Well-known summer celebrations include Memorial Day in May, Independence Day in July, and Labor Day in September. That’s not to say August should be overlooked: there is National Mustard Day (Aug. 6), Left Handers Day (Aug. 13), and who can forget Vesuvius Day (Aug. 24)?
Those days aside, August 4 is IPA Day, a day to celebrate the beer style that has redefined craft beer over the past decade while creating amazing hybrid names that throw Britain, the US West Coast, and the Indian subcontinent into a blender. From British bittered beers to juicy West Coasters to the citrus infused craze happening now, IPA has conquered the beerscape to the point where most breweries don’t just feature an IPA flagship, they feature two or more on tap at any given time.
And everyone has their favorite IPA. We mean everyone. Even the people who make IPAs. So we asked brewers at some of the most high-profile breweries in the country to dish on their favorite IPAs, both in house and from other breweries.
Here’s what they have to say.
Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster/Owner at Brooklyn Brewery
Thornbridge Brewery (Bakewell, England)
Jaipur really combines everything that first made me fall in love with British beer 30-plus years ago with what makes me love IPA today. The racy, dry malt palate is distinctly British, but the aromatics show the earthiness of classic British hops alongside the brightness of American hops. It’s great on cask as well.
Brooklyn Brewery (New York, USA)
This beer grew directly out of our involvement with New York Comic Con, whose affiliated artists draw a different character for “The Defender” every year. I’m a geek, so I love that. The beer itself is super dry, cracklingly hoppy, bright in the nose, reddish in tone, and totally crushable. I’m not sure that this sounds like it feels, but it’s almost like hop mouthwash — the ultimate refreshment.
Brad Farbstein, Owner/President of Real Ale
Tangerine Soul Style
Green Flash Brewing Co. (California, USA)
From another brewery, I’d say Green Flash Tangerine Soul Style because of that beer’s fresh hop character. I also have always had a lot of respect for Green Flash. Plus, I like supporting Woody Weiderman, the Green Flash rep in Texas (who is a former Real Ale employee and is one of the hardest-working guys in the beer industry).
Full Moon Rye IPA
Real Ale Brewing Company (Texas, USA)
The rye component adds a unique mouthfeel and body, and the beer is balanced with a generous portion of new American hops.
Chris Boggess, Head Brewer, 3 Floyds
Boneyard Beer (Oregon, USA)
One of my favorite IPAs is Boneyard PRM. It’s got a great hop character that’s really well balanced.
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
That’s a funny misconception about 3 Floyds. We don’t really make a stylistically true IPA that’s available on any regular basis. We brew a lot of pale ales and a handful of Imperial IPAs. Permanent Funeral is one of our Imperials — we made it in collaboration with the band Pig Destroyer. It’s got some big hops in there.
Sam Calagione, Founder, Dogfish Head
Photo via Dogfish Head
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (California, USA)
I fell in love with this beer the same week I graduated college and got a job waiting tables in NYC. It is considered one of the first American IPAs and, like many classic beers, the Celebration Ale is true to style, but packed with incredible flavor.
Flesh & Blood
Dogfish Head Brewery (Delaware, USA)
Flesh & Blood is the newest addition to our family of IPAs and we’re super stoked this fruit IPA is finally on shelves after 20 years of in-house R&D. Flesh & Blood is brewed with real lemon flesh and blood oranges balancing the resinous characteristics of a hoppy American IPA with an explosive zesty fruitiness – making it easy to drink all year round.
Doug Odell, Founder, Odell’s
Photo via Odell’s
Hanger 24 Brewery (California, USA)
I don’t have a favorite IPA because so many are so good for a lot of different reasons. I really enjoy the Hanger 24 Double IPA, though. The beer is so smooth and quite refreshing for a 9% beer. This beer is well balanced with a great orange, piney, tropical, and floral hop character.
Odell Brewing Co. (Colorado, USA)
I love that we brew this beer in a way that accentuates hop aroma and flavor over bitterness. This really allows the bright, fresh hop characteristics to shine. The last sip in a glass is as smooth and rewarding as the first.