Sure, you probably have your favorite IPA, that beer you reach for without even thinking about it. Your standby. But IPA monogamy is ridiculous, and there are a ton of new hop-forward beers hitting the market this spring. We picked a six-pack of new pales and IPAs that need to be on your spring “to drink” list. Get them while they’re hot.
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Ballast Point Aloha Sculpin
At this point, there are more Sculpin spin offs than Marvel Universe projects, but that's okay. Because just like MU, Sculpin is awesome. This particular version has a softer mouthfeel than the trend-setting Grapefruit Sculpin, and is really just more mellow all around. It's fruity, but not overtly so, since a lot of that fruity character comes the yeast (Brux Trois) not additives. It's 7% ABV, easy drinking, and available in bottles throughout spring and summer. Aloha, brah.
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Fullsteam Foxfire Sorghum IPA
Fullsteam has a thing for local ingredients and this new IPA is no different, using North Carolina-grown sorghum in the mash bill. Never had sorghum? Me neither, and I grew up in the south. It's a cereal and a sweetener, and this beer carries a bit of added sweetness with it. It's unfiltered, aromatic as hell with tons of tropical notes and super hazy thanks in part to the Vermont Ale yeast. Mostly, it tastes like apricots. And I dig apricots. It's 5.5% ABV, and available in cans.
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Oskar Blues FUGLI Yuzu & Ugli Fruit IPA
This IPA, with a name that's incredibly hard to say three times fast, was originally brewed in collaboration with Japan's Yo-Ho Brewing Company and is loaded with really weird citrus fruits from all over the world. Forget orange and pineapple, you get Yuzu from Japan, Ugli from Jamaica and Rangpur from Bangladesh. Never heard of them? Me either. Yuzu is a sort of lemon, the Ugli Fruit is like a tangelo, and Rangpur is a lemon/mandarin mashup. So yeah, it's fruity as hell. Look for it to be released in cans (of course) this weekend.
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Creature Comforts Cosmik Debris
If you live in Georgia, and you have one local IPA you're looking forward to this year, this is probably it. Cosmik Debris is a seasonal double IPA that's released at the end of March each year, timed with the early spring hop release. Cosmik Debris uses five pounds of hops per barrel, delivering plenty of melon, marmalade and a little bit of pine. And it's pretty sessionable for a double IPA too, coming in at 8% ABV. Look for it in six pack cans.
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Port Brewing Nelson the Greeter
Port Brewing specializes in West Coast style IPAs and this new baby is actually named for a nudist beach in Southern California. Dig that lable. Nelson hops are the star of the show, but Port also used Denali, Lemon Drop and Mosaic. It's a West Coast IPA through and through, with plenty of citrus and stone fruit and a bitter finish. Look for it in 16-ounce cans through spring.
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Crux Fermentation Project Play Wave
When it gets warm, I reach for a pale ale because I'm a red-blooded American and that's what red-blooded Americans do. This new one from Crux Fermentation is classified as "a northwest pale ale" thanks to the abundance of Mosaic, Galaxy and Centennial hops. It's loaded with citrus, light on the tongue and lands at the perfect pale ale/day drinking 5% ABV.