Just because we’ve hit March, that doesn’t mean that winter is over just yet. Even though the end of this dismal season is on March 20th, much of the Northern Hemisphere is still in the midst of a full-blown, chilly, potentially frigid, and snowy winter. But who wants to wait the last few weeks before spring begins (regardless of the weather outside)?
Why not start spring right now? Who cares what Mother Nature says? Rebel against her by putting away your winter stouts, porters, barleywines, and Scotch ales a little early in favor of bright, hoppy, piney, bitter West Coast IPAs. You know, the type of beers that will make you forget that spring and its potential for warmer, sunnier weather is still a few weeks away.
Green Flash West Coast IPA
San Diego’s Green Flash is well-known for its IPA prowess. It even makes a ridiculously hoppy and bitter beer called Palate Wrecker IPA. And while you can try that beer on tap in select locations, you can find its classic West Coast IPA almost anywhere. Brewed with British Crystal malts and six different hop varieties, it’s known for its notes of tart grapefruit, dank pine, and bitter, floral, herbal hops.
Rogue Gumberoo IPA
Apparently, Gumberoo is a mythical creature that’s “Bigger than a bear with wild eyes and jagged teeth.” It’s known for its aggressive nature against loggers attempting to pillage the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It makes sense that Rogue Ales would name its bold, hoppy West Coast IPA after this legendary creature. This year-round offering is brewed with 2-row and Munich malts, wheat, Pacman yeast, and Idaho 7, Belma, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops.
Stone Ruination IPA
With a name like Ruination, you should have a pretty good idea about what you’re about to get into when you crack open one of these cans. This 8.2 percent ABV is the first ever year-round West Coast double IPA ever brewed. Made with a wallop of Magnum, Chinook, and Centennial hops, it’s filled with lightly fruity flavors, tart citrus, and aggressively hoppy, bitter, piney hops.
Offshoot Escape IPA
Touted as an “every day” West Coast IPA, Offshoot Escape is brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, Strata, and Amarillo. This results in a full-flavored, bold IPA with hints of passionfruit, grapefruit, tangerine, and a ton of dank, resinous pine. The finish is brightly, pleasantly bitter, and leaves you craving more. It definitely is an every day West Coast IPA and one you’ll always want to stock in your fridge.
Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
One of the most well-known, highly regard West Coast IPAs every made, Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA gets its piney, dank flavor from the addition of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus hops. But it gets its balanced flavor from the addition of ale barley malt, white wheat malt, and Crystal malt. It’s dank and filled with citrus and has a bitter edge, but its malty backbone is what pulls all the flavors together nicely.
Our Mutual Friend Stacked Universe IPA
Brewed with Colorado-sourced malts, El Dorado, Mosaic, Citra, and Idaho 7 hops, this bold West Coast IPA is a symphony of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, passionfruit, caramel malts, and dank, earthy, herbal, bitty piney hops. It’s an explosion of IPA flavor that requires multiple samplings before you unearth every nuanced aroma and flavor. This beer is available on draft and in four-packs. It might not be the easiest beer to find on the list but seeking it out is definitely worth it.
Burgeon Treevana IPA
Drinking this beer will not only get you your West Coast IPA fix early, but it will also make you feel great because you’re supporting a brand that uses sustainable ingredients. This award-winning flagship beer is known for its over-the-top flavor profile of tart citrus zest, mango, pineapple, caramel malts, and dank hops from the use of Mosaic and Amarillo hops.
Breakside Stay West IPA
Regardless of this beer’s name, you don’t have to “stay west” to enjoy this classic, hoppy West Coast IPA. Resinous, dank, filled with citrus flavor, dry, and effortlessly bitter, this iconic beer is brewed with Azalea, Simcoe, and Chinook hops. This award-winning beer also features a nice malt backbone of 2-row, light crystal, and Munich malts.
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
Named for a stinging fish, this San Diego classic West Coast IPA is constantly rated as one of the best on the market. This 7 percent ABV, year-round, award-winner is known for its bold flavor profile of lemongrass, mango, guava, pineapple, tart grapefruit, and a bitter bite (just like the fish) from dank, resinous, floral hops. If you’ve never tried this California classic, what are you waiting for?