50 best ipas america draft magazine

50 Best IPAs in America | Draft Magazine

02 Jul 50 Best IPAs in America | Draft Magazine

Draft Magazine recently posted their choice for the Top 50 IPAs in America. Their choices were made by getting 386 brewers to send them beer, and they blindly chose their Top 50.

Not surprisingly, 1 of 10 IPAs in the Top 50 were from San Diego. 

#36. The Pupil, 7.5%

Societe Brewing Company – Kearny Mesa

From Draft Mag: “Whenever a former Russian River brewer heads out of Santa Rosa to do his own thing, it’s a good bet that the IPAs coming out of the new spot are going to be top-notch. Such is the case here. Societe cofounder and head brewer Travis Smith was Vinnie Cilurzo’s first production hire at the Russian River brewpub and was promoted to full-time brewer within a year. Brewing batch after batch of Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig clearly had an impact: The IPAs Smith develops at Societe are as clean, crisp, balanced and clean. In the case of The Pupil, the purity is actually visible—the beer is clear enough to read a newspaper through. A huge, fluffy off-white head emits subtle aromas of clementines and wet, mown grass, with hints of dried oregano and clean, minerally soil playing backup. There’s more malt than we were expecting on the palate; the sweet-ish finish has slight caramelized onion and a bread crust character that emerges at the swallow to balance leading notes of grapefruit and orange pith. Bitterness is a bit rough around the edges, but the balance and cleanliness are immaculate, and the soft dried papaya note that lingers after the swallow is that X-factor that only a skilled brewer of IPAs can draw out.”

#35: Clear & Present Dankness, 7%

Modern Times & Cellarmaker – San Diego & San Fran

From Draft Mag: ““Dankness” is the proper term to use here: This collaboration between Nor- and So-Cal hazy IPA practitioners smells and tastes like a bag of sticky weed, though digging deeper reveals more Northeasty notes likes dripping wet peaches and cantaloupe dipped in sweet cream. Citra, Simcoe, Galaxy and Nelson hops—plus a giant whirlpool addition of Citra lupulin powder—imbue each sip with sticky pot leaves and pine up front, soft pineapple and pastry midpalate, and grapefruit juice and pith toward the back. While bitterness is super-duper low, there’s a fair amount of grapefruit twang present to make up for it, and noticeable alcohol warmth adds its strength to the intense hop character to make it seem like you’re drinking a double IPA.”

#24: Diamond Dust IPA, 6.7%

Pure Project Brewing – Miramar

From Draft Mag: “If you’re not yet familiar with Pure Project, here’s the gist: The brewery’s located in SD’s Miramar area, inside a turnkey brewhouse set up by a local property developer as part of what it calls the “Brewery Igniter” program—basically, the company builds out a space with a fully functioning brewery, then leases it to new or growing breweries, circumventing the massive start-up costs many breweries spend years climbing out from under. It’s helmed by Winslow Sawyer, former head brewer—at age 22, no less—of Boulder Creek Brewing Company in Cali’s Santa Cruz Mountains. Unfortunately, that brewery burned down in March 2015, but the fire became the impetus for Sawyer’s move to SD and his eventual landing at Pure Project. And a little more than a year after opening, he’s doing amazing things in the leased-out space. In Diamond Dust he’s able to ply Cashmere and Mosaic hops for an aroma that lays bright papaya, blood orange and fresh grass clippings above doughy malts. Bold tangerine zest and baked pineapple pop up alongside lemon pepper midpalate, while mild hop spiciness tingles the tongue through the NEIPA’s soft, white-bread finish.”

#18: Boo Koo IPA, 6.5%

Mother Earth Brew Co. – Vista

From Draft Mag: “It’s no surprise that BooKoo made it this high in the rankings—it’s earned an impressive 97-point score from our judges in the past. Everything that wowed us then is still present now: Mosaic and Simcoe hops deliver a pleasant, interlocked blend of chopped garlic, apricot and lime juice. Clementine and dried mango strips emerge midpalate; mild malts and low bitterness lead things to a soft, easy finish. Super-clean and crystal-clear, this is a beer that’s beautiful inside and out.”

#8: Interleague IPA, 7.2%

Belching Beaver & Half Door  – Vista & East Village

From Draft Mag: “Man, do we enjoy what some well-selected Southern Hemisphere hops can bring to a beer. In this collaborative—and clear!—IPA, Nelson and Southern Cross deliver an aroma like the inside of a flower shop cooler: damp rose petals, wet stems and leaves. Hints of bay, dried onion and oyster crackers can be found below the foliage. The nuanced flavor shifts with each sip, vacillating between snappy green onion, rose hips and lemon marmalade. A supportive, crackery malt base provides just enough sweetness to balance out the hops, while clean bitterness lingers long after the swallow. It’s a thirst-inducing beer, like you can taste the salt on the saltine. A true West Coast IPA for a haze-weary world.”


Credit & Full Draft Magazine Article


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