The 38 Best IPAs in America Right Now
Exciting collabs, one-offs, mainstays, and everything in between.
“IPAs are so hot right now!” That sentence is so 1996. And 2019. And probably 2030, if we make it that far. As long as craft beer has been a thing, IPAs have dominated, bringing drinkers in flocks to their favorite beer bars, turning naysayers into beer snobs, and sending rabid collectors across state lines.
That makes picking the best IPAs quite a task, especially in the summer: The best at any given time can be mainstays, one-offs, and everything in between. To keep our bead on this ever-moving target, we’ve assembled beer experts to name what they deem to be the most attention-worthy IPAs at this very moment. Raise a glass. It’s a good time to be an IPA lover. It always is.
Brooklyn/Queens, New York
We’re approaching a point in beer culture where a young generation that came of legal drinking age alongside the rise of craft beer is becoming the upperclassmen, or the older guard. Many of us can easily recall a time when even the hint of a fruit ingredient on a label signaled that a beer would be a cloyingly sweet confectionary experience. Fortunately, brewing and recipe development has changed such that this is rarely the case. That’s why an IPA brewed with coconut like Finback’s Smooth Beats Miami can today be considered a prime example of a refreshing summertime sipper: coconut aromas and flavors elevate the juicy, tropical fruit hop profile and balances the citrus zest that kicks on the finish. It’s a vacation beer for sure, but it’s also Tuesday night on the couch beer in all the best, comforting ways.
Paso Robles, California
Firestone Walker has been brewing pale ales for its entire 25-year history, and, for the last 15, has been on a quest to master the iconic West Coast IPA style. The category has remained as fluid as it is enduring, and as rewarding as it is fleeting. Brewmaster Matt Brynildson has been tirelessly chasing the craft beer industry’s favorite ingredient. Over evolving trends, style fads, and changing flavor palates, Brynildson has stayed focused on the cutting-edge hop farming and processing technology. That experience comes to fruition in the new year-round release Hopnosis IPA. Hopnosis eases in with a light touch of malt and lower bitterness to deliver a pop of complex hop flavor derived from a blend of Pacific Northwest and New Zealand hops built around Cryo Mosaic. Cryo is a newish technology created to tap into concentrated lupulin (aka the gold at the end of the rainbow for brewers) to achieve a saturation of hop compounds without the massive bitterness. Hopnosis captures this with flavors of mango, passionfruit, white grape, and lychee in a beer that exemplifies the future of the style.
Fair State is one of Minnesota’s largest and best breweries, known for hop-heavy and European farmhouse-styles of beer, and not ignoring everything from lagers to big barrel-aged beauties. An old episode of Star Trek inspired the name for flagship hazy IPA “Mirror Universe.” But in a last minute plot twist worthy of a J.J. Abrams reboot, Fair State created the once-a-year special episode release of Double Universe that takes everything you know and love about the original but doubles the explosions because sequels always have to top the original. Double Universe poses the possibility of another reality where every beer was as soft and pillowy, juicy sweet, and tropical as a starburst with a cool and mellow cold ferment as this special edition release that inspires repeat viewings, double-takes, thrills, chills and jump scares.
During its sixth “Tie One On” anniversary, Monday Night introduced a new IPA brewed with six different hops and six different malts called Space Lettuce. Besides its wondrous aroma and complexity, this clear—yet juicy—DIPA carved out its own lane. Instead of geographical affiliations assigned to its style, Space Lettuce was simply deemed a “damn good” brew flexing 70 IBUs. Listening to the growing demand for it to not be solely a one-off, Monday’s folks graciously decided to make it a year-round extraterrestrial banger coming in six packs and on tap at its four Southeast locations (plus one slated for Charlotte in early 2023) as they celebrate year 11. Grab some and get your stargazing on.
There’s a level of expectation that must be met when you’re a New England IPA made in Vermont. Fortunately, many breweries in the Green Mountain State tend to surpass them and then some. But few are as accessible—both in availability of absurdly fresh cans and approachable flavor profile—as Foam’s The Shining. Bright tropical fruit notes of pineapple and mango come together with melon, grapefruit, and orange pith over low-medium carbonation here, creating a decadently smooth and easy-drinking hazy IPA that is always easy to come back to whether it’s been a month, day, or hour since your last can.
