IPAs That Taste Like The Last Days Of Summer, According To Bartenders

To put it simply, IPAs should be the official beer of the last gasp of summer. These are the kind of beers that makes us want to scream out that we’re simply not ready for pumpkin-spiced everything just yet. Or the cold, for that matter.

Jake Conover, general manager at Bruz Beers in Denver, Colorado has thought about this concept so much that he even has specific flavors and aromas he looks for in an end-of-summer IPA. “I like Amarillo and Citra hops in my late-summer IPAs,” he says. “Spicy, juicy, orange floral aromas but lower in bitterness.”

We tasked a handful of our favorite bartenders to tell us their picks for IPAs that taste exactly like the last days of summer feel.

Revolution Anti-Hero IPA


Kristan Arnold, bartender at Elgin Public House in Elgin, Illinois

ABV: 6.7%

Average Price: $11 or a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Revolutions Anti-Hero is outstanding with its hoppy, herbaceous, floral notes. It’s not overpowering and has a great finish. It’s like late summer in a can.

Also, always support local!

Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA


Austin Zimmer, bartender at Le Prive in New York City

ABV: 6.3%

Average Price: $6 for a 22-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Since I’m a fan of Jasmine green tea — it’s an exceptional flavor for summer — I would say the Avatar Jasmine IPA by Elysian Brewing. It might not be very common but the subtle and sweet jasmine notes blend well in this beer.

Woodland Empire City of Trees IPA

Woodland Empire

Cody Meurer, bartender at Bittercreek Alehouse in Boise, Idaho

ABV: 6.2%

Average Price: $8 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Woodland Empire City of Trees IPA is a West Coast IPA that has all that you’d want for that style — pine, citrus boldness — but also has a whole lot more going on. This is their flagship beer, and they colored outside the lines of what makes a West Coast IPA what it is. It has a dark golden color with ever-so-slight unfiltered cloudiness. Classic citrus and pine are followed by flavors of peach, melon, and tropical fruits like pineapple and guava. The slight malt sweetness brings out a floral quality that, when mixed with the fruity flavors, is quite nice and still very welcome in a pine-forward, hoppy beer.

Woodland does cool stuff. They aren’t the only Idaho craft brewery that likes to push the boundaries of what beer can be — Barbarian Brewing, Lost Grove, Sockeye, Payette, and many others are very creative — so we feel super fortunate.

Burial Surf Wax IPA


Emily Lawson, bartender at owner of Foxhole Public House in Bentonville, Arkansas

ABV: 6.8%

Average Price: $15 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

My pick is Burial Beer Co. Surf Wax. It’s a crushable IPA that’s deeply tropical and fruity. It’s my top IPA pick as summer ends. It can’t be beaten.

Brouwerij West Bounce IPA

Brouwerij West

Jeff Rogers, bar director of Jester Concepts in Minneapolis

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $13 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Brouwerij West Bounce IPA is a true West Coast IPA. There are hops, hops, and more hops. Citra, Mosaic, and Centennial hops make this packed full of citrus and floral flavors. It’s beautifully balanced but still hop-forward. It’s delicious and satisfying on a hot day and will accent your picnic in the park very nicely.

Beachwood Amalgamator IPA


Stephen Sylvester, bar manager at Piccalilli in Culver City, California

ABV: 7.1%

Average Price: $14 for a 6-pack

Why This Beer?

My pick is Beachwood Amalgamator. It has a light body, but heavy Mosaic hops bring out flavors of blueberry countered by dank resin and citrus. Beachwood is based out of Long Beach and is one of our house favorites, especially as summer draws to a close. The close proximity also means we can get our kegs super fresh which is important for IPAs.

Marz Jungle Boogie IPA


Justin Frierson, beverage director and operating partner at Eleven | Eleven in Chicago

ABV: 5.4%

Average Price: $9 for a 16-ounce can

Why This Beer?

I have a local favorite: Jungle Boogie by MARZ Community Brewing in Chicago. It’s definitely a break from tradition as this brew is not bready or cracker-like. Nice, balanced wheat and pineapple notes are really what sets it apart. A perfect blend of citrus, bitterness, and hops.

Sidenote, I enjoy selling this beer because of its distinct labeling.

21st Amendment Blah Blah Blah IPA

21st Amendment

Lauren Paylor, owner and co-founder of Focus on Health in New York City

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

21st Amendment Blah Blah Blah is my late summer pick. This 8 percent double IPA is loaded with hops like Centennial, Cascade, Equinox, Motueka, Mosaic, and Citra. It’s also dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Idaho 7 for a floral, resinous spring flavor.

Kona Hanalei Island IPA


Piero Procida, director of food and beverage at The London West Hollywood in Los Angeles

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Kona Hanalei Island IPA is one of my favorites which was inspired by the scents and tastes found on the island of Kauai, one of my favorite islands. I can’t help but think about Hawai’i when drinking this beer. You will taste passion fruit, some guava, and even orange on the palate. And even for non-IPA drinkers, this is an easy drink without overpowering bitterness. The floral-fruity aromas help balance the bitterness out which really makes this my favorite IPA.

It truly is Hawaii in a bottle.

Writer’s Pick: Troegs Perpetual IPA


ABV: 7.5%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

This 7.5 percent IPA might be available year-round, but we believe the best time to imbibe it is the late summer. Flavored with Bravo, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Nugget, Cascade, and Citra hops, it’s crisp, refreshing, and full of notes of lime zest, orange, and subtle floral and pine tree flavors.

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