The Top Imperial IPAs (which I actually drank) in 2013

citra v pliny

By Dan Culver aka The Hopfather

Everyone loves lists right? No more is that evident than in the craft beer world. So once again it’s that time of year when all the media publications and blogs put out their “top whatever” lists, so here at BREWPUBLIC we figured we’d again do the same. With some difficulty I have compiled a list of what I feel were the top 50 or so Imperial IPAs during this past year.

abrasive v enjoyby

In order to have made this list a beer has to have an ABV (alcohol by volume) of  ~8% or more and/or categorized as an Imperial/Double IPA on ratebeer.com or beeradvocate.com. As you can see, the beers are not ranked, but rather they are in tiered categories. Narrowing it down close to 50 was work enough, to rank these individually would end up being pure tedium. One last note, if there is a world-class IIPA which is not on this list it is probably because I have not had the privilege of trying it, or at least did not do so during 2013. I do my best to try as many IIPAs as I can, but getting a chance to try all of them is not exactly an easy task to accomplish throughout the year. If you feel a beer has been left out and would surely make this list, feel free to contact me to make arrangements to send me said beer. This would assure it a chance to make next year’s list.

So, with out further ado, I give you the Top Imperial IPAs of 2013 (I tried to include a photo with as many as I could).  Cheers!

 

 

Honorable Mentions:
And now to begin with the  top IIPAs of the year we will start with what I will label the “Honorable Mention” category. This is by no means a group that should be ignored, they are all great beers which were enjoyed very much and I’m sure can be considered tops in the category by some.

 

 

gotterdammerung

17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung – Stone Brewing

 

 

coronado17

 17th Anniversary Specialty Ale – Coronado Brewing

 

apw

Arctic Panzer Wolf – Three Floyds Brewing

 

 

batch 250

Batch 250 Imperial IPA – Tioga Sequoia Brewing

 

 

contentment

Contentment – Grateful Hands Brewing

 

 

dayman

Dayman Coffee IPA – Ale Man / Two Brothers / Stone

 

 

 Drake's Denogginizer Imperial IPA (photo from BeerPulse.com)

Denogginizer – Drakes Brewing

 

 

elevation

Elevation Triple IPA – Renegade Brewing

 

 

double trouble

Founders Double Trouble – Founders Brewing

 

 

green bullet

Green Bullet – Green Flash Brewing

 

 

hopsails

Hop Sails: Beer Junction’s 3rd Anniversary Double IPA – Schooner Exact Brewing

 

 

hop shortage

Hop Shortage Triple IPA – Knee Deep Brewing

 

 

hopslam

Hopslam Ale – Bells Brewery

 

 

Knee Deep Brewing Hoptologist DIPA

 Hoptologist DIPA – Knee Deep Brewing

 

 

hoptometrist

Hoptometrist Double IPA – Rough Tail Brewing

 

 

autism

Imperial IPA for Autism – Central City Brewing

 

 

loud lady

Loud Lady IPA – Airways Brewing

 

 

molotov

Molotov Cocktail – Evil Twin Brewing

 

 

vii

North VII – Fort George Brewery

 

 

armegeddon

On the Wings of Armageddon Imperial IPA - DC Brau Brewing

 

 

pure hop

Pure Hoppiness – Alpine Beer

 

 

resin

Resin – Six Point Brewery

 

 

sock knocker

Sock Knocker Imperial IPA – Coronado Brewing

 

 

twenty

Twenty – Avery Brewing

 

 

Runners-Up:

Now we step up to the second tier or runners-up.  These are what I call “Very, very, very good but not quite the very best.” These are all exceptional beers of course, and all are very close to being in the top-tier category.