Heavy lies the head that wears the crown, unless that crown is made of hops. In 2020, Washington state found a new underdog IPA champion in newbies Burke-Gilman Brewing. Head brewer Phil Pesheck achieved apotheosis by winning a prestigious Glen Hay Falconer brewing scholarship, a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and being crowned the Alpha King for his Fresh Hopotheosis hazy double IPA all in the same year. Washington’s Yakima Chief Hops created the annual Alpha King Challenge in 1999 to find the world’s best hop-forward beer. Each year, industry pros have gathered in Denver to pick a new Alpha King, often ushering in new beer industry all-time greats. Burke-Gilman Brewing brought the crown back to the Evergreen State and subsequently put the small brewery on the must-visit map. Cementing their status as one of the new kings of IPA, Hopotheosis medaled again in 2021.
Paying homage to a legendary rap group the right way—with freakin’ permission!—Beale Street teamed up with local Memphis hip-hop legends 8ball & MJG to make this extra solid hazy IPA collaboration. Beale Street is coming out hard (IYKYK) with this sipper, using a trio of hops—Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic—to bring notes of mango, papaya, and a pine finish that just might spark off a freestyle session after a couple cans. As a bonus, the can art designed by Michael Roy aka Birdcap is fire. Black owned, Beale Street continues to defy the odds and contribute to the welcomed diversification of American craft beer.
With the surge of IPAs garnering new fans thanks to all the hazy, smoothie, and wave of adjuncts carving new lanes, the OGs and get-off-my-lawners will always show love to Alpine’s Duet. A truly legit West Coast IPA featuring the duo of Simcoe and Amarillo hops (hence its moniker), it boasts notes of tangerine, grapefruit, and that signature pine that aficionados of the style crave. Alpine was one of the pioneers of this style since opening its doors just outside San Diego back in 1999, and now the demand for the clean, crisp, aggressive hopping of IPAs is resurfacing. Don’t sleep on the Nelson IPA brewed with Nelson Sauvin, but when it comes to the best the Left Coast has to offer, Duet will always get its respect.
When two of Oregon’s most famous IPA breweries got together to collaborate on a new beer called Wanderjack IPA, most fans assumed it was a mash-up of modern classics: Wanderlust IPA and Pallet Jack IPA. As it turns out, it was just a funny name, and the beer itself is actually a completely new recipe built around the hot hop variety Strata. The WanderJack recipe symbolizes the future of the modern American IPA with a pale and lean malt character, a bitterness that wouldn’t jack up your palate, and balanced dank and fruity hop varieties. WanderJack IPA was only meant to stick around for a few months, but beer geeks ordered it by the pallet load and demanded its return. Breakside acquiesced, and in the future you will be able to get a taste of WanderJack for about six months out of the year.
There was a point where many hazy IPAs on the market started to veer into flabby, unbalanced territory. And while there are still plenty of gummy-fruit-snack-haze-bombs for those who want them, it’s nice to know that Trillium is still holding true to the bitter-backed approach with its flagship IPA. Galaxy hops help provide plenty of that pineapple and melon fruit your palate craves, but it’s softened by a biscuity maltiness and cut with a lime zest-style bitterness on the finish in what only be described as one of the most well-rounded takes on the style on the market.
Tampa Bay’s beer scene is steadily progressing and Magnanimous is a great reason for the boom. The renowned Juice Lord Hazy IPA—brewed with Citra and Mosaic, and then double-dry hopped with Vic Secret Hops—is presented with a pillowy mouthfeel blessed with notes of tangerine, mango, and pineapple complete with just enough of a bitter finish. This flagship brew has received so much praise that it’s garnered three other variations. Now that’s a true sign of a successful concoction. Besides participating retailer locations, Magnanimous hosts a steady flow of fanatics hitting up their Tampa and Bradenton taprooms to get fresh Juice Lord by the cases, so throw a quick prayer up to make sure there’s some left when enroute.
