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Here Are The Very Best Citra-Hopped IPAs You Can Buy At The Grocer

Casual beer drinkers rarely think about how different hops affect the taste of beer. But the hops used in the brewing process can completely change a beer’s flavor profile. That’s why craft beer labels don’t simply list “hops,” they list the type of hops — Mosaic, Centennial, Chinook, or Citra (among others).

It’s that last varietal that we’re zeroing in on today. One of the most popular types of hops in the current craft wave, Citra hops are known for bold, over-the-top, vibrant citrus flavors (hence the name!). They’re also famous for working well with other varietals — acting as a sort of “foundation hop.” And by conjuring flavors like grapefruit, lemon zest, and lime, they make a welcome addition to any summery IPA.

Below, you’ll find eight of our favorite Citra-centric IPAs, ranked. Check them all out below and click on the prices to look for a bottle or can in your area.

8) Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

Deschutes

ABV: 6.4%

Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

With a name like Fresh Squeezed IPA, it’s safe to say this is a citrus-filled beer. Brewed with 2-row, Munich, and Crystal malts along with Mosaic and Citra hops, this 6.4 percent IPA is fresh, juicy, subtly tart, and filled with fresh fruit flavors.

Tasting Notes:

You can tell this is a Citra-driven IPA, but there’s more to it than that. First, there’s grapefruit, lime zest, lemon peels, and orange, flavors which are tempered with caramel malts and a nice wildflower aroma. The palate highlights flavors of sweet malts, floral hops, grapefruit, and tangerine. A subtly bitter kick at the very end to remind you that this is an IPA.

While the nose is filled with citrus, the palate (in terms of citrus) is more muted than expected.

Bottom Line:

While this is surely a Citra-based beer, the addition of caramel and biscuit-like malts make this more well-balanced than the name would make you believe. Alas, for ranking purposes, we’d enjoy this more if the citrus was the main note. In this case, the malts seem to take center stage.

7) Sierra Nevada Tropical Torpedo

Sierra Nevada

ABV: 6.7%

Average Price: $25 for a 12-pack

The Beer:

Sierra Nevada might be most known for its iconic pale ale, but the brand is also one of the biggest names in the West Coast IPA game as well. While you can find numerous floral, hoppy, slightly bitter examples of their prowess, we enjoy the brand’s tropical take on its well-known Torpedo because of the fruity, citrusy, juicy flavors.

Tasting Notes:

Proving that Citra plays extremely well with others, this beer features myriad other hops besides the citrus-flavored variety. That gives this beer scents of guava, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and a nice floral backbone. The flavor lives up to the beer’s name with hints of juicy peach, mango, grapefruit, tangerine, caramel malts, and nice gently bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a beer that features Citra but not as the main hop variety, this is the beer for you. If you want more citrus flavor, look elsewhere.

6) Other Half DDH Green City

Other Half

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $25 for a 4-pack

The Beer:

Brewed at the Other Half’s Finger Lakes brewery, DDH (double dry-hopped) Green City is a hazy, juicy American IPA loaded with Centennial, Simcoe, and Citra hops. This combination gives this beer a floral, fruity, citrus flavor perfectly suited for summer drinking.

Tasting Notes:

Nosing this beer reveals aromas of ripe berries, guava, mangos, fresh pineapple, grapefruit, orange peels, and resinous pine. The palate is more berries, tropical fruits, citrus, and a nice kick of hops bitterness. It all ends with a subtly dry, fruity finish that lets the Citra hops shine.

Bottom Line:

This is where the ranking starts to get tricky. This is a great, hazy juicy beer. But if you’re looking for a citrus bomb, you’ll have to settle for it being mixed with other fruity flavors.

5) Weldwerks Juicy Bits

Weldwerks

ABV: 6.7%

Average Price: $15.99 for a 4-pack

The Beer:

Just like Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, you know what you’re getting when you crack open a can of Juicy Bits from Colorado’s Weldwerks. This 6.7 percent, crushable New England IPA is brewed with a combination of El Dorado, Mosaic, and Citra hops. The result is a juicy, tropical fruit, and citrus-centric brew.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the aromas of orange peels, melon rinds, guava, papaya, and subtle pine before taking your first sip. Then revel in the flavors of ripe mango, grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and a nice wallop of resinous, slightly bitter hops at the finish. Overall, it’s a great example of the fruity, fresh, hazy style.

