pm

Hop head checking in.

Avery's seasonal "The Maharaja" IPA is probably my favorite. Their regular production IPA is great, too.

Deschutes Inversion, Great Divide Titan, Elysian "The Immortal," and Firestone Union Jack are some of my other faves.

Black IPA is an interesting style too; Iron Horse (a smallish brewery in Ellensburg, WA) makes a good one.

Rob

Post by Rob » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:03 pm

Over here in St. Louis, we have Schlafly Beer. They make a superb IPA called the Dry Hopped APA. It's a heavy-duty IPA for sure, just wonderful. I love all sorts of IPAs, with some of my favorites being any of the Dogfish Head 60, 90, and 120 Minute IPA brews.

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Post by Squire » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:15 pm

Harpoon Rye from the Lazy Magnolia brewery in Kiln, MS, is about the closest we have to a local brew that is similar in style to an IPA, I do keep on the look out though while traveling.
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Post by function » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:39 pm

I love many beers, but very few of them are IPAs. There is a Rye IPA that comes to mind, might be from Magic Hat or New Belguim. Otherwise IPAs, IMO, sacrifice flavor and drinkability for boldness and alcohol content.
The good news is, that leaves all of the IPAs for the rest of you guys. Enjoy em.
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Post by changabang » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:41 pm

Nick, I don't look for alcohol content in an IPA. Just flavorful hoppiness. If alcohol % were the goal, I suppose I could go for Long Trail Triple Bag, and that's not an IPA.

TR, the only "exotic" I've tried is Stone's "Ruination" IPA, which had a distinct tang to it. I'm on the lookout for other exotics, those craft IPA's produced outside New England. Wait. I've also tried one of the Dogfish brews, from Delaware? It was expensive and not as good as it should have been considering the price. No offense, Rob. YMMV is the rule.


Thanks for your input, guys. Keep it coming.
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Post by franz » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:27 pm

Stone and Dogfish Head are notorious for pushing the envelope when it comes to hops. Those brews are fun, but there can be too much of a good thing, too. I would choose something hoppy with a good malt profile most days over a pure hopmonster. YMMV.

More ideas? I had a pretty good IPA from New Mexico the other day - Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Co. Lagunitas IPA (California) is a good one as well.

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Post by ShadowsDad » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:22 pm

Not too much for drinking. I like a balanced flavor profile with the malt contributing.

Now for cooking... I make a meatball dish that screams for the hoppiness of an IPA. Doesn't work for me at all w/o an IPA in the sauce.

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Post by jthomas60506 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:44 pm

I've been enjoying Hop Stoopid from Lagunitas. Aslo, a buddy turned me on to Green Flash IPA on my last trip to California, and I stumbled across it (well, I guess "stumbled" is the wrong word in this context) at a local grocer.

jt

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Post by bbqncigars » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:22 pm

I like the Dogfish Head 60 and 90 minute IPAs, but the 120 minute lacks balance. Closer to home, the Brau Brothers put out a nice seasonal fresh hopped offering that is well worth buying (if only I could remember the name of the brew).


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Post by wenestvedt » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:01 am

James, it sounds like you're in upper New England. Have you tried Otter Creek beer or their other label, Wolaver's? I have picked up sampler 12-packs and enjoyed everything -- including, if memory serves, an IPA.

Their web sites seems to be torn down during a redesign, so check out this review of the Wolaver's IPA: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/119/399

- Will

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Post by changabang » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:32 am

Good detective work, Will. Otter Creek doesn't appeal to me, but maybe the Wolaver is worth considering.

Not sure, but I think I saw a Lagunitas something-or-other the same day I found the "Ruination". Might be worth it to make another trip to the food co-op.
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Post by maskaggs » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:01 pm

I'm a big fan of hop bombs, but enjoy the more restrained members of the category as well. I need to make a trip to Kalamazoo and visit Bell's - their Two-Hearted IPA is a masterpiece IMHO.
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Post by TRBeck » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:24 pm

I concur regarding Two-Hearted Ale. I am pretty catholic in my IPA tastes. I can go with a hop bomb, even though I respect restraint and balance more as a general rule.

So, yeah, Hop Stoopid is good now and then.

That said, the most recent favorite of mine, which I left out of my last post, is Wychmaker from Jester King in Austin; it's a rye IPA. Rye in a beer is spicy and adds an oily mouthfeel; this complements the resinous hop mouthfeel of an IPA and plays well with either citric or floral hops. Rye and IPA is a match made in heaven.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

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Post by Dexterous » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:45 am

My favorite IPA also is Two Hearted Ale from Kalamazoo's Bell's Brewing Co.

http://www.bellsbeer.com/brands/#Year_Round-2

This is a very rich, drinking experience with a full body and a complex finish. The closest I've had to this brew from other breweries in Sierra Nevada's IPA, but I much prefer THA.

BTW, the name is, indeed, a reference to Hemingway's "The Big Two-Hearted River".
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Post by OtherMoe » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:34 am

Another big +1 for Bells Two-Hearted. Probably one of my favorite bottled beers (would like to try it from Keg). From living in Atlanta, I also really enjoyed Sweet Water 420. Big difference there though between the taste of kegged and bottled; much prefer the kegged.
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Post by TRBeck » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:41 am

Better still than kegged is cask-conditioned, but it's hard in Texas to find places that keep cask ales around. One pub here in Dallas keeps a cask of a Texas-brewed IPA - St. Arnold's Elissa - on cask at all times. I order a pint every time I go there and ask for it everywhere that carries craft beers to put a bug in their ear.

Elissa is just good in the bottle or even on draft, a quaffable, balanced American IPA with a nice mix of earthy and citric hops. However, on cask, the yeast's nutty qualities mingle with the other flavors and produce a much richer, fuller profile. The mouthfeel is also enhanced by lower levels of carbonation, and the result is a drink that is historical in its presentation and absolutely beautiful on the palate.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by changabang » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:56 pm

I've just tried the Lagunitas. Nice, understated hoppiness. I've read about Ballast Point Sculpin and the Two-Hearted ipa's; am eager to try them both. I also saw Full Sail, from Oregon, Mojo, from Boulder, and the Wolavers, from Otter Creek. Hope to sample them all eventually.
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Post by Squire » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:36 pm

Another vote for the Two Hearted Ale, haven't had that one in awhile.
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