And the IPA champion is… Not so fast. We could easily list the best of the bunch, but that wouldn’t take my mind off work at all. An IPA would, but I’m not drinking during the work weeks. It’s way too hot. Hot now, but within a few days we’ll finally have over night lows in the 60s. Day time highs in the 80s, ofcourse, we’ll still have heat indexes in the 90s if not touching 100 with some high humidity days. Vacation is closing in too. A short trip with Sarah’s family to HHI will be nice. Still not the beer trip I want to take. A week long trip to Dominican Republic only awarded me with cheap fruity drinks pool side or ocean side. Along with a decent lager, Presidente. Also a horrible case of Montezuma’s Revenge that took two weeks back stateside to be rid of. Hopefully the next blog will be of some in house brews at Hilton Head Island Brew Pub. We’ll see. So enough of fluff, let’s GATA.
What did we drink?
West coast – Lagunitas IPA and Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA. With a great tasting, very sessionable Lagunitas, yet Torpedo was our winner. A nicely brewed IPA that was very filling, however enough to win out.
Mountains – New Belgium Ranger IPA and Breckenridge Lucky U IPA. Lucky U wins the best craft beer commercial I’ve seen to date. Ranger IPA was a very tasty, hoppy IPA. It honestly blew Lucky U out of the water. The same water where the bears poop, lol. (You gotta see the commercial, check YouTube)
Lakes – So the populations champion goes against Founder’s Centennial IPA. You can’t find a beer review online that doesn’t give Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale a 100. I admit, a very good beer, all around. Very close to a 100 even for me. But no 100. If it was, no way would have Centennial been a better IPA for me, would it? The flavor of the intensely dry hopped IPA, of, you guessed it, Centennial hops.
Northeast region – Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA, Southern Tier IPA and, for the first time, a third member. The Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop3 beer. Again, just as the Two Hearted Ale, 60 Min IPA, would be the people’s second choice. It’s also my second choice here. Right behind the Loose Cannon. Wow, a first time for me, and it won’t be the last time either.
Southern bracket – Highlands Kashmir IPA, Sweetwater IPA, and Terrapin Hopsecutioner. All great beers. I also need to voice my opionion that east coast beers have it figured out. Highlands from Asheville, NC is the biggest little brew town in America. That is next to the biggest brew town of Denver, Fort Collins and Golden, all of Colorado. Great beer. Sweetwater & Terrapin both understand what makes an IPA stellar. It’s hops and beer recipe. For me, Terrapin brought everyone down here.
Now onto the winners. I’m not going to say which exactly beer won. It’d cause a riot. We’ll say this. If either, or any is available, grab a New Belgium Ranger IPA and/or Terrapin Hopsecutioner. They come in as my first and second. If I absolutely had to pick it’d be Hopsecutioner, only for the simple fact that it’s 7.3% compared to 6.4% ABV.
In a solid third is Founder’s Centennial IPA with it’s nice flavor, hop aroma and 65 IBU. I’m won’t go into rating each beer, because it finishes with many in a tie for fourth, fifth, etc.
So there you have, my first ever craftbeer challenge. IPAs are always so good it’s almost hard to mess it up. I hope you have enjoyed reading about different India Pale Ales brewed in different areas of the country. It’s been a fun way to spend my summer. Good thing we didn’t do DIPA or IIPA brews. I’d still be hammered without drinking tonight, and taken some six months to complete.
Stay tuned for a future blog, maybe some redeveloping of layouts and pages. Enjoy your last few weeks of Summer and get ready, much as I am, for some pumpkin beers.