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.
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!
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.
17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung – Stone Brewing
17th Anniversary Specialty Ale – Coronado Brewing
Hop Sails: Beer Junction’s 3rd Anniversary Double IPA – Schooner Exact Brewing
On the Wings of Armageddon Imperial IPA – DC Brau Brewing
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.
Hopocalypse Double IPA (White Label) – Drakes Brewing
Sticky Hands (multiple versions) – Block 15 Brewery
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.
Enjoy By IPA (multiple dates) – Stone 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!