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Bartenders Name The Most Thirst-Quenching IPAs On The Market

Even if it was technically created to last on the month’s long journey from England to India hundreds of years ago, the modern-day IPA feels more like it was customized for summer drinking. Crisp, refreshing, and filled with citrus, floral, and dank, piney, bitter hops — what more could a drinker want in a summer beer?

West Coast, New England-style, and everything in between. Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic hops, we love them all.

“I reach for any fresh IPA brewed with Citra hops if I want my thirst quenched,” says Reed Odeneal, co-founder and brewer Perfect Plain Brewing Co. in Pensacola, Florida. “This superstar American varietal packs a heavy-hitting tropical aroma reminiscent of grapefruit, pineapple, passion fruit, and lime. It’s hard to find any other hop with such a bright palate.”

Other drinks professionals also love the IPA in summer. So we asked them to share their picks for the best, most thirst-quenching, hoppy IPAs to drink this summer. Check out all of their answers below and click the prices if you want to try a few.

Dogfish Head Hazy-O!

Dogfish Head

Hayden Miller, head bartender of Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

ABV: 7.1%
Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Dogfish Head Hazy-O IPA is a perfectly approachable (surprisingly sessionable at 7.1%) hazy IPA. The oat presence helps round out the IBU and citrius notes. Something that brings you the swimming hole vibe no matter your current locale.

Brooklyn Pulp Art

Brooklyn

Andy Shannon, co-founder of Candra Drinks in London

ABV: 6.5%
Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Pulp art hazy IPA from Brooklyn Brewery, the packaging as always is on point, but the slight sourness of an IPA balanced with tropical notes makes it a great summer session IPA.

Societe The Coachman

Societe

Rose Krone, bartender at Hippo in Los Angeles

ABV: 4.9%
Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Something I recently got into are Session IPAs, which are meant to be drank all day in the summer. They still have all the fruity, hoppy fun of an IPA, but are lower ABV so you can float above water all day at the pool crushing them back. My personal favorite is from San Diego’s Societe Brewing Co., The Coachman Session IPA.

Russian River Pliny The Elder

Russian River

Daniel Yang, lead bartender at Rosina inside The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas

ABV: 8%
Average Price: $8 for a 16-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Co. is a banger. In general, my palate doesn’t gravitate toward IPAs, let alone a double IPAs, but something about their unique floral, citrus, and pine aromatics paired with a beautiful bitter, forwardness and solid dry finish, leaves me weak in the knee’s (could be the alcohol content too).

I grew up in Oregon, so pine notes bring out a touch of summer-based nostalgia. Best to grab this baby when you can, Pliny the Elder is often in limited supply.

Terrapin Luau

Terrapin

Adam Mason, cocktail specialist at LouVino in Louisville

ABV: 6.5%
Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Why This Bottle?

I honestly love Terrapin’s Luau IPA. Orange blossom, passion fruit and guava combined to make an amazing fruit forward IPA that doesn’t overwhelm with high IBU factors but is still hoppy enough to pack that awesome bitter punch. Currently on tap at LouVino as well.

Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine

Lawson

Chandra Richter, beverage development and chief mixologist at Drinkworks

ABV: 8%
Average Price: $16.99 for a four-pack of 16 ounce cans

Why This Beer?

When it comes to my favorite summer IPA, I have to go with my local favorite: Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine — Vermont-born and Connecticut-brewed. This is a great IPA with big fruity hop notes and flavor. It’s very balanced and perfect to sip on a warm sunny day.

Abita Big Easy

Abita

Joel Ortega, owner and founder of Timber & Blues in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

ABV: 4.5%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Big Easy from Abita, its hoppy and citrusy taste it’s also ideal for this tropical weather. Plus, it’s from NOLA, you can’t go wrong with that. Crisp, refreshing, everything you want from a summery IPA.

Founders All Day IPA

Founders

Jeremy Williams, mixologist at MDRD at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan

ABV: 4.7%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

With the days being longer in the summer, I look to session IPAs with lower ABV, and I find it hard to get away from Founder’s All Day IPA. Session beers can sometimes lack a balance of malt character — though that’s the idea — but not so with this one.

Funky Buddha Hop Gun

Funky Buddha

Manuel Gonzalez, food and beverage director at AC Hotel Sawgrass Mills Sunrise in Sunrise, Florida

ABV: 7%
Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Bottle?

Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA has been around for a while, and it is still a winner amongst others IPAs. A hint of grapefruit and pineapple definitely awakens the summer cravings.

Three Weavers Cloud City

Three Weavers

Liam Odien, beverage director at Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey, California

ABV: 6.5%
Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Three Weavers Cloud City IPA. I live a couple miles away from the brewery, and they’re probably my favorite local brewers. Cloud City is nice and fruity and refreshing, shares a name with Bespin from ‘Star Wars’, and I get to support a local, woman owned business. Perfection.

Other Half Green City

Other Half

Ryan Anderson, complex director of beverage at Ace Hotel in New Orleans

ABV: 7%
Average Price: $25 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

If you are around the New York area, Other Half Brewery based in Brooklyn New York is my go-to hookup for IPA. Their beers are so drinkable for the IPA category. Especially Other Half Green City. The hops are melded in a way that is more about the aromatics and texture than harsh bitter flavors on the palate.

Single Cut 18-Watt

Single Cut

Frederic Yarm, bartender at The Smoke Shop in Boston

ABV: 5%
Average Price: $14 for a 32 ounce can

Why This Beer?

Single Cut Beersmith’s 18-Watt is an amazing summer beer for it is a lower in alcohol session IPA with more aromatics from dry hopping than bitterness. Not only does that make for easy drinking, it donates captivating melon, orange, kiwi, grapefruit peel, mango, and peach notes.


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