Celebrate National IPA Day With These Bartender-Approved Beers

The summer months are full of holidays. Some are important (Memorial Day) and others… not so much (National Filet Mignon Day). While it doesn’t carry the weight of Independence Day or Labor Day, the first Thursday of August is one we eagerly await every summer.

It’s National IPA Day.

The IPA, also known as the India Pale Ale, is still the most popular craft beer style in America. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single brewery that doesn’t produce at least one IPA. This means that there are a lot of IPAs on the market. With that comes variety. West Coast IPAs can be bitter hop bombs; juicy, tropical-flavored New England-style IPAs are anything but.

The fact is, the IPA’s popularity is at least in part the result it being so complex. Which is plenty of cause to celebrate it. To get the most out of National IPA Day, we decided to ask some of our favorite bartenders what they’ll be drinking for the occasion. Check out their answers below.

Funky Buddha Hop Gun

Marta De La Cruz Marrero, food and beverage supervisor at Burlock Coast in Fort Lauderdale

Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA. It’s locally sourced and I like supporting local breweries. Additionally, it’s a well-balanced IPA. Not too strong but very refreshing for a hot summer day and it’s easy to drink. It pairs great with seafood.

Yazoo Hop Perfect

Franck Savoy, corporate director of food and beverage at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California

Definitely Yazoo IPA from one of my favorite cities: Nashville, Tennessee. An easy-drinking India Pale Ale, made with Citra and Mosaic hops that lend a citrus and grapefruit aroma to an already well-balanced, lighter-bodied beer.

Goose Island IPA

Reniel Garcia, bar director of Havana 1957 in Miami

Goose Island IPA. Fruity hops are lively and playful, making for an interesting take on American IPA. A fun beer to drink. The flavors work well together, and the beer is not overly bitter. An overall great hoppy beer with a touch of malt that is well balanced with the hops flavor and moderate bitterness.

Lagunitas Daytime

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

Lagunitas Daytime is great for summer and it’s light enough to drink a few in the sun. It’s 4 percent ABV and only 98 calories, but full of citrus flavor.

Santa Monica Brew Works Inclined IPA

Piero Procida, bartender at The London West Hollywood in Los Angeles

Santa Monica Brew Works Inclined IPA. Summers in LA, what better than something local and crafty that embodies that spirit in a can?

I think a lot of people expect a heavy bitter IPA when they have this and realize its nothing like that. You are still going to get hints of bitterness but it’s so incredibly smooth — pairing perfectly with the wonderful warm weather in Los Angeles. It’s so refreshing for an IPA we actually carry it as our main staple draft IPA at our rooftop pool.

Southern Prohibition Crowd Control

Adrienne Miller, bartender at Satterfield’s in Birmingham, Alabama

Southern Prohibition’s Crowd Control. The grapefruit and citrus notes are perfect in the summer heat plus it makes a great play on a paloma.

Harpoon IPA

Chris Amirault, bartender at mixology teacher at CocuSocial in New York City

I’m not the biggest IPA guy, but I have to go with the hometown hero in a good old fashioned Harpoon IPA from Boston. It’s fresh, hoppy, and perfect for summer.

Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine

Drew Reid, restaurant manager at W Aspen in Aspen, Colorado

Easy. Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine. This beer is incredibly complex and fits the mold of the top IPAs in the country. Unlike some of the other bigger/high ABV IPAs, I can drink Lawson’s all day in the summer sun.

Founders All Day IPA

Dylan O’Malia, brewer at Bonfire Brewing in Eagle, Colorado

All Day IPA from Founders Brewing. I love the fact that it has a lower ABV but still has a full and complex flavor. Living in the mountains of Colorado, outdoor activities are a way of life, and I appreciate that this beer can accompany me on all my adventures.

Ballast Point Sculpin

Jim Lunchick, master mixologist at Merriman’s in Hawaii

In this summer’s world of only one IPA, I’m going with Ballast Point’s Sculpin. It’s lighter bodied than most (so you can drink more of it) and absolutely brimming with hoppy complexity. It’s hot out there; time for lighter, more refreshing choices.

Rahr & Sons Dadgum IPA

Nancy Conaway, bartender at Cassidy’s in Fort Worth, Texas

Rahr & Sons Dadgum IPA would be my choice. It’s a great IPA made with Citra and Lemon Drop hops. That’s right—lemon drop hops. It’s ‘Dadgum’ good.

Cigar City Jai Alai

Erin Gowdy, bartender at Paul’s Landing in St. Petersburg, Florida

On National IPA Day I’ll be drinking Cigar City Jai Alai. There’s a reason it’s one of the most loved IPAs on the market. It’s a great IPA for summer days by the pool.