That's Just, Like, My Opinion, Man

Why I Hate Something You Probably Love: IPAs

IPA thumbs down
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist
Editor's Note: The strong opinions expressed in this story do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Thrillist. It is merely the author's stance, though having read this disclaimer, it is also now your stance, legally speaking. Kidding! You are now within your right to (politely) question the author's sanity.

IPAs disgust me.

I’ve never told anyone this before, for fear of being set upon by homebrewers, hopheads, and frat bros that’ve been totally numbed to reason by high-ABV swill. But I feel like I can trust you -- yes, you -- with my secret: At the merest hint of an India pale ale, I’m overcome with loathing so severe, it’s all I can do to resist smashing every tinted longneck in sight. I’m a wretched imposter, doomed to silently endure the world’s heinous praise for this “once and future” craft beer king, or else be laughed out of the liquor store. Heavy is the head that has a mouth that hates the brown… beer.

Why can’t I just enjoy it? Why does every single IPA make my gut bubble like a Jacuzzi full of soup? Every cicerone is my mortal enemy, every bar with rotating taps, my hop-hell. Oh, you disagree? Pound sand/shred me in the comments, because the reasons for my IPA hatred are completely unassailable:

grossed out IPA face
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

They taste like bougie garbage water

It all starts with that musty, grassy odor. People claim to love it, but that IPA stench hits my nose like a Christmas tree that drenched itself in expired Pine-Sol, then went out clubbing. You know that scene in Se7en, where Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman find a rotting dude's corpse covered in taxi-cab air fresheners? Spoiler alert: they do. Spoiled beer alert: IPAs smell like that, and yet somehow, they taste even worse.

filling IPA
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

Once it hits your lips, it’s so filling

In addition to tasting like Dumpster jambalaya, IPAs fill me up way too quickly. I can drink 10 normal beers and inhale some disco fries, then get out of bed and brunch like an American hero. But merely one IPA will turn me into a bloated acid-reflux machine who can’t take a step without burping up “nutty finishes” & “hints of cardamom”. Sometimes, this gut-busting feeling gets so bad, I wonder if I should drink less, or even begin to exercise, both of which are patently insane. Stop messing with my head, IPA.

chugging an IPA
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

I can’t chug them, which is the point of beer (hypothetically)

Hypothetically, if I wanted to take my shirt off, stand outside in the driving rain, and sluice suds down my throat with an industrial-grade auto mechanic’s funnel -- which I assure you, I totally don’t, especially not while listening to Smashing Pumpkins and Snapchatting ex-girlfriends -- IPAs would be a terrible choice due to their full-bodiedness, nonsensical expense, and bogus flavors. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to do it, which would be humiliating. If you can’t feel good about guzzling a beer with the swiftness & ferocity of a thousand silverback gorillas making love on a tidal wave, what’s the point?

overpriced IPA
Adam Lapetina/Thrillist

They’re egregiously overpriced, and don’t even talk to me about ABV

Whenever I point out how damn expensive this horrid slop is, my friend Taste McMoneybags starts preaching about how they’re actually a good deal, because they have higher ABV than regular beers. YOU KNOW WHAT, MY DUDE? YOUR NAME IS CLEARLY FAKE, AND ALSO SOMETIMES I JUST WANT TO SIP ON CASUAL BEERS WITHOUT FEELING LIKE I’M A DRAG ON THE MICRO-ECONOMY FOR NOT SPENDING $22.50 ON A LOCAL SIX-PACK. But no. I’m the bad guy because I happen to think the expensive stuff tastes worse. Once, I drank a PBR tallboy, and someone called me a hipster. It was my dad. He doesn’t even drink IPAs, but he’s disappointed in me for not having more expensive taste. Basically, IPA price-gouging destroyed my family. Sort of. Shut up. Dad?

IPA hatred
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

They make me feel like I’m taking crazy pills

Whenever I admit my prejudice against IPAs’ viscous villainy, I’m shouted down by legions of diehard fans. They tell me I’m out of my mind, that I haven’t tried the right ones yet, that I just don’t appreciate good beer. The chillest hopheads get in my face, insisting that I must just be a novice who doesn’t “understand” the “subtleties” of something that tastes like microwaved clementine peels. Maybe I do like them, I wonder, pondering my reality. Maybe I don’t even know myself anymore? I should give IPAs another try. This time, when the cedar-y backwash slithers its way down my gullet, I might actually enjo-- OH MY SWEET LORD! THE HUMANITY! OH IT BURNS!

IPA hatred
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

I’m jealous of all the fun they’re having

I didn’t even realize how proletarian “normal” beer names were until I got to college. There, I figured out what “proletarian” meant, and also discovered how much fun IPA lingo truly is. I would love to impress my friends by drinking rad-sounding brews like the Epic Hop Zombie, and displaying the rad-looking bottles in my apartment like trophies. But I can’t stand what’s inside, so I’m left out from all the fun of fetishizing. If the beer aisle is Mean Girls, IPAs are the cool ones, and I’m the sexually aggressive mathlete who never gets to bed Lindsay Lohan.

This is unacceptable, and I’m going to do something about it. But before I do, I’m going to have a vodka-tonic -- the only drink refreshing enough to cleanse my palate after all this disgusting talk about IPAs.

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Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist food and drink, an avid Tulsa Shock fan, and was just kidding about that vodka tonic thing, hopefully? Follow his secret online life at @dinfontay.