As a tourist city on the southwest shore of Lake Erie known for waterparks, amusement attractions, wildlife and marine activities, Sandusky, Ohio is not necessarily known for great beer. But Kha Bui had a dream to turn the city into a beer tourism destination when he and his family opened Small City Taphouse in 2014. With the goal of bringing the best beers in the world into one place, Small City quickly earned its space on the map with an incredible selection of both beer and eclectic Asian food staples. In 2020, he launched Clag Brewing right next door. Clag has emerged as one of the hottest New England-style Hazy IPA breweries in the midwest. Family looms large over Bui’s successful entrepreneurial career, and original standout beers Mama Bui triple IPA and Papa Bui double IPA were created to honor his parents and carry their likenesses. These days the beers are released once a year on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, respectively, and both carry heavy value in the competitive Ohio craft beer hype market, each destined to be classics.
Santa Rosa, California
Over the 20-plus years since Pliny the Elder was created, new Double IPAs have come and gone all under the looming shadow of the original. In 2020 with an impending divisive election, and the destabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian River Brewing decided it was time to reinvigorate their base and put their boy Pliny back up to run again as the leader of hoplandia. But how do you make one of the world’s greatest IPAs ever even more desirable? They needed a rebranding and a catchy acronym like “DDH.” “Pliny for President!” was a double dry-hopped version of Pliny that super charged the original with twice the dry-hops per barrel. The campaign worked with beer nerds rallying back to bottle shops and online stores to boost the sagging craft beer economy in the face of a crisis. With the midterms coming up, Russian River Brewing is bringing back the former one-time politician for a second term with a streamlined messaging as “DDH Pliny the Elder” packaged in stone cold 16-ounce cans for a new generation and a plan to make IPA clear again.
With an entrepreneurial journey that screams for a documentary down the line, the enterprising duo Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter—owners of the Inglewood, California-based Crowns & Hops Brewing Company—continue to blaze trails. After numerous collaborations with breweries (J. Wakefield, Three Weavers, Beer Zombies, Full Circle) alongside its own revered creations with a mission to empower underserved communities of color and encourage inclusion, the brewery went the lupulin-forward route to honor Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As proud alumni (Beny reps Spelman College and Teo is a Howard Bison), hop heads can’t get enough of the well-balanced, double-dry-hopped “HBCU” Hazy IPA using Motueka, El Dorado, and Idaho 7 bursting with tropical fruit and finishing with a pillowy mouthfeel. It’s only right to pay homage to their home state, so the “HBCU” West Coast IPA uses the same hop trio, but stays true to style by making the citrus more accentuated along with the body crisp and effervescent with a cleaner finish. Both are not only solid, but the can designs are extra dope with some direct influence from celebrated Morehouse graduate Spike Lee’s classic School Daze to seal the deal. Get you some.
Celebrating year seven in the beer industry with their revered Tropicalia IPA leading the way—and in the hand of Thor during Avengers: Endgame—Creature decided to make its second most popular hop-forward brew called Cosmik Debris graduate to year-round status. And rightfully so. Providing a bigger bang for the buck at 8%, this double IPA does a masterful job of fusing the tasting and olfactory notes of both east and west coasts, boasting the sweetness of melon and grapefruit in the front, coupled with dank and pine on the backend. Avoiding some of the syrupy textures and overdone hopping often found in its style, Cosmik gives hop-lovers an emphatic high five with Mosaic, Strata, Simcoe, Cascade, and Chinook seamlessly sharing the spotlight. Soon, Los Angeles will have direct access to Cosmik, Trop, and more of Creature’s liquid mastery when they open their new taproom and brewery there within a year. Until then, get your beer trading on. This one is a beast.
While it might feel like there are few corners of New England left for pleasant beer surprises to spring from, Connecticut is proving to be one such place. The state that most people forget is even tied to the region is steadily increasing their profile on the national beer scene thanks to breweries such as Fox Farm. Brewmasters here roll out everything from barrel-aged farmhouse ales to obscure lagers made with locally sourced ingredients, but their everyday appeal shines when it comes to flagship IPA, Burst. The well-balanced NEIPA pours hazy, but maintains an incredibly well balanced flavor profile of citrus fruit, pineapple, and floral hops with a nice medium-bodied mouthfeel. That combined with the relatively reined-in ABV makes it an absurdly drinkable juicy option to quench your thirst in the warmer months.
