PRIDE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Smuttynose Finestkind.
Thursday, August 7 is the fourth annual IPA Day (go to craftbeer.com for the backstory). Given that the many-splendored India Pale Ale is the most popular craft beer style, you could argue that every day is IPA Day. But we’re happy to play (and sip) along. So we asked our beer industry pals for their input: to choose their current and all-time favorite IPAs (and double/imperial hop bomb), and the best Rhody-made IPA. You have a week’s notice — get out there and grab some of these great beers and raise a glass on IPA Day. And the next day, and. . . .
DAVE CUMMINGS | SALES MANAGER, CRAFT BEER GUILD OF RHODE ISLAND
Choosing your favorite IPA is like choosing your favorite child — it’s neither possible nor fair. For me, it always depends on the mood and the situation. Only have time for one, and looking for a bitter IPA? That one has to be Smuttynose Finestkind IPA . It just crushes your taste buds with great flavor and bitterness. For an all-night IPA, Firestone Walker ’s Union Jack is hard to beat for a great-tasting, citrus-filled IPA. At 7.5% ABV, it will sneak up on you, but the flavor and balance is tough to beat.
For a double IPA, I like Deviant Dale’s from Oskar Blues — it’s not listed as a double, but I think it is. It comes in a can, a big can — 16 ounces, it’s 8%ABV, it’s hoppy. What’s not to like?
Favorite RI IPA: I’ve only had it once, but I was very impressed with Proclamation ’s Tendril . I look forward to seeing that one in cans or bottles.
BRIAN OAKLEY | GENERAL MANAGER, JULIAN’S, PROVIDENCE
My go-to as of late has been Founders’ All Day IPA . Low-octane, easy-drinking, and a nice, crisp, bitter taste with a light body — totally perfect for summer.
As for an all-time fave in the straight IPA category, I have to say Smuttynose Finestkind . They recently tweaked their recipe and it is drinking better than ever.
If I was going to pick a double or imperial IPA I would certainly say Dogfish Head 90 Minute or any of the Stone Enjoy By series . . . and though it is not technically an imperial IPA, Dogfish Head ’s Burton Baton , which is a hybrid style that blends an imperial IPA and an English-style Old Ale and ages it on oak, is one of my absolute faves.
Keeping it local is awesome: I love the Foolproof Backyahd IPA , but nothing can taste better than Decadence when it is on at Trinity Brewhouse .
Note: Julian’s will celebrate IPA Day with 14 special hop-driven beers on tap. Check their Facebook page for details.