#ImperialIPA Archives – PorchDrinking.com
It seems like these days everyone’s making an Imperial version of some beer or another, but what does that actually mean? Turns out it depends who you ask.
Nestled about 50 miles north of Philadelphia in Emmaus, PA, Funk Brewing has been brewing unique and hop-forward brews in eastern PA since 2014. The vast majority of Funk’s portfolio consists of different varieties of IPAs from West Coast to hazy to Nordic; it’s a true hop-head’s brewery.
A while back we featured their Citrus IPA but once a year they up the ante and brew Double Citrus: a bigger, stronger version of their year-round IPA.
Lone Pine Brewing Company is a not-to-be-missed brewery that quickly grew from a small hole in the wall spot to a major player in the New England craft beer scene. Lone Pine opened in Portland, ME’s East Bayside neighborhood in 2016; by 2019, they grew enough to warrant a major expansion in Gorham, ME. Lone Pine is known for its vibrant hop-forward American ales and, over the course of two years, Lone Pine has worked to create what they call the “quintessential NEIPA with boutique hops.” The offspring of that labor of love is their award-winning Chaos Emeralds Double IPA featuring Galaxy and Mosaic hops.
So many apostrophes. With all the hub-bubbin’ about 4 Noses new Boulder taproom and sour barrel-aging facility, one of the Broomfield-based brewery’s newest creations might have been a bit lost in in the shuffle.
‘Bout Effin’ Time is 4 Noses‘ first Imperial IPA, released at the end of March this year. For those who love hops and would enjoy a callback to the pre-sour-crazy days of hoppy beer’s heydey, this is a can to try and get your nose in.
Autumn can be a very glorious yet polarizing time of year as the cool air begins to creep in and push out the warmth of summertime. For some, it marks the return of football season (yay, sports!), for others, it points to the return of the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte ala Starbucks), and still, for other hopefuls, it could mean getting to fret over your Major League Baseball team for the next month. The latter is what led me to this bold beer, Knowledge, an Imperial IPA by Rhinegeist Brewing.
Alright hop heads, gather around! This is a good one. The flavors are apparent in the aroma alone, leaving you the only option to drink this brew from Terrapin Beer Company right away to find out how delicious it is. This bottle was poured into a pint glass on a rainy afternoon and enjoyed on the back porch. A beautiful golden amber color appeared with a thin head. I felt really fortunate to get this and was confident I would enjoy the beer.
ABV: 9.9% | IBU: 33
Funky doesn’t begin to describe Odell Brewing Elephunk Imperial Wild IPA. This delicious boozy palette puncher is indeed a wild ride. It’s weird. It’s complex. It’s funky with a “p-h.” Yep, it’s PHunky.
Colorado has been the beneficiary of receiving both limited or, in some cases, wide distribution of nationally acclaimed cult following beers over the years, from Pliny the Elder, to Abraxas, Hill Farmstead’s Dorothy to Goose Island’s BCBS variants.
ABV: 9% | IBU: 69
As the first production brewery I ever visited, Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, PA will always hold a special place in my liver and in my heart. When I heard the official release of their new once-a-year double IPA was coming up, I promised myself I would make the trip. Eventually, I decided that lugging three small kids into a busy brewery would be a poor life choice and canceled my plans. Despite my last minute run-in with adulthood, Lady Luck was still on my side. I found a 4-pack of Tröegs Nimble Giant in the beer department of an upscale grocery store the next day.
One of my favorite series of beers right now is Pipeworks Brewing’s Fish Series of Imperial IPAs. The brewery rolls these beers out continuously over the year, while throwing a new fish into the pond every so often. Typically these beers feature Citra hops, honey, a tropical ingredient or two, and of course, a high ABV. The newest fish to swim (puns will stop) amongst the others is Sunburst Peacock. Like the others, Sunburst Peacock highlights Citra hops and honey — the adjunct ingredient in this particular release is guava purée.
ABV: 7.5% | IBU: 50
Here in Virginia the trees are beginning to bloom, bright yellow daffodils line the sidewalks and roadways, and warmer temperatures have started luring us outside off of our blanket-covered, couch-sitting butts. Spring has finally sprung! In my house, springtime begins with an annual retirement of our porters and stouts, making way for the refreshing, citrusy beers that are perfect for porch drinking! To celebrate the beginning of spring, Starr Hill Brewery out of Crozet, Virginia is releasing one of the best IPA packs I’ve seen in quite some time — the Four Kings IPA Pack. In this twelve-pack sampler you’ll find different variants of their King of Hop Imperial IPA which include a grapefruit, habanero, and lemon-lime version alongside the original. With Citra hops providing a strong citrus characteristic to the base of the IPA, the fruit and spicy variants bring a new level of complexity to the beer.
