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Craft Beer Experts Shout Out The One IPA They Could Drink Forever

There’s no wrong time of year to drink an IPA. The hoppy, fresh, slightly bitter flavor of a well-made West Coast IPA is thirst-quenching on the hottest summer day. So is a hazy, juicy New England-style IPA. But they are also tons of IPAs brewed for a cold fall day or even a frigid winter night. There is an IPA for all seasons, is what we’re getting at.

Plus, an IPA is a perfect respite from the barrel-aged stouts, porters, and strong ales during the colder months. The bright fruits and hoppy-bombs become a counterpoint to the spice, ABVs, and bitterness of the darker, maltier winter sips.

In an effort to find the best IPAs in all of existence, we turned to a few professionals for help. We asked some of our favorite craft beer brewers, reviewers, and experts to tell us the one IPA they’d drink forever, regardless of the time of year. Keep scrolling to see all of their picks.

Maine Another One

Maine Another One
Maine Beer

Patrick Chavanelle, research and development brewer at Allagash Brewing in Portland, Oregon

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $8 for a 16.9-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Maine Beer Company makes a ton of killer IPAs, but Another One is easily my favorite from them and likely from anywhere else. It’s shockingly drinkable for being seven percent ABV and packs an incredibly complex aroma of mangos, pineapple, and citrus. It somehow rides the line between a hazy and old-school IPA, so if you’re looking for either and choose this beer — you won’t be disappointed.

Alvarado Street Mai Tai PA

Alvarado Street Mai Tai PA
Alvarado Street

Jensen Atwood, director of brewing operations at Pure Brewing Project in San Diego

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $17 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Mai Tai PA by Alvarado Street is my pick. It’s a new school juicy west coast IPA that is clear and not hazy and has the tropical fruit flavors of a hazy IPA all while not being so thick and yeasty.

2nd Shift Conjunctivitis Pink IPA

2nd Shift Conjunctivitis Pink IPA
2nd Shift

Stephen Hale, founding brewer at Schlafly Beer in St. Louis

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $12 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

My pick is 2nd Shift Brewing Conjunctivitis Pink IPA. The outlandish nature of the name of this beer, approachable ABV, and color are sure to draw one in and keep one coming back for more.

Finback Smooth Beats Miami IPA

Finback Smooth Beats Miami IPA
Finback

Manny Salvatori, lead brewer at The Bronx Brewery in Bronx, New York

ABV: 6.2%

Average Price: $20 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

The one IPA that I will continue to enjoy until Finback stops making it is the Smooth Beats Miami IPA. This IPA is brewed with coconut and dry-hopped with Equinox and El Dorado hops, making this a juicy, intriguing tropical beer for all seasons.

I enjoy this beer a lot due to its out-of-the-box combination of coconut and hops. They truly made a beer that hits all my flavor profiles.

Lawson’s Finest Sip of Sunshine

Lawson’s Finest Sip of Sunshine
Lawson

Brad Bergman, director of brewing at Sycamore Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

This beer has an amazing tropical aroma with some back notes of pine, florals, and citrus. It just has an amazing mouthfeel and enough malt flavor mixed in to balance everything out.

I’m a big fan of this beer.

Odell IPA

Odell IPA
Odell

Brandon Proff, managing partner at Our Mutual Friend Brewing in Denver, Colorado

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Odell IPA is in my opinion the gold standard of the no-coast (or Colorado) IPA. It’s resinous, citrusy, and piney but not higher ABV and bitter like west coast style.

Russian River Happy Hops

Russian River Happy Hops
Russian River

Shaun O’Sullivan, co-founder and brewmaster at 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $8.50 for a 22-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company is the one IPA that I can enjoy for a millennium. As Vinnie Cilurzo — Russian River’s brewmaster and co-founder — has said, Happy Hops is a hazy IPA that isn’t hazy. The profound hop flavor and aroma are bright and fresh with a charge of bitterness rounding out this hoppy beer.

Bell’s Two-Hearted

Bell’s Two-Hearted
Bell

Mike Kasian, brewer at Bootstrap Brewing in Longmont, Colorado

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $8 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

I’d probably go with Bell’s Two Hearted. This beer reminds me of IPA’s when they were simple and it showcases Centennial hops which are some of my favorite varieties. It’s floral, piney, and always there.

Altamont Maui Waui

Altamont Maui Waui
Altamont

Matthew Barry, director of operations at Fieldwork Brewing Company in Berkeley, California

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Altamont’s Maui Waui is my pick. It’s perfect. It’s bright, clear, lower bitterness, and soaked in tropical aromatics. I think Mosaic and Citra are a match made in heaven, and this beer proves it. The flavors are hyper-tropical. There’s ripe cantaloupe, pineapple, and guava.

With a 6.5 percent ABV and a light, clean malt profile, I have no problem justifying having three pints.

Ska Modus Hoperandi

Ska Modus Hoperandi
Ska

Chris McManus, head brewer at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado

ABV: 6.8%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Modus Hoperandi from Ska Brewing is an easy go-to. Bright citrus flavor and aroma from the hops are this IPA’s signature characteristics. It’s a very memorable beer that I go back to again and again.

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing
Sierra Nevada

Adam Lawrence, head brewer at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, Colorado

ABV: 6.7%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing is a great (almost) session beer. It has loads of fruity hop aroma, but it isn’t full of hop particulate and yeast. This beer finishes clean and has a nice balance of bitterness, aroma, and body.

Bridgeport IPA

Bridgeport IPA
Bridgeport

Mark Youngquist, founder of Dolores River Brewery in Dolores, Colorado

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

One of the early examples of a style that is now ubiquitous across the U.S. and most of Europe, Bridgeport’s medium-bodied, caramel, and toasted honey suddenly explodes with a floral citrus panoply of all the C hops available at the time (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook), underpinned by a more earthy Ahtanum hops and finished with a snap of carbonation.

Bottle conditioned and near perfect, it’s a damn shame I can’t have one right now.

Toppling Goliath King Sue

Toppling Goliath King Sue
Toppling Goliath

Jamie Lee Gonzalez, brewer at Living The Dream Brewing Co. in Littleton, Colorado

ABV: 7.8%

Average Price: $20 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

King Sue is the most consistent IPA (of any variety) I’ve purchased. Everything about this beer is perfect from the complexity of flavors to the 16-ounce portion that’s just small enough you don’t want to share. I really enjoy the fresh tropical flavors and smooth hazy texture.

It’s a lot of beer packed into a cute dino pint.

Russian River Blind Pig

Russian River Blind Pig
Russian River

Sam Pecoraro, head brewer at Von Ebert Brewing in Portland, Oregon

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $5.49 for a 16.9-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Not many IPAs exist at the ideal nexus of drinkability and hop intensity. Those that do rarely deliver the complexity or consistency of Russian River’s Blind Pig. Pine, resin, grapefruit, and berry all layered into a quaffable low six-percent ABV beer make it an IPA I’d drink forever.

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