IPAs for Every Hour of Your Barbecue
Just because you can buy these IPAs (almost) anywhere in America, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a hold of them as fast as you can. Hop hop hop your way through your weekend barbecue with these widely-released beers.
12 PM: Founders All Day IPA
This session IPA (an IPA subcategory featuring beers low in ABV, typically 5% and lower) is all about drinkability, and is a session in the truest sense of the word because it will take a few of these before it starts to feel like you’re drinking beer. All Day lacks that that sting characteristic of hoppier IPAs, so it’s great for someone who claims an aversion to IPAs. This is a noontime barbecue beer for all.
1 PM: Ballast Point Mango Even Keel
Mango is starting to look like this summer’s grapefruit, which last year saturated the market and resulted in some disastrous beers. But Mango Even Keel, a very low alcohol session IPA, is the one worth buying. This is the perfect beer to have early in the day. If you have any judgy friends and you’re worried they’ll be giving you side eye for cracking a beer so early in the day, this is the perfect beer. Tons of carbonation! All of the mango flavor! Just 3.8% ABV! That doesn’t even count as alcohol, right?
2 PM: Sam Adams Rebel IPA
Boston Beer Company is the largest craft brewery in the world, but that doesn’t diminish its quality of brewing. While it’s a little bit too malty to be the pure West Coast Style IPA that it claims to be, Rebel is an excellent transition into the boozier, pinier options listed below.
3 PM: Ballast Point Sculpin (San Diego, CA)
Now too mainstream for many beer nerds, Sculpin was formerly a favorite of hop heads. But lucky for us, pretty much any supermarket with a beer section now carries this is superbly balanced and classically hopped. A nice introduction to IPAs for the less-experienced palate, drink this for its pine-riddled and refreshing citrus finish.
4 PM: Stone Delicious IPA (Escondido, CA)
This is the perfect beer for the late afternoon, hoppy enough for your douchebag bartender sister-in-law, but lemony enough that your brother who “only drinks wheats” will enjoy it. It’s fantastically citrusy, but that doesn’t cancel out that bitter El Dorado Hops bite that IPA purists will appreciate.
5 PM: Harpoon IPA (Boston, MA)
There’s a reason this beer popularized IPAs in the United States in the early ’90s. It’s a classic IPA that still holds its own against more hop-heavy and boozy options. Harpoon IPA is my go-to in bars that haven’t adjusted for the discerning beer drinker, and I’m always surprised to find it is a staple next to Coors Lite and Budweiser in dive bars.
6 PM: Bear Republic Racer 5 (Healdsberg, CA)
Available throughout most of the country, Racer 5 is going to shock you with the booze that hits you after that candy nose. What’s better than those sweet, bourbony notes in your beer? Nothing. Nothing is better.
7 PM: Firestone Walker Union Jack (Paso Robles, CA)
This is my favorite IPA. It has pineapple. Apricot. Pine. Grapefruit. Buy this when you see it. Drink it with the burger I taught you to make.
8 PM: Troegs Perpetual IPA (Hershey, PA)
This offering from Troegs is one of the best they distribute widely. There’s some debate over whether It’s technically a single IPA, but all you need to know about that is you should be careful with these suckers at their 7.5% ABV. Perpetual is on the malty side of anything listed here, which makes it a perfect pair for some of the heavier fare you’ll be drinking later in the day.
9 PM: Green Flash West Coast IPA (San Diego, CA)
Full-bodied (or close to it) and consistent, this beer is going to shock you when you read that 8.1% ABV. This is the standard bearer for West Coast IPAs, which are known for their tropical and zesty hop flavors, and oftentimes high ABVs. The Green Flash West Coast IPA hides its alcohol well. It’s one of the best in the world, and stands out for its burnt citrus flavors.
10 PM: Lagunitas Sucks (San Diego, CA)
Lagunitas Sucks definitely doesn’t live up to its name. This is one of the strangest Double IPAs (DIPAs) you’ll ever taste. It’s fruity as fuck, which isn’t very common for high ABV (almost 8%) beers, and delivers some awesome mango and, yes, brown sugar notes. You don’t get the same piney bitterness that you’ll find in other DIPAs, so this is a good chance to drink it with some s’mores or strawberry rhubarb pie. Even the most casual beer drinker will appreciate that this beer is in a class of its own.
11 PM: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (Milton, DE)
Woof. This is a beer that doesn’t hide its hops or booze, and let’s be real: that’s exactly what you want late in the game. Dogfish 90 is hopped for 90 minutes straight, and its ABV rises just above 9%. One more, please, just to close out the night.