A West Coast IPA is the biggest, fruitiest, piniest, citrusy..er..est  type of IPA. It's a beer that bowls you over with a volcano of grapefruit, lemon, and pine. It's all about hops, hops and hops, with the malt having a say in a grainy, sweet contrast to all this fruit.

It was in the Pacific Northwest where craft's flagship beer evolved when innovative home brewers used locally-grown hops to make beer. These brew-kettle trailblazers also discovered that hops grown in the region (where most of US hops are grown) were especially epic in an IPA. The world took note... craft beer wins.

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5 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

1. HOPS! Shouty ones with exclamation marks! Cascade and Chinook give loads of resiny and citrus aromas and flavours.

A West Coast IPA is the biggest, fruitiest, piniest, citrusy..er..est  type of IPA. It's a beer that bowls you over with a volcano of grapefruit, lemon, and pine. It's all about hops, hops and hops, with the malt having a say in a grainy, sweet contrast to all this fruit.

It was in the Pacific Northwest where craft's flagship beer evolved when innovative home brewers used locally-grown hops to make beer. These brew-kettle trailblazers also discovered that hops grown in the region (where most of US hops are grown) were especially epic in an IPA. The world took note... craft beer wins.

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5 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

1. HOPS! Shouty ones with exclamation marks! Cascade and Chinook give loads of resiny and citrus aromas and flavours. Stone IPA showcases them.

2. Strength. West Coast IPAs tend to be hefty beers, strong at around 6-8%. Beers like Firestone's Union Jack IPA at 7.5% is a wonderful example.

3. Terroir. Like wine, hops has a clear terroir. Those grown on the Pacific Northwest, like Centennial in Torpedo, are spicy and citrusy.

4. Dry hopping. Dry-hopping was an old English technique, resurrected to add huge amounts of aroma. Hops are usually added after fermentation.

5. Few malts. The West Coast IPA differs from the East Coast IPAs and Mid West IPAs (yep, thatís a thing), with a muted malt profile, as in Rogue Brutal IPA.

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FOUR TO TRY

Stone Berlin / IPA / 6.9%

Stone IPA is a golden beauty that explodes with citrusy, piney hop flavors and aromas, all perfectly balanced by a subtle malt character. This crisp, extra hoppy brew is hugely refreshing on a hot day, but will always deliver no matter when you choose to drink it.
 
 

Rogue / Brutal IPA / 6%

Pine and marmalade aromas burst from the glass, followed by juicy pineapple and grapefruit flavours. Sweet and resinous, Rogue Nation Brutal IPA is full of fresh, punchy hops and finishes with a lingering bitterness that compels you to take another sip.
 

Sierra Nevada / Torpedo / 7.2%

Sierra Nevada's regular hop bomb and the first to use their dry-hopping "Hop Torpedo"--essentially a wind funnel for the fermenting beer--which imbues a huge hoppy aroma without the associated bitterness leaving a lush citrus and pine resin flavour to come through.

 

Firestone Walker / Easy Jack / 4.5%
 
Packing a load of flavour into 4.5% ABV, Firestone Walker's Easy Jack is a Session IPA that features hop varieties from Germany, New Zealand and North America. Predictably, the hops are prominent with flavours of pineapple, mango, peach and grapefruit yet its classic malt profile provides a fantastic balance..