Food & Drink

The Best IPAs for People Who Claim They Hate IPAs

Andy Kryza/Thrillist

For every beer snob who delights in drinking fresh-hop IPAs at the peak of their freshness/hoppiness, there's always the guy who absolutely hates IPAs. Some of them even work at websites that have a known love of beer.

And you know what? That's OK. We're not here to preach to the converted: we're here to open the minds of people who say they hate IPAs. We like to think they just haven't had the right IPA. Here are IPAs even people who claim to hate the style will love, according to brewmasters and beer experts from across the country.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale
Leighton Pope/Thrillist

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

7% ABV
Kalamazoo, MI
"I've come across a gang of IPA haters and have been batting 1,000 in my efforts to convert them. Aside from easing them in using a phenomenal, hop-forward pale ale like Oskar Blues' Dale's, my success can be attributed to picking the most well-balanced IPAs that show equal love to the sweeter, caramel presence of malt. The best that does this, in my opinion, is the Bell's Two Hearted IPA." -- Ale Sharpton, beer blogger

"Lots of malt helps ease non-IPA fans into this beer, and seasoned beer geeks can enjoy tearing into the complexities of a single-hop beer (Centennial). Unfortunately we don't get any of this in Colorado, but I'm always looking to put one in my hand when traveling." -- Matt Thrall, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
 

Victory HopDevil IPA

6.7% ABV
Downingtown, PA
"When I first started sipping IPAs in the mid-'90s, this was the one that sold me on the style. Refreshing, spicy, and and a wake-up call to other maltier styles at the time, it consistently continues to be one of the best. For stronger hop presence and potency, the DirtWolf and Hop Ranch (which I am literally sipping right now) are the shiznit!" -- Ale Sharpton, beer blogger
 

Creature Comforts Tropicália

6.5% ABV
Athens, GA
"If you're lucky enough to grab a slightly sweet, citrusy Creature Comforts Tropicália, you will see why this brewery further legitimized Athens, GA as an awesome beer town." -- Ale Sharpton, beer blogger
 

Lakewood Hop Trapp

6.4% ABV
Garland, TX
"It's a pleasant interpretation of the style with the twist of a Belgian yeast." -- Grant Wood, Revolver Brewing, Granbury, TX

Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

Odell IPA

7% ABV
Fort Collins, CO
"Because it's awesome, it's local, and I can get it all the time... and it's awesome. I've long referred to this IPA as my favorite in Colorado, and the title still stands to this day. Plenty of hops in the nose, not too much bitterness, and just the right amount of malt on the palate. Did I mention it was awesome!?" -- Matt Thrall, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
 

SweetWater IPA

6.3% ABV
Atlanta, GA
"I’m a fan of the SweetWater IPA for a few reasons. The aroma is clean with a touch of grapefruit and floral hops. There is a slight mango, honey, and orange flavor, and the mouthfeel is medium-bodied with carbonation that is well placed, creating a nice tingly sensation on the tongue. The taste is great -- a tropical hop flavor with the citrus (grapefruit) nicely balanced with the bitterness. Other flavors include pine, honey, and light caramel malt. Although this beer is hop-forward, it is not over the top. The finish is semi-dry, in which the alcohol is very well hidden. Overall, this is a well-balanced IPA with good hoppy flavor (grapefruit/pine) and just the right amount of bitterness. There is nothing overly complex, and everything is well balanced with a high drinkability." -- Tim Kovac, Small Town Brewery, Wauconda, IL
 

Old Town Shanghai'd IPA

6.5% ABV
Portland, OR
"I like a good English-style IPA, and this is a very nice one. I find them more approachable than the West Coast IPAs because of the malt backbone." -- Grant Wood, Revolver Brewing, Granbury, TX

Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Leighton Pope/Thrillist

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

7.2% ABV
Chico, CA
"Yes, it does have a big hop nose, but it is so incredibly balanced. Whether you like a particular style of beer or not, Sierra Nevada always makes an outstanding example. Thanks to their wide-reaching distribution network, this is my go-to IPA when traveling in the less beer-centric areas of the country." -- Matt Thrall, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
 

Deschutes Inversion IPA

6.8% ABV
Bend, OR
"This brew pours out a nice deep amber, a light brown color, and a nice off-whiteish head. I really like the color of this brew. This brew has the look of most IPAs but the smell of Inversion is rich with hops, grains, and malts. The first thing you pick up is hops, of course, though that is to be expected with this style. The taste is rich with flavors. The body is mild and smooth -- in fact, this is one of the milder IPAs on the market. Inversion has a real nice balance to it -- there's nothing overpowering about it. The mouthfeel is rich, bold, smooth, and refreshing." -- Tim Kovac, Small Town Brewery, Wauconda, IL
 

Russian River Blind Pig IPA

6.25% ABV
Santa Rosa, CA
"OK, it's hoppy and doesn't quite have the malt backing as the Bell's Two Hearted or Sierra Nevada Torpedo, but it's just so damn easy to drink. This is my thirst-quencher IPA, and I would really appreciate seeing more of it around." -- Matt Thrall, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
 

Breakside IPA

6.3% ABV
Portland, OR
"This beer from Portland is a true well-balanced IPA, which won it the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. It isn’t extremely aggressive or easily identifiable by a certain flavor profile because it’s so well balanced right down the middle. This West Coast brewery does all the classic brews, and just does everything so well. It’s complex but yet has a beautiful smell to the nose that blends resinous pine, florals, and citrus, right down to a restrained caramel in its backbone. It has a dry finish which is perfect for this style and is balanced and sophisticated -- I think you’ll enjoy this beer." -- Tim Kovac, Small Town Brewery, Wauconda, IL

Founders All Day IPA

4.7% ABV
Grand Rapids, MI
"This is a wonderful session IPA from the great people at Founders. The beer pours a nice, clear golden with a bright-white head. The aroma is full of orange segments, grapefruit zest, and some grassy notes. The flavor has some mild piney bitterness and a refreshing, effervescent mouthfeel. The finish is clean and dry with a slight lingering bitterness. A great beer for the uninitiated IPA drinker or someone looking to have a sessionable but flavorful IPA." -- Dave Adams, Green Flash Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
 

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

7% ABV
San Diego, CA
"The reigning king of fruit-infused IPAs is the Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. Refreshing and bright, this is a brew any fruit-beer naysayers should pick up too." -- Ale Sharpton, beer blogger
 

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

6.5% ABV
Boston, MA
"The brewers there can't make a bad beer. Citrusy and piney without being too bitter. Good balance." -- Grant Wood, Revolver Brewing, Granbury, TX
 

Pizza Port Ponto S.I.P.A.

4.5% ABV
San Diego, CA
"Ponto S.I.P.A. has been a great offering, especially since they started canning it out of their new facility. It also helps that they’re local and independent. This beer just reminds me of baseball, as does their Pick Six. The beer has a slight hazy, light-orange sunset color with a bright-white head. Its aroma has juicy fruit characters along with some nice resin and wet pine characteristics. The bitterness is mellow with a slight malt balancing effect. A nice dry finish leaves you wanting more from this summer staple." -- Dave Adams, Green Flash Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer at Thrillist, and loves Odell with all his heart. Follow him to Colorado pride: @LeeBreslouer.