There is no doubt that IPAs are one of the more popular types of craft beer on the market. Not only do you see a variety available in your favorite liquor store, but in bars and restaurants as well. One question that I came up with this week was, “How do you like your IPA?” As we are beginning the Summer season, fruit-flavored IPAs are popping up and in several varieties. Ballast Point Brewing has their perennial offerings, Pineapple Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin which are refreshing beers, respectively. Spellbound Brewing’s Peach IPA has also been popular at both the brewery and at restaurant, which led to a release in cans within the past couple of months and have been a hit at liquor stores.
Another variety of IPAs include those that are wood-aged. Although my personal favorite is Cigar City’s Humidor Series IPA (cedar-aged Jai Alai IPA), it can only be found at their brewery. Both Cigar City and Spellbound each brew a white-oak IPA at different times of the year; however, Spellbound’s offering is only available in their tasting room, while Cigar City can be found on a retail level in addition to their brewery.
As far as IPAs that must be tried at least once to formulate an opinion, Founder’s Doom (bourbon barrel-aged Imperial IPA) is one that should be consumed with caution due to its 12.4% ABV. Ballast Point released a Habanero Sculpin IPA a few years ago which was sought after by many; however, the taste of the habanero overpowering to the point where I could not finish almost half of the bottle. During an event at Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing, they had a firkin of Funnel Cake IPA, which was a fusion of an IPA and their popular Funnel Cake cream ale. Although it was one of the first beers to “kick” at the event, I felt it satisfied my curiosity.