From one of the hottest Colorado breweries comes one of the most buzzed-about New England-style hazy IPAs. Six-year-old Weldwerks Brewing is located outside of Fort Collins in Greeley, Colorado, yet still manages to have beer geeks lining up for can releases of Juicy Bits and the special Double Dry Hopped Juicy Bits. The brewers go so far as to adjust the water chemistry and use higher-protein malts along with the tropical, juicy Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops for a soft, smooth mouthfeel, like your drinking pulpy fresh-squeezed hop juice.
There are few breweries anywhere in the country—let alone New England—that have been able to drum up as much hype as Tree House. Thanks to an expansion, it has finally become *that much easier* to get your hands on a few cans of their flagship IPA, Julius. Not that there’s not plenty to love in their entire lineup: It’s just that this beer has played a huge part in establishing the current haze-craze culture. Expect all those bright flavors of passionfruit, mango, and citrus when you crack a coveted fresh can.
With its hefty dry-hopping, haze-for-days appearance, and Shark Week-appropriate can art, it’s no wonder Kiddie Pool turned into a summer banger for 450 North. The brewery’s been around since 2012, but began generating serious buzz a bit after that with a lineup of heavily fruited sours and hazy IPAs. Kiddie Pool was an instant success when it was released in cans this summer, thanks in no small part to the double dry-hop siren song of Mosaic, Idaho 7, and Vic Secret.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The highest-rated IPA coming out of New Mexico according to Beer Advocate is La Cumbre Brewing Project Dank. The only thing is that the recipe changes with each iteration, making it an ever-evolving hop project that showcases different hops and hopping techniques. It’s essentially a brewers’ experiment, a tool for hop education, and a surprise of hop insanity for the drinkers.
Brooklyn, New York
Brewing in New York City is becoming increasingly crowded territory these days. It’s especially crowded if you’re trying to create a widely popular IPA that fits with modern tastes, is widely appealing, and doesn’t require waiting nine hours in line to get your hands on. Despite these odds, Threes seems to have succeeded with Logical Conclusion: Hopped with Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra, with juicy flavors of orange pith, ripe peach, and (according to the brewery’s own tasting notes) Gushers, this beer has become the talk of the town in a town with a lot to talk about. Whether it’s a can pickup from your local bottle shop or a pour from a fresh keg at your local, this beer has become a hometown hero.
If you’ve love PsuedoSue, you can imagine the appeal of her all-grown-up big brother, a wallop of a double IPA packing a massive Citra hop punch. All of the Citra calling cards—mango, orange, lime, pineapple—are there, with a beefed-up ABV and double the IBUs. Fans in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are in luck, as the Iowa-based Toppling Goliath chose those two states in its steady distribution expansion.
Big Lake, Minnesota
This juicy little number took the Twin Cities by storm. When it hit draft lines at one popular beer bar in Minneapolis, the bar’s owner told us every customer’s reaction was: “Who? What? Give me more of that!” Six hops—Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, Amarillo, Mandarina Bavaria, and El Dorado—are woven together in a way that’s complex but not muddled, making Hooey a something-for-everyone crowd pleaser. It’s only been canned since June 2017, and sees distribution mostly around Minneapolis and Duluth. Or, if you can't find it, get it straight from the source at Lupulin’s Big Lake, Minnesota taproom.
While Mississippi lawmakers continue loosening the reins on all the archaic laws that have been suppressing the state’s craft beer scene, SoPro has no issue carrying a significant load of representation with their stellar brewing. This hazy, dry-hopped IPA is simply awesome. Pouring a rich golden color, this liquid fruit cup is loaded with essences of mango, pineapple, tangerine, and peach. Brewers can overdo the dry hopping and Lupulin powder, which can often lead to a burning, acidic finish in the throat, but Paradise Lost graciously defies the odds and puts our palates on an island getaway with no plans of coming back.
