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National IPA Day!

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It’s National IPA day!  Let us bask in the glory of hops and indulge in our favorite bitter beverages.  For some of you – every day is IPA day.  My preferences change with seasons, new releases, and my mood, but a good IPA is usually a default beer if I just can’t make up my mind.  It’s safe to say that IPAs rule the craft market.  It seems like we get a new IPA in every week.  Sometimes they’re spiced with peppers, sometimes they’re brewed with Belgian yeast, but one thing is certain – they will always include HOPS.

Hops are funny little plants, and the variety available today are enough to keep any brewer busy.  Different hops impart different flavor profiles, and they’re not always used for bittering.  In fact, during the brewing process you can add both aromatic and bittering hops.  They are dropped in the boil at different times, and allow the beer to gain complexity in flavor and aroma.

At Lighthouse, we carry a wide variety of IPAs – we’ve got English, West Coast, American, Double, Triple, Belgian, Black, Sour, and Brown IPAs.  The possibilities seem endless, and if you’re the type of person that claims to “hate IPAs” I beg you to give them another try.  They’re not all aggressively hopped and bitter.  In fact – some are more malt driven and floral.  Some are citrusy. Some are lighter then others, and some will coat your tastebuds with a lingering bitter goodness.

In any case, we love IPAs at Lighthouse, and are stoked to celebrate National IPA day by pouring 5 of our favorite Stone Brewing Company beers.  The staff is celebrating IPA day with some favorites and some favorite memories.  Here’s a list of what we’re drinking (or wish we were drinking):

Staff Favorites:

Jason Adams has a new favorite and it’s easy to see why.  Lagunitas Brewing Company recently released Citrusinensis a pale ale brewed with blood orange.  It’s so good we can’t even keep it in stock.  If you see it, buy it, because it won’t be around for long.

Aaron’s favorite IPA is Heady Topper – ranked one the best IPAs in the world – this beer is ONLY available in Vermont.  You’ll most likely have to get into beer trading or take a trip if you want to enjoy this one – but we assure you, it’s worth it.  Aaron is our resident home-brewer and makes some of the best home brewed beer I’ve ever tried! His favorite hop to work with is the Galaxy hop.  It’s originally from Australia and offers aromas of citrus and passionfruit.

James loves Lawson’s Finest Liquids Double Sunshine – This brewery is based in Warren, Vermont, and once again does not sell their beer outside of the state (a trip to Vermont is looking pretty good right about now).  James’ favorite hope is the Citra Hop.  This is a fairly new hop that has gained wide popularity and offers flavors of strong citrus, tropical tones of grapefruit, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee.

Ty is a big fan of Oskar Blues Pinner.  This was last week’s beer of the week (obviously for good reason).

Jenna loves Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Grapefruit Sculpin, but who doesn’t.

MP’s favorite IPA also hails from Ballast Point.  Their Dorado double IPA is available in 6 packs, and offers a little extra hop and a little extra alcohol.

Kristin’s favorite is Fiddlehead Brewing Second Fiddle.  Yet another beer from Vermont.  When she can’t get her hands on this, she likes to sip on Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum.

J’s favorite isn’t available in NC, but this one is brewed in Chicago. His favorite IPA is Three Floyd’s Brewing Arctic Panzer Wolf. When brewing he’s a big fan of Citra hops.

Personally, I love all of the IPAs listed above, but my all time favorite is Mikkeller’s Nelson Sauvin Single hopped IPA.  According to Beer Advocate, it’s no longer brewed (and I haven’t seen it in over 3 years), but it’s the reason I love Nelson Sauvin hops.  They come from New Zealand and impart fruity wine like flavors.  I’m also a huge fan of Sorachi Ace hops.  I fell in love with them after trying Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace Saison, but I appreciate them in IPAs, too.  They impart notes of lemon grass and spice.  My favorite IPA that is more readily available is Wilmington Brewing Company’s Tropical Lightning.  Its bright and citrusy and goes down way too fast.  Give it a try next time it’s available in their tap room!

Whatever the IPA, we hope you’re celebrating IPA day with a cold beer.  We’ve got plenty in stock if you want to try something new!

Hoppy IPA day,