Which L.A. IPA is your favorite? (John Verive )
Craft beer has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and of the myriad styles of beer, one in particular has become the standard-bearer of the American craft beer industry: the IPA. Modern American versions of the centuries-old English style are known for their potent hop aroma and bitter punch that keep hop heads across the nation clamoring for the most pungent examples. Few breweries can get away with not producing these fan-favorite brews, and L.A.'s local breweries are producing some excellent and unique examples.
Whether you're a full fledged hop junkie or just starting down the path to palate-ruining bitter brews here are a few suggestions for brewed-in-Los-Angeles examples to try:
Eagle Rock Brewery: One of the first breweries to open in Los Angeles during this new wave of craft beer, Eagle Rock and its Populist IPA is rich with grapefruit and pine notes. It's a great example of a typical West Coast IPA, and it is available from its taproom or in 22-ounce bottles at beer retailers across Southern California.
El Segundo Brewing Co: Not a fan of an IPA's bitter punch? White Dog IPA is a refreshing alternative to intensely bitter IPAs; the beer is brewed with half wheat and half barley, which provides a crisp lightness to the beer. There is still plenty of hop aroma and flavor, but the hop varieties used result in intense tropical fruit notes that add to the approachability of the beer.
Orange County's Bootleggers Brewing: The five-year-old brewery in Fullerton makes Knuckle Sandwich, a potent Double IPA (also known as an Imperial IPA -- a stronger and even more hop-forward sub-style of the IPA) that tips the scales at 10% alcohol-by-volume. Knuckle Sandwich is thick and rich with just enough malty sweetness to stand up to the punch of layered hop flavors.
Beachwood BBQ and Brewing: The Long Beach brewpub is known for making a wide variety of different IPAs, and Brewmaster Julian Shrago is adept at capturing the essence of hops in his brews. From the pungent Imperial IPA Hop Ninja to the more easy-drinking Thrillseeker and Melrose IPA there is something pouring for every hop head at the two Beachwood locations (and at better beer bars around town).
Of course this only scratches the surface of L.A.'s hoppy brews. Also keep an eye out for the IPAs from the new Ohana Brewery, Angeleno IPA from the reborn Angel City Brewing, Smog City Brewing's Amarilla Gorilla, the ubiquitous Point the Way from Golden Road Brewing, and the white and black Double IPAs from Strand Brewing Co.
Do you have a favorite brewed-in-L.A. IPA?
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