The definitive list of Western IPAs that’s likely to change in five minutes

Inversion IPA, Union Jack IPA, and Racer 5 IPA

Colorado, setting sun, front porch, and yuppie IPAs. What more could you want?

My ulterior motive is to flesh out this list of IPAs. I know there are dozens more to add, but my research can only take me so far.  So please, by all means, add your favorite US West IPAs, and let us know where to find them. Here are my favorites:

For peeps who like it citrus-y:

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (CA)
(on draft occasionally at Lucky Pie, and easy to find at most reputable Metro Denver beer/wine stores)

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA (CA)
(frequently on draft at Riffs, and easy to find at most reputable Metro Denver beer/wine stores)

Stone IPA (CA)
(Stone is everywhere in Colorado. Throw a rock – or a stone – and you’ll hit it.)

Odell IPA (CO)
(If you can’t find Odell in Metro Denver, it means you haven’t left your house, and I’m sure if you venture ten steps away from your couch, you’ll probably find one in your fridge.)

Green Flash West Coast IPA (CA)
(on draft occasionally at Lucky Pie, and easy to find at most reputable Metro Denver beer/wine stores)

Ska Brewing Company Modus Hoperandi (CO)
(OK, I’m officially a believer now, thanks to my friend Jeff. And this one’s on offer just about anywhere in the Denver area, so feel free to session it.)

(note: if you want to kick it up a notch, look for the Stone Ruination Double IPA. It’s not crazy-boozy [7.7%], but it will give you an avalanche of orange, grapefruit, and lemon.)

For those who prefer their IPAs a bit more caramel-y:

Deschutes Inversion IPA (OR)
(oddly, I haven’t seen this on draft in Colorado all that often, but it seems to be in every beer/wine store in Metro Denver – and it’s usually on sale, so that’s good enough for me.)

(note: if you like the Inversion IPA, and you feel like going big, I recommend the Dogfish Head 90 Minute Double IPA, which is totally NOT a “western” IPA, given that it’s produced in Delaware, but for some reason, it’s widely available in Colorado. You can intermittently find it on draft at Backcountry and Cheeky Monk, and in bottles at liquor stores all over Colorado.)

For the “Goldilocks” crowd who like it balanced:

Russian River Blind Pig IPA (CA)
(Frequently available on draft at Backcountry, but a bit more rare in bottle form out west)

Great Divide Titan IPA (CO)
(see Odell’s availability above)

(note: we already know you love your IPA “just right”, so you may as well go straight for the top. Russian River’s Pliny the Elder Double IPA is a sipper that you should have two of, and then go to bed and have awesome dreams. This is one of the best beers you’ll ever have – but it’s worth mentioning that its sibling, Russian River Blind Pig, is also one of the best. It’s just that the Elder will get you tanked more quickly, if that happens to be on your list of priorities.)

Avery Brewing Company

Avery IPA Sampler

Trying to recall what these were… Columbus/Chinook IPA, Maharaja, and Hog Heaven… possibly? Yum!

Avery - The Beast Grand Cru Ale

Bubbly goodness crowns The Beast Grand Cru from Avery. As you can imagine, at 16-ish% ABV, it’s super light.

Avery is one of Boulder’s best bets for happy hour… and, frankly – for any time after 11 a.m. Here’s why:

Avery has long, high-top tables, 4-oz beer tasters ($2-ish/each!), and great pub food in “sharing” sizes from Savory Cuisines – a local catering establishment across the parking lot. Sign us up!  And you’ve gotta hand it to these folks for building a beer-friendly patio in an industrial office park.

Some hearty brews to sample while you’re there:

Hog Heaven Barleywine (for those who love sweet, bitter, extremely hoppy IPAs)
Maharaja Imperial IPA (102 IBUs – yowza!)
Samael’s Oak Aged Ale
Anything barrel-aged – I’m serious. Try one of these, and it will be a winner. And you typically need just one.

Order tasters of all of the above and the Sweet Potato Tots… then get a designated driver! Salut!

Hog Heaven Road

Chance street sign sighting paying homage to Avery Hog Heaven – displayed 1200 miles from Avery Brewing at Oink’s Dutch Treat in New Buffalo, Mich.

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