It’s not often the case that your state’s namesake brewery also happens to churn out some of the best stuff within your borders, but in the case of Maine, it certainly is. Lunch has risen as a star among stars in a place very crowded with widely adored beers. We’re pretty sure the brewery’s devotion to using the best ingredients and tightly controlling shipping and freshness of their products make this balanced, bright, citrusy IPA like running into a friend you’re only lucky to see just often enough. The brewery’s commitment to the environment is just a sweet bonus.
Seasoned from the years working at the world-famous Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Good Word Brewing’s owners Todd DiMatteo and Ryan Skinner—backed by their talented team—are only in its fifth year representing the rapidly developing Duluth municipality with stellar results. Finally The Never Sleep New England IPA reflects their tireless efforts and acumen of what a gangster IPA is. Packed with Citra and Vic Secret hops that take us to the tropics, Good Word mellowed things out with flaked oats and English pale malt finishing with a texture smoother than Billy Dee Williams on ice skates. Evidently, no one is sleeping on this one after receiving Homebrewers Association’s prestigious honor of being Georgia’s pick as one of the “51 Craft Beer Clone Recipes 2019.”
In between collaborating with Run the Jewels, cranking out crazy-ass marshmallow/baklava/mint truffle stouts, and designing some of the raddest can art in the Midwest, Chicago-based Pipeworks steadily brews up this craveable unfiltered DIPA. The light body shoves the trio of Citra, Simcoe, and Columbus hops to the fore, letting the oily orange skin and dank white onion notes steamroll over the surrendering malts. Unlike some of the other beers on this list, Ninja vs. Unicorn sees regular releases and can be found on shelves—for a few minutes before it’s snapped up.
Continuing in a tradition of Route 66-inspired beers, Mother Road Brewing stops short of calling its Tower Station a NE-style or hazy beer but does drop keywords like “unfiltered” and “pineapple.” Brewers back this up with tangerine and orange citrus and a pale body that lets the hops speak loudly. It’s a triumphant bridge between west coast and east coast into a midwest package. Making matters even cooler, Tower Station comes in 16-ounce cans that you can “drop the top” on by removing the whole top of the can to simulate drinking out of a glass and getting the full effect of that juicy hop aroma.
Yojo IPA is named after a small idol featured in Moby Dick, for whom the character Queequeg builds small ceremonial fires. Similarly, beer geeks build small ceremonial bottle shares and conduct black market trades for their own white whale. Queequeg was a cannibal and also spearman for the Perquod in the novel who eventually goes down with the ship. Not sure what Moonraker is saying here, but maybe we are reading too much into it. Yojo IPA is only made three or four times a year in cans, which keeps it special and in high demand. The brewers pack tons of Galaxy, Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, and CTZ hops into this tropical hazy IPA.
The sleepy lake town of Bridgman, Michigan, is ground zero for one of the Midwest’s best-loved IPAs, a hazy-juicy double IPA packed with passionfruit and sweet tangerine flavors. It’s definitely a departure from Transient’s early reputation as a brewery focused on oak-aged and wild-fermented beers. But hopheads are making the road trip from Chicago to pick up fresh cans, proving they don’t mind the shift in focus one bit.
Kansas City, Missouri
When BKS Artisan Ales opened, the brewery planned to focus on barrel-aged sours. Then, Counter Culture happened. “It’s still our biggest seller, still everybody who comes in wants to see it on tap,” says cofounder Brian Rooney. He’d tweaked the recipe for Counter Culture several times since the brewery opened, switching up the hop ratios, trying new malts, experimenting with new yeast strains. But BKS has settled on a standardized recipe using a relatively uncommon English ale yeast and a trio of everyone’s favorite hops: Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic. Rooney calls them “The Holy Trinity.”
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Homes head brewer Nick Panchame almost doesn’t want to talk about Same Same Different: “If I mention it, then people come in and ask for it, and sometimes we don’t have it.” But it’s undeniably the brewery’s most popular IPA among a lineup of popular IPAs, a well-loved trio of Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic headlining the soft but full-textured beer. Try to catch it on draft in the brewery, but if you happen to miss it, fear not: The brewery has plenty of other IPAs in that same vein. “Our IPAs overall are pretty soft, with low bitterness,” Panchame says. “We usually concentrate on using really fruity hop varieties and really bright tropical notes.”