 

 

apocalypse cow

Apocalypse Cow – Three Floyds Brewing

 

 

big mother

Big Mother – Mother Earth Brew

 

 

citra ninja

Citra Ninja – Pipeworks Brewing

 

 

dorado

Dorado Double IPA – Ballast Point Brewing

 

 

dub

DUB Double IPA– 10 Barrel Brewing

 

 

 Boneyard Hop Venom Double IPA

Hop Venom – Boneyard Beer

 

 

hopocalypse

Hopocalypse Double IPA (White Label) – Drakes Brewing

 

 

the imperial

The Imperial IPA – Flathead Lake Brewing

 

 

knuckle sandwich

Knuckle Sandwich – Bootlegger’s Brewery

 

 

sucks

Lagunitas Sucks – Lagunitas Brewing

 

 

molten lava

Molten Lava – Double Mountain Brewery

 

 

mongo

Mongo IPA – Port Brewing

 

 

notorious

Notorious IPA3 – Boneyard Beer

 

 

pliny

Pliny the Elder – Russian River Brewing

 

 

 Pizza Port Poor Man's Double IPA

Poor Man’s IPA – Pizza Port Brewing (Carlsbad)

 

 

sticky hands

Sticky Hands (multiple versions) – Block 15 Brewery

 

 

 Fremont The Sister Imperial IPA

 The Sister Imperial IPA– Fremont Brewing

 

 

war dog

War Dog Imperial IPA – Big Dog’s Brewing

 

 

All-World:

Here we are, the top-tier. These are what I consider the very top IIPAs and what I classify as “All-World.”  In other words, the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the ones you’d sell your soul for if you are a true hop-head,  etc.

 

 

Abrasive Ale – Surly Brewing

 

Bad Boy - Alpine Beer

 

 

citra

Citra Double IPA – Kern River Brewing

 

 

 Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA (photo from dailybeerreview.com)

Dreadnaught IPA – Three Floyds Brewing

 

 

double dose

Double Dose IPA – Otter Creek Brewing / Lawson’s Finest Liquids

 

 

enjoy by

Enjoy By IPA (multiple dates) – Stone Brewing

 

 

heady

Heady Topper – The Alchemist Brewery

 

 

These ladies from Alpine Brewing were serving up some righteous brews at FWIBF

 Keene Idea – Alpine Beer

 

 

megafauna

Megafauna – Laurelwood Brewing

 

 

ninja v uni

Ninja vs. Unicorn Double IPA – Pipeworks Brewing

 

 

Green Flash Palate Wrecker Imperial IPA

Palate Wrecker - Green Flash Brewing

 

 

Russian River Pliny The Younger

 Pliny the Younger – Russian River Brewing

 

 

ruin ten

Ruin Ten IPA – Stone Brewing

 

 

simtra

Simtra Triple IPA – Knee Deep Brewing

 

 

snake handler

Snake Handler – Good People Brewing

 

 

 wisdom seeker

Wisdom Seeker Double IPA – Black Raven Brewing

 

 

And there you have it! Thanks to Dan @TheHopfather for ruining his perfectly fine palate on some of the best hopped up beers on the planet. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram to see what he’s most recently tasting. Cheers!

Dan "The Hopfather" Culver discussing fresh hops

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6 Comments so far

  1. D.J. December 30, 2013 11:02 pm

    Dan, you have now officially earned the title of “TheHopfather”!

  2. Angelo December 31, 2013 7:38 am

    As far as friends go, Dan is top notch. Same could be said about his passion for and pursuit of hoppiness!

  3. Ryan December 31, 2013 4:44 pm

    Wow, great & extensive list! I might add Old Schoolhouse IIPA, 1 of my favorites in the PNW. Thanks for the writeup

  4. Joe January 11, 2014 4:21 pm

    Great list. Love the megafauna lov

  5. Joe January 11, 2014 4:23 pm

    Great list. Love the megafauna love.

    But am I the only one that finds heady topper overrated a touch. Very good but not world class. IMO, it gets respect veca

  6. Joe January 11, 2014 4:24 pm

    Great list. Love the megafauna love.

    But am I the only one that finds heady topper overrated a touch. Very good but not world class. IMO, it gets respect because it is the only good ipa to come out if the east coast. Would put Pliny ahead but Mayhap just nitpicking.

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