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6 IPAs that craft beer drinkers will enjoy on India Pale Ale Day | WisBrewView Pick 6
Pick 6 of India pale ales brewed by Wisconsin craft breweries. Wochit
India pale ale. IPA. The supreme leader of the craft beer revolution. The craft beer sales leader since, well, pretty much forever.
The IPA has its own day (the first Thursday in August) which is befitting for any supreme leader.
RELATED:Wisconsin IPA Fest
Helping the IPA stay on top of the craft beer most favored list is the beer's wide range of stylings. Brewers continually tinker with hop combinations to adjust the flavors and late additions to influence aroma and everything in between, all in an effort to meet changing tastes.
Meet the many sides of IPA
There was the hops arms race to create ultra-bitter IPA.
There's the West Coast style that, while not bent on breaking bitterness ratings, focuses on the hop flavors, mostly citrus and tropical characteristics.
There's the latest trend, the New England style that's most often described as juicy. And while "juicy" might not seem to be a helpful description for a beer, try one and you'll know what I mean.
There are also imperial (or double) IPAs that approach 10 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and session versions with ABV in the 5 percent range.
Some brewers throw in a Belgian yeast strain that takes the flavor in a whole different direction.
Still not my favorite style
Despite all of those options, I still haven't acquired a broad taste for the IPA. I do like the Belgian style and those that play up the tangerine flavors.
Thus, I've put off doing a WisBrewView Pick 6 of IPA hoping that, if I drank enough this style, my palate would broaden.
Listen to these beer drinkers
I've gotten pretty good at taking a few sips of an IPA and determining if it has the flavors, aroma and bitterness that my IPA-loving friends admire.
Rather than creating a list of Belgian and tangerine-flavored IPAs or relying on my instincts of what I imagine is a good IPA, I asked a few USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin co-workers for some of their favorites to create this month's WisBrewView Pick 6.
At the front of the line is Kathy Flanigan. Not only is she the beer guru for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but she's also written a book — "Beer Lover's Wisconsin: Best Breweries, Brewpubs and Beer Bars" — about craft beer in Wisconsin.
Also helping are Jordan Schelling, who's no stranger to making road trips to acquire rare and limited release beers, and Jeff Bollier, who keeps on top of the craft beer business in the Green Bay market.
Tyranena Brewing | Imperial IPA | 7.5 percent ABV
This beer doesn't have my favorite name ever, but it tastes good. It pours a caramel color and the malts are evenly balanced against the hops. Just as you're getting used to the smoothness, and perhaps anticipating a taste of honey, the bitterness kicks in.
Yeah, you'll want another one to make sure that's accurate. It is.
Kathy Flanigan, entertainment, features and beer reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ale Asylum Brewing | Imperial IPA| 9.2 percent ABV
Last year my go-to IPA was Velveteen Habit. As the name suggests, this is the same beer but amped up far enough to melt your mouth.
In a good way.
It pours a caramel color. First you taste the booziness of it all.
Then you taste the caramel. Some berries. And some pine. If other Imperial IPAs are easy drinking making you want one after another, Napalm Bunny will sate you with one big explosion of flavor — a bomb to the palate.
In a good way.
Hinterland | American IPA | 6.7 percent ABV
Hinterland crafted a delicious, sturdy IPA that features Simcoe hops prominently, but nothing about this IPA overwhelms everything else. Instead, it is just a smooth, crisp, refreshing, not too heavy (alcohol-content-wise) entry.
Hinterland IPA demonstrates you don’t have to go to extremes with a beer in order for it to come out delicious.
Jeff Bollier, business reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Ale Asylum | Belgian-style IPA | 7.4 percent ABV
If you're going to catch me drinking an IPA — not for research purposes — this is probably it. You get the citrus. You get the bitterness. But there's just a touch of sweet, even a little spice, swirling around.
As soon as it all comes together, it's gone. Clean finish.
So, of course, you need another sip to bring it all back to life.
Daniel Higgins, food and drink reporter, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
3 Sheeps Brewing | Imperial IPA | 8.2 percent ABV
For being an imperial, First Kiss is very smooth and drinkable. The honey provides some uniqueness.
Jordan Schelling, producer, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
New Glarus Brewing | Imperial IPA | 9 percent ABV
Another smooth, drinkable imperial IPA, Scream is right up there with New Glarus' best beers.
You could probably do a year's worth of the IPA pick 6 and not repeat a beer, so here are a few extra.
Third Space Brewing | Milwaukee | 8 percent ABV
I picked up a growler of Unbridled Enthusiasm, a juicy double IPA, for a party.
It lasted about 20 minutes among friends who wouldn't claim to be IPA fans.
I credit the aromas of passion fruit, pineapple and grapefruit for inviting more than hop heads to the banquet. The juicy part of the IPA is achieved with just enough bitterness to balance the beer, before it goes over into too-sweet territory.
This is a Milwaukee nod to the Northeast style of juicy IPAs. It even has haze.
Good City Reward
Good City Brewing | Milwaukee | 8.5 percent ABV
This was the first beer I loved from Good City, a Milwaukee brewery that just celebrated its first anniversary.
Made with Citra, Amarillo and Eureka hops, it pours out copper in color. Smell it. Take a big whiff. Those tropical fruit and lemon citrus aromas reveal themselves as grapefruit taste. It's easy sipping, for sure, which is a caution at this ABV level.
I'm not the only one impressed with Reward. It won first place in a national Imperial IPA competition earlier this year.
Noble Roots IPA
Noble Roots Brewing | Green Bay | American IPA | 5.7 percent ABV
Fun fact: A bar owner shared a sample of Noble Roots’ IPA more than a year before the craft brewery on Green Bay’s east side opened its taproom. Now that the IPA is available for broad consumption, it remains just as tasty an IPA. It’s worth the drive to try it.
IPAs we've mentioned before
The WisBrewView Pick 6 started as a chance to point out that there are plenty of other Wisconsin beers worth going to jail for, other than Spotted Cow. Along the way a few IPA made the monthly lists.
Green 19 IPA | Titletown Brewing | American IPA
Fantasy Factory | Karben4 | American IPA
Velveteen Habit | Ale Asylum | American IPA
Green Chop Session IPA | Badger State Brewing | Session IPA
Lakefront IPA | Lakefront Brewery | American IPA
Hop Freak | Milwaukee Brewing | Imperial IPA
Ever Green Session IPA | Hinterland | Session IPA