Garnerville, New York
For anyone who has followed his brewing career from Ithaca through Peekskill and up through current day, beer fans know that Jeff O’Neil (or “Chief”) knows a thing or two about putting out a truly show-stopping IPA. Of course, now that he’s been running his own brewery at Industrial Arts for years, it’s no surprise that his IPA is taking the Hudson Valley by. Wrench is everything you want it to be: Unbelievably bright, tropical nose with lychee, mango, papaya, and guava that slights right into the palate, super balanced and smooth while finishing with a subtle dryness that makes it thirst quenching. What’s even better is the brewery’s tight release schedule, which makes practically every drop you find even outside of the brewery supremely fresh.
There are exciting things happening in the perennially exciting beer state of Maine. What has always been fertile ground for influential craft breweries seems to be in the midst of ushering through a new class of young upstarts with great ambitions backed by legitimate talent. Orono Brewing is one such brewery. It’s named for the small town (and home of the University of Maine) just outside of Bangor and a full two hours north of the “bustle” of Portland. Head brewer Asa Marsh-Sachs has developed an impressively broad portfolio of impressive beers, but the flagship Tubular IPA helped to put them on the map. Bright citrus and grassy notes are balanced by flavors of ripe red berries and stone fruit with just enough perceived bitterness to create a smooth experience beginning to end. (The can’s Saved By the Bell design doesn’t hurt, either).
St. Petersburg, Florida
Florida has really made it a priority to let the nation know that they can brew some legit IPAs too, and the Sunshine City perfectly sheds light on their brewing talent. Double dry-hopped with a trio of hops known to deliver the fruity dominance you would yearn for while chilling in the Sunshine State—Azacca, Citra, and Mosaic—this IPA hits the refresh button with every pour.
2 Row Brewing helped usher in Utah’s modern craft brewery boom in 2015, a handful of years behind the renaissance of 2010-11 in many other states. Perhaps because the recent repeal of Utah’s restrictive alcohol laws limiting ABV on beers sold at grocery stores, 2 Row Brewing was able to enter the scene as a full-strength brewery that recognized IPAs were taking over the market. Since going from a homebrewer to a probrewer, co-founder/brewer Brian Coleman has made IPAs his thing, and his Feelin’ Hazy Double IPA has become one of the most sought-after hazies in liquor stores throughout the state.
Ever since walking away from the award-winning brewery he helped create in California (Knee Deep), Jeremy Warren has put his yellow lupulin-stained thumb on the pulse of the industry, making IPA after IPA in a variety of sub-styles, many better than the next and with psychedelic labels that seemed inspired by both Reno’s outdoors and dance clubs. Where once he specialized in giant triple West Coast-style IPAs, Warren has now mastered the juicy IPA, and when he tries to get that mouth watering fruity hop aroma like he does with this beer, all the boys (and girls) come to the yard.
You don’t usually think about monks as being bitter people. They do live in a monastery where they don’t have to travel to work or fret about how to pay for the groceries and gas for the hummer. On second thought, they probably don’t get to blow things up on the Fourth of July or ever experience an In-n-Out burger and the boss is probably an asshole. At least they get awesome beers like Citra Bitter Monk. I don't think the monks ever had double IPAs like this one, let alone dank and citrusy dry-hopping. Anchorage Brewing ferments all their beers in oak, too, and this one sat in Chardonnay barrels, so it has complex notes of oak, grape, and buttery tannins contrasting with funky brett yeast and citrusy hops.
Ezra Johnson-Greenough is the founder of Portland Beer Week and The New School beer blog. Follow him @newschoolbeer.
Zach Mack is the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. and Governors Island Beer Co. in NYC, a Certified Cicerone®, and absolutely nothing else. Follow him @zmack.
Ale Sharpton is an award-winning journalist, blogger, photographer, and beer authority based in Atlanta. Follow him @realalesharpton.