Many craft-beer fans know Port Brewing and Lost Abbey Brewing, thanks to their great reputations and relatively wide distributions. A bit less well-known, however, is Pizza Port Brewing Company, which is the branding the company uses for its five …
Style: IPA – Imperial/Double | ABV: 8.5% | IBUs: N/A
An 8% hop bomb; Hoppa Road is brewed with over two and a half pounds of Citra Hops per barrel. This makes for a big juicy, lupulicious brew.
ABV: 9.75% | IBU: 90
Drake’s Brewing Company, founded by Roger Lind, started in 1989 with two stainless steel dairy tanks, a fifteen barrel kettle, one fermenter, and a few British pub cellar tanks. The goal was simple: create good English-style ales. Eventually with the addition of fresh Pacific Northwest hops, top quality malt, and a neutral California ale yeast strain, the ales started to take a more distinct, west coast style. Years passed, recipes refined and evolved and in 2004 Drake’s created Denogginizer, a perfect nod to their English style roots along with a toast to their West Coast hop evolution, tying their past to their present.
ABV: 10% | IBU: 90
Bell’s The Oracle DIPA is a west coast-style IPA brewed in Kalamazoo, MI. This hoptastic brew challenges the likes of Stone Brewing and Lagunitas Brewing with its hop forward dry bitter sensation that overwhelms taste buds with exuberant bliss. I would venture to say that Bell’s has succeeded in their attempt at the style and may have done better than a few indigenous brands.
Rhinegeist Brewery – Citra Tooth Tiger Imperial IPA
Today’s breweres have taken beer, above and beyond being just beer. In some cases this has evolved to near obsession, especially when it involves tracking down a rare brew. Sometimes keeping tabs on these fleeting offerings can be difficult, but the challenge just adds to the overall experience – that is if you can manage to actually land a bottle or two. Another trend that has helped provide a positive impact on the craft beer scene is taking an already great beer and enhancing it with the addition of one or two more ingredients. Yeti Imperial Stout, by Great Divide Brewing Co., is a great example of this – oatmeal, chocolate, espresso, oak aged, barrel aged.
When I think of India Pale Ales, I don’t think of The Subcontinent, I’d venture to guess that most of you don’t either. Maybe California or Comstock, MI, but probably not India. The IPA is a British invention that is as tired as that other big British invention: Watt’s steam engine. America does IPAs the right way – the American IPA is the Saturn V rocket to the paltry British IPA. Or at least so I thought.
Laughing Dog Brewery, Sandpoint, ID
10 % ABV; 60 IBU
Bow Wow Wow Yippy Yo Yippy Yeah, it’s all about Stouts and Team USA!
It has certainly been an exciting time for Olympic Hockey enthusiasts. From the variations to rules and regulations, to the anticipation and build up of certain storylines and the actual matches themselves, there hasn’t been much to complain about…except maybe the early mornings during group play. But what better way to start the day then with the All-American Laughing Dog Dogfather. Nothing barks hair of the dog like this Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout at 7:30 AM. Who needs coffee anyway?
Sometimes, the chase is all the fun. Anyone who has watched a sappy rom-com knows how this plays out – the pursuit becomes the fun becomes the commitment, and then the waffling suitor gets cold feet. No sooner than he can regret it, Logan Marshall-Green swoops in and before you know it, Hide & Seek is playing in slow-mo. But what do you do when the object of your affection is no vexing vixen but a soapy seductress, a hoppy harlot, or a malty matron? We’re not talking about the 4:30 thoughts of a 5 o’clock cold one, this is serious: this is some Captain Ahab shit, and Bell’s Hopslam is my white whale.
Evil Twin Brewing Company – Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA
IBU: All of Them
This is going to be a bit confusing to those of you who are not familiar with my apartment, ok, well, that makes all of you – but I can smell this beer from my kitchen. I opened it, poured it, and ran to the kitchen to grab a snack. It’s a long way from my office to my kitchen, at least 40 feet. And there are walls…like a bunch of walls, at least 2, maybe more (counting becomes difficult somewhere between the 1st and 2nd Molotov).