The 5 IPAs America Deserves Right Now
Craft beer has become so big that it's inspired some truly strange concoctions, and not all of them good. Here are five IPAs that never fail.
It’s hard not to be cynical about craft beer. I live in North Carolina, one of the East Coast’s premier beer states. There’s a reason Sierra Nevada set up shop here after all. But is variety always a good thing? I would say 97.8 percent of the time it is. Those other instances, though, we’re left brooding over poor decisions. We all want to try the local beer nobody has heard of. Probably because, I would say as recent as five years ago, that usually meant drinking a revelation. Forget the Bud heavy and hit me with the beer crafted from hops grown on some guy’s porch in the mountains. Times have changed, however. I went to a beer festival this winter where I tried a brew made with Pop Rocks. Another with yeast from a beard. There was a stout filtered through bacon (somehow) and a pilsner flavored with habanero peppers that felt like consuming fire. A lot of people brew beer just to make money these days and it results in some truly terrible concoctions. And what does everybody always try first? An IPA. This is where I think the American beer scene has gone the furthest off the rails. My mouth isn’t supposed to feel numb. This is a smooth, hoppy, multi-layered experience that changed the industry from every vantage point imaginable. Here are five beers, some mainstream, some less so, that I turn to in these confusing times.