The Quest for My Favorite IPA
Last week’s post, “Hatin’ on the Classics”, drew more conversation than I had anticipated, which was awesome because I received some great listening suggestions and had some great dialog around the albums y’all agreed and/or disagreed with. This week I’m calling for more of the same! I definitely have some more serious subjects and blog posts in the works for the coming weeks, but for now I’m keeping it light and breezy in this week’s post: “The Quest for My Favorite IPA”.
For anyone who knows me, I have been a “dark beer guy” for the longest time and, regarding IPA’s, have often said, “an IPA is an IPA is an IPA…they all taste the same.” I have loved stouts and porters ever since I started getting into craft beer around 2008, and perhaps it is because of the drastic variety of flavors that are offered.
It started with Guinness, before moving on to some of my personal favorites: Southern Tier’s “Mokah”, Terrapin’s “Wake n Bake” (and any seasonal variation of), Bell’s “Kalamazoo Stout”, and Founders “Breakfast Stout” and “KBS”; however, my taste buds have recently thrown me a curveball, and for reasons unknown, have been hankering for IPA’s and Double IPA’s. I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal-thing in anticipation of Spring or what, but for the last couple of months, I have been on the hunt for my new, favorite IPA.
I was very careful not to title this post, “The Quest for the Best IPA”, because truthfully, I know nothing about IBU’s, how it is brewed, and all of the things a beer cicerone would take into account for what makes “the best” IPA. I’m simply allowing my taste buds to lead the way and trying not to overthink it.
Here’s a few that I have tried over the last few months, and how I would rate them on a scale of 1–5 (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest):
Sierra Nevada — Beer Camp Tropical IPA (Rating: 1.0)
Green Flash — West Coast IPA (Rating: 2.5)
Maine Beer Company — Lunch (Rating: 3.0)
Foothills — Seeing Double IPA (Rating: 3.25)
Foothills — Jade IPA (Rating: 3.5)
Sierra Nevada — Celebration Ale (Rating: 3.5)
Sierra Nevada — Estate Homegrown IPA (Rating: 3.5)
French Broad — IPA (Rating: 4.0)
Against the Grain — Rico Sauvin Double IPA (Rating: 4.0)
Terrapin — Hi-5 IPA (Rating: 4.0)
Sixpoint — Bengali IPA (Rating: 4.5)
Sixpoint — Resin Double IPA (Rating: 5.0)
What I have gathered from my “research” is that it seems easy enough to make a decent IPA, but extremely difficult to make one that stands out. Obviously, Sixpoint seems like they are on to something with my personal taste. I don’t know why I prefer their IPA and Double IPA so much more, but in my opinion they are both delicious!
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Like I said: light and breezy.
I’ve got a weekend and, fortunately, nothing but time to sample some more IPA’s. What-chall got for me?