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 or 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.




17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung – Stone Brewing




 17th Anniversary Specialty Ale – Coronado Brewing



Arctic Panzer Wolf – Three Floyds Brewing



batch 250

Batch 250 Imperial IPA – Tioga Sequoia Brewing




Contentment – Grateful Hands Brewing




Dayman Coffee IPA – Ale Man / Two Brothers / Stone



 Drake's Denogginizer Imperial IPA (photo from

Denogginizer – Drakes Brewing




Elevation Triple IPA – Renegade Brewing



double trouble

Founders Double Trouble – Founders Brewing



green bullet

Green Bullet – Green Flash Brewing




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



hop shortage

Hop Shortage Triple IPA – Knee Deep Brewing




Hopslam Ale – Bells Brewery



Knee Deep Brewing Hoptologist DIPA

 Hoptologist DIPA – Knee Deep Brewing




Hoptometrist Double IPA – Rough Tail Brewing




Imperial IPA for Autism – Central City Brewing



loud lady

Loud Lady IPA – Airways Brewing




Molotov Cocktail – Evil Twin Brewing




North VII – Fort George Brewery




On the Wings of Armageddon Imperial IPA – DC Brau Brewing



pure hop

Pure Hoppiness – Alpine Beer




Resin – Six Point Brewery



sock knocker

Sock Knocker Imperial IPA – Coronado Brewing




Twenty – Avery 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.



apocalypse cow

Apocalypse Cow – Three Floyds Brewing



big mother

Big Mother – Mother Earth Brew



citra ninja

Citra Ninja – Pipeworks Brewing




Dorado Double IPA – Ballast Point Brewing




DUB Double IPA– 10 Barrel Brewing



 Boneyard Hop Venom Double IPA

Hop Venom – Boneyard Beer




Hopocalypse Double IPA (White Label) – Drakes Brewing



the imperial

The Imperial IPA – Flathead Lake Brewing



knuckle sandwich

Knuckle Sandwich – Bootlegger’s Brewery




Lagunitas Sucks – Lagunitas Brewing



molten lava

Molten Lava – Double Mountain Brewery




Mongo IPA – Port Brewing




Notorious IPA3 – Boneyard Beer




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




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 Double IPA – Kern River Brewing



 Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA (photo from

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 Topper – The Alchemist Brewery



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

 Keene Idea – Alpine Beer




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 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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