Toast to the IPA: 9 Best IPAs that showcase its diversity

(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images) /

From West Coast to East Coast and even a little hazy, the best IPAs cover a breath of offerings. While many beer lovers have their favorite pour, the depth of the craft beer market can lead to new discoveries. Grab a pint and toast to the love of some robust hops.

Simply stated, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. But, a recent survey from Lagunitas found that 3 out of 4 Americans over 21 do not know what IPA means. While one in five drinkers have never tried an IPA, there are plenty of reasons to pour a pint.

Without going into a whole beer history, the light colored, hop balanced, slightly bitter beer has become a popular choice behind the bar. While the light lager might be sessionable and the robust stout might be contemplative, the IPA is that go-to beer that goes from friendly gatherings to a favorite meal pairing.

Given the diversity under the IPA label, the beer category allows beer drinkers to explore its many options. From the person who has never sipped an IPA to someone discovering a new option, here are a few to consider.

Lagunitas Brewing Co IPA

Considered the number one IPA in the world, the flagship beer from Lagunitas Brewing Co is a very drinkable India Pale Ale. While a touch mellow, the hops are not hidden. With a little caramel malt, this beer pairs with almost anything.

Elysian Brewing Space Dust

Given that the Florida Space Coast seems to blast off rockets on a daily basis, why not toast the reinvigorated space race with the Elysian Space Dust IPA. While there is a slight bitterness to this IPA, the brightness from the grapefruit, mango and orange makes it quite drinkable.

And for a bolder sip, consider the Dank Dust IPA. A newer slant on this style of beer, the pungent aroma has many people flying high.

Goose Island Tropical Beer Hug IPA

While the story of the bear on the label might be full of legendary lore, the new Tropical Beer Hug IPA takes the tropical trend in a bold way. The Imperial IPA brings a whopping 9.9% ABV. More importantly, the flavor whisks drinkers away from the status quo. From the pineapple to the citrus, it crashes like a big wave that you cannot wait to ride again.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Original Extra IPA

While Sierra Nevada might have started the West Coast IPA trend, the Torpedo Original Extra IPA brings all the hoppiness without being overpowering. Those notes of pine with citrus are quite enticing.

Terrapin Hopsecutioner

While often a favorite during the spooky season because of its name, this Terrapin IPA takes an aggressive approach with its six different hops. Quite well-balanced, the Hopsecutioner will slash through the crowded IPA shelf.

Wicked Weed Brewing Pernicious IPA

As the brand’s signature beer, the Pernicious IPA is not afraid to be all in your face with hoppy qualities. With the brightness for balance, this beer is one that will stay hidden in the corner.

Leinie’s Lemon Haze IPA

As a lower ABV Hazy IPA, at just 4.9% ABV is an easy drinking beer. With juicy lemon and a touch of bitterness, it is the perfect lake beer. Maybe even grab that Wisconsin cheese plate to pair with it.

Hop Valley Mango & Stash

For the person who might rather grab a seltzer versus a beer, the Hop Valley Mango & Stash could be a game changer. The smooth flavors make it an easy drinking beer.

Karbach Rodeo Clown Double IPA

This beer from the Houston brewery is not joking around. The Karbach Rodeo Clown IPA has an intensity under that fun exterior. With some toffee notes and a touch of stone fruit, it will definitely leave a lasting impression.

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What is your favorite pick for the best IPAs? Do you prefer a different style of beer?