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Finish Summer Strong With These Eight Underrated IPAs

We write about the India Pale Ale often and there’s a reason for it. When it comes to beer hierarchy, it’s very difficult (especially during the misty summer months) to beat the appeal of the IPA. It’s a complex, complicated beer that was originally created in the 1700s in England with the sole reason to stay fresh on the long journey to India (hence the name). In the centuries since, it’s become a style that has branches that appeal to every type of craft beer drinker.

While the IPA is most known for its hoppy aroma and flavor, there are various types of IPAs with different levels of hops and bitterness (as well as many other unique, fruity, citrusy flavors). These include the English IPA, Black IPA, Session IPA, Double IPA, Triple IPA, American IPA (also known as West Coast IPA), and the newly popular New England IPA.

Since we spend a lot of time writing about well-known IPAs, we figured the time was right to highlight some of the lesser-known, underrated IPAs you should be sipping as summer fades into fall. Check out eight of our favorites below and click on those prices to try them yourself.

DC Brau Joint Resolution

DC Brau

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

The Beer:

In a time of great divide in our nation, we really need a joint resolution, even if it’s just in beer form. This 5.5 percent, highly crushable, cloudy, juicy, hazy IPA is brewed with Pale 2-row, white wheat, flaked oats, Carafoam, and Acidulated malts alongside multiple hops like Michigan Copper and Chinook.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is exactly what you’d hope for in a hazy IPA. It’s loaded with aromas of citrus zest, ripe tropical fruits, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The palate echoes the nose with flavors of tangerine, grapefruit, mango, peach, and a nice floral, dank hop flavor that leaves you wanting more.

Bottom Line:

This is the juicy, hazy, tropical IPA you’ll want to sip for the rest of the summer. It has everything New England IPA fans crave.

Evil Twin Falco

Evil Twin

ABV: 7%

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

The Beer:

This 7 percent ABV IPA isn’t as bold and bitter as most West Coast IPAs but also isn’t as hazy and fruity as a New England IPA. It’s complex, balanced, and just might become your new summer sipper.

Tasting Notes:

This almost amber, straw-colored beer begins with a nose of freshly baked bread, caramel malts, and light wildflowers. There’s very little hop resin in the nose. Taking a sip reveals the missing hop flavor with notes of spruce tips, more floral flavors, grapefruit, pineapple, and a nice citrus zest finish.

Bottom Line:

This is one of the most well-rounded IPAs on the market. It’s filled with fresh fruit and citrus flavors and just the right amount of hop bitterness to appeal to all IPA drinkers.

Upslope IPA

Upslope

ABV: 7.2%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

If you’ve never tried Upslope, you’re really missing out. The Colorado-based brewery has been cranking out bangers since it opened in 2008. Its IPA is the brewery’s shining star with its 7.2 percent ABV. It’s malty, piney, slightly bitter, and highly drinkable. One sip and it will earn a permanent spot in your beer rotation.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is highlighted by scents of lemon peel, butterscotch, and bready malts. The palate is a complex mixture of caramel malts, fresh-baked bread, lime zest, and light, resinous, bitter hops. It’s surprisingly well-balanced and sippable.

Bottom Line:

Hops aren’t the main event in this IPA. There’s a healthy dose of caramel and bready malts to temper the piney hops presence.

Two Brothers Heavy Handed

Two Brothers

ABV: 6.7%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

More than two decades ago two brothers (Jason and Jim Ebel) started Two Brothers in Warrenville, Illinois. They’ve been making award-winning beer ever since. One of its best, unique brews is its Heavy Handed IPA. This wet-hopped IPA is referred to by the brewery as a “hop lover’s dream” and we couldn’t agree more (though the taste varies based on the hops included in each batch).

Tasting Notes:

This hop-centric beer begins with aromas of wet green grass, dried hay, resinous, floral hops, light citrus, and a nice malty backbone to tie it all together. The taste is a combination of caramel malts, pine needles, fresh-squeezed lemon, and a gentle bitterness at the finish.

Bottom Line:

Even with the high alcohol content and heavy hand (get it) of hops included, this IPA manages to be very well-balanced and surprisingly mellow in flavor.

Shed Mountain IPA

Shed

ABV: 6.6%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This is the replacement for the brewery’s original Shed IPA. It’s brewed with Chinook, Centennial, and Simcoe hops and is a true hop bomb. This is because, while there is a malt backbone, the piney, resinous, slightly bitter hops are the main event.

Tasting Notes:

Potent aromas of orange rinds, grapefruit, pine trees, a kick of floral hops greet you on the nose. The palate opens with biscuit-like malts that are overshadowed by resinous pine, more grapefruit, tangerine, and a nice dry, refreshing finish.

Bottom Line:

This beer is touted as being super hoppy, but, unlike some of the harsh, bitter West Coast IPAs that claim the same thing, it manages to be flavorful, floral, and un-abrasive in its hop flavor.

Starr Hill Northern Lights

Starr Hill

ABV: 6.2%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Starr Hill Northern Lights is brewed with 2-row and caramel malts, as well as Falconer’s Flight, Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, and Columbus hops, giving it a balanced, crisp, hoppy flavor.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is littered with scents of grapefruit, wildflowers, fresh hay, earthy grass, and a slight, sweet malty scent. Sipping it brings forth notes of lemon, lime, grapefruit, slight pine, and just enough caramel malt flavor to temper the hop bitterness.

Bottom Line:

While this beer definitely leans in the floral, citrusy, piney IPA zone, there’s enough malt backbone to appeal to all IPA fans.

Uinta Hop Nosh

Uinta

ABV: 7.3%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Uinta is fairly well-known in the craft beer drinking community, but it’s still a little underrated in the general beer world. Its award-winning Hop Nosh is its flagship beer for a reason. It’s pleasantly bitter, aromatic, and refreshing. Its balance of bitterness to malts is what makes it a real winner in our book.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a symphony of ripe pineapple, juicy melon, slight pine, and a hint of floral hops. The flavor is dank, resinous, and filled with hints of grapefruit, pineapple, lime, sweet malts, and a strong, yet not abrasive bitter finish.

Bottom Line:

This is more in line with the classic West Coast IPAs we know and love. While there are sweet malt flavors included, this is a bitter hop bomb and we love everything about it.

Terrapin Hopsecutioner

Terrapin

ABV: 7.3%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Story:

With a name like Hopsecutioner, you better believe this is an intensely hoppy beer. This 7.3 percent ABV IPA might be aggressively brewed with Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Cascade hops, it’s well-balanced with the addition of 2-Row Pale, Crystal 24L, and Victory malts.

Tasting Notes:

Resin and pine are the dominating aromas after your first nosing. They’re followed by hints of lemon peel, grapefruit, and a nice, sweet caramel malt scent throughout. The palate is a symphony of tangerine, grapefruit, ripe berries, pine needles, and bready, sweet malts.

Bottom Line:

This is our kind of IPA. It has the wallop of six hop varieties bringing it bitter, floral, resinous flavors with the heavy malt component making it less aggressive than it might have been.


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

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