OMG, it’s IPA season. I know what you’re thinking. It’s always IPA season, and you’re right, but March seems to be a particularly hoppy month, as breweries all over the country are releasing fruity seasonals and one-off double IPAs left and right. We’ve had a bunch come across our desk here at Paste Drink, and there are some others that haven’t made the journey that we’re still psyched about. Here are eight you need to make room for in your fridge.
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Starr Hill King of Hop
For the second year in a row, Virginia's Starr Hill is actually releasing a handful of limited edition IPAs in a multi-pack. Pick up the box and you'll get a straight forward Imperial IPA, an Orange Imperial IPA, a Coffee Imperial IPA and this one, a Mango Habanero Imperial IPA. It's a doozy—7.5% and loaded with real mangos and habanero peppers. It's spicy, smoky and a bit sweet all at once.
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Deschutes Brewery Swivelhead Red
Red IPAs are so hot right now. When they're done well, they blend the malty goodness of a red ale with the hop bite and aromatics of an IPA. Deschutes' Swivelhead is definitely on the malty side of the spectrum, full of smooth caramel front to back. It's part of the experimental Bond Street series that Deschutes is taking across their distribution footprint from now until August.
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Stone Brewing Jindia Pale Ale
We get our fair share of double IPAs here at the office, but Stone's new Jindia blew me away. It's a double IPA (8.7%) that's been given the "gin" treatment with juniper, spruce, ginger and citrus thrown into the mix. As Stone is apt to do, they're releasing more than one new IPAs right now (a red and the latest Enjoy By), but don't overlook Jindia. It's incredibly balanced, incredibly smooth…there are a lot of components playing a part in this bottle, but it all works together in the end for a beer that just won't quit.
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Sweetwater Brewing Wookie Down
I feel like Sweetwater has been stepping up their IPA game. Case in point, this new Imperial Red IPA, which is part of their limited Dank Tank series and brewed in celebration of Sweetwater's annual 420 Fest. It's hellaciously fruity and malty, but the higher ABV (7.6%) helps add a bit of bite to keep the sweet side in check. I can't express enough how creamy, light and smooth the body of this beer is. Look for it in big boy cans.
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Modern Times Effective Dreams
San Diego's Modern Times partnered with Portland's Great Notion to whip up this super hazy IPA that hinges on the new experimental 9326 hops. It's all about the fruit in this beer. They released in through Brown Paper Tickets last week, but word on the street is there are more four packs of the IPA to be had at the brewery. Dig that trippy label too.
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Wicked Weed Hop Burglar
Wicked Weed has been a standout in the crowded Asheville brewing scene for a few years now, making a name for themselves with fruity sours and super hoppy IPAs. Hop Burglar takes a page from both sides of the spectrum, adding blood orange and grapefruit zest to a dry-hopped IPA. You can find the citrus-forward 7% beer out now in 12 ounce bottles.
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Bell's Am I Right or Amarillo
If we're being perfectly honest, the world would've been just fine if Bells made Two Hearted Ale and then just stopped trying. It's that good of an IPA. And Bells doesn't make a ton of IPAs, so when they do, we pay attention. It's a single hop beer, focusing entirely on Amarillo hops and only available in Texas. Damn it. But if you live in the Lone Star state, take note. Bells is now available. And they brewed this beer for you.
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Creature Comforts Cosmik Debris
March may as well be the official month of the double IPA, because everyone seems to be releasing one into the wild. Athens, Georgia-based Creature Comforts has earned fans with their flagship Tropicalia IPA. This particular IPA is an 8% bomb loaded with citrus and melon from the Simcoe, Idaho 7, Mosaic, Cascade and Chinook hops. It's an annual spring release we look forward to every year. You'll find a little bit of pine, too. Look for it in cans at the end of this month.