The Top Imperial IPAs (which I actually drank) in 2013
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
Arctic Panzer Wolf – Three Floyds Brewing
Batch 250 Imperial IPA – Tioga Sequoia Brewing
Contentment – Grateful Hands Brewing
Dayman Coffee IPA – Ale Man / Two Brothers / Stone
Denogginizer – Drakes Brewing
Elevation Triple IPA – Renegade Brewing
Founders Double Trouble – Founders Brewing
Green Bullet – Green Flash Brewing
Hop Sails: Beer Junction’s 3rd Anniversary Double IPA – Schooner Exact Brewing
Hop Shortage Triple IPA – Knee Deep Brewing
Hopslam Ale – Bells Brewery
Hoptologist DIPA – Knee Deep Brewing
Hoptometrist Double IPA – Rough Tail Brewing
Imperial IPA for Autism – Central City Brewing
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 Hoppiness – Alpine Beer
Resin – Six Point Brewery
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 – Three Floyds Brewing
Big Mother – Mother Earth Brew
Citra Ninja – Pipeworks Brewing
Dorado Double IPA – Ballast Point Brewing
DUB Double IPA– 10 Barrel Brewing
Hop Venom – Boneyard Beer
Hopocalypse Double IPA (White Label) – Drakes Brewing
The Imperial IPA – Flathead Lake Brewing
Knuckle Sandwich – Bootlegger’s Brewery
Lagunitas Sucks – Lagunitas Brewing
Molten Lava – Double Mountain Brewery
Mongo IPA – Port Brewing
Notorious IPA3 – Boneyard Beer
Pliny the Elder – Russian River Brewing
Poor Man’s IPA – Pizza Port Brewing (Carlsbad)
Sticky Hands (multiple versions) – Block 15 Brewery
The Sister Imperial IPA– Fremont Brewing
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
Dreadnaught IPA – Three Floyds Brewing
Double Dose IPA – Otter Creek Brewing / Lawson’s Finest Liquids
Enjoy By IPA (multiple dates) – Stone Brewing
Heady Topper – The Alchemist Brewery
Keene Idea – Alpine Beer
Megafauna – Laurelwood Brewing
Ninja vs. Unicorn Double IPA – Pipeworks Brewing
Palate Wrecker – Green Flash Brewing
Pliny the Younger – Russian River Brewing
Ruin Ten IPA – Stone Brewing
Simtra Triple IPA – Knee Deep Brewing
Snake Handler – Good People Brewing
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, you have now officially earned the title of “TheHopfather”!
As far as friends go, Dan is top notch. Same could be said about his passion for and pursuit of hoppiness!
Wow, great & extensive list! I might add Old Schoolhouse IIPA, 1 of my favorites in the PNW. Thanks for the writeup
Great list. Love the megafauna lov
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
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.
I like Ruin Ten and Simtra in your Cream of the Crop assessment. I also like that you have tried some Three Floyd’s brews. However, it is painfully obvious that you did not try 3F’s Permanent Funeral, because it would have topped your list without doubt.