Bottom Line:

Now we’re heading in the right direction. Don’t get us wrong, all of these beers are exceptional. It’s just that if you are a true Citra fan, you will want your beer to skew in the citrus direction more than tropical fruits or caramel malts. This one fits the bill.

4) Trillium Vicinity

Trillium

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $13.99 for a 750ml bottle

The Beer:

Vicinity was first brewed to pay tribute to the first anniversary of an oyster and beer bar called Row 34 that’s in the (you guessed it) vicinity of Trillium. Brewed with C-15 and Pilsner malts as well as flaked oats and Galaxy, Columbus, and Citra hops, this is a complex, fruity, flavorful IPA.

Tasting Notes:

This hazy, juicy beer has the aromas of ripe pineapple, guava, mango, melon rind, orange peels, zesty grapefruit, and pine trees. The flavor is fruity and juicy while leaning into the citrus, florals, and pine resin as well. It all comes together in a juicy, fruity, slightly bitter finish.

Bottom Line:

While many New England IPAs have dominant tropical fruit flavors, this beer has enough of a citrus kick to stand up to the mango, guava, and pineapple notes.

3) Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine

Lawson

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $16.99 for a 4-pack

The Beer:

Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest is one of the most well-respected breweries in the county. Its most well-known beer is its Sip of Sunshine. This 8 percent Imperial IPA is a citrus bomb through and through. Brewed with numerous malts as well as CTZ and Citra hops, it’s hazy, juicy, and well-suited for humid summer sipping.

Tasting Notes:

This beer is dominated by aromas of orange marmalade, wet grass, mango, guava, grapefruit, and dank, piney hops. The palate swirls with tangerines, grapefruits, pineapple, and guava as well as slight caramel malts. The finish is dry and bitter — but not to its detriment.

All in all, it’s a fairly dank and citrus-filled refresher.

Bottom Line:

This is one of the most well-balanced hazy beers on the market. While citrus and tropical fruits are at the forefront, there are enough malt flavors to round everything out well.

2) The Alchemist Focal Banger

The Alchemist

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $19.99 for a 4-pack

The Beer:

Vermont’s The Alchemist is most known for its Heady Topper IPA. But, if you’re a fan of Citra hops, you’ll likely prefer its Focal Banger instead. This 7 percent New England IPA doesn’t have much of a description on the brewery’s website except to say that this beer is hopped using Mosaic and Citra hops. It’s obvious they didn’t hold back in their use, as it’s loaded with hop flavor.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the scents of grapefruit, lemon zest, pineapple, dank hops, and subtle, sweet malts. The palate reveals more dank, resinous hops along with flavors of tart grapefruit, orange peels, limes, and ripe pineapple. The finish is slightly bitter and filled with tart citrus flavor.

Bottom Line:

This is a great example of a New England IPA that would appeal to all IPA drinkers. The nice bitter kick and high citrus fruit flavors cross genre lines.

1) Toppling Goliath King Sue

Toppling Goliath

ABV: 7.8%

Average Price: $19.99 for a 4-pack

The Beer:

King Sue’s can is adorned with a roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex — a good way to symbolize just how epic this citrus-filled New England IPA is. The best part? While many of the other beers on this list rely on Citra as only one portion of the hop recipe, King Sue is a double hopped exclusively with Citra hops.

Tasting Notes:

Right off the bat, you can tell by the nose that this beer is something special. The aroma is all mango, guava, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon peels, lime zest, and wet, resinous pine. The flavor is juicy, hazy, creamy, and has hints of tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, orange peels, wet grass, and floral, spicy, slightly bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

Good luck finding a better Citra-hopped beer than King Sue. It’s fresh, hazy, juicy, and filled with citrus flavors. Trust us, this is going to be your new summer go-to IPA.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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