Christopher Osburn
12 Best West Coast IPAs For Fans of Pine | Man of Many
When it comes to picking a list of the best West Coast IPAs on the market, it goes without saying, that expertise is key. While we’ve tasted every beer on this list, we’ve also turned to the wider public for their overall ratings. Our list takes into account three major perspectives to determine the overall rating. In addition to our own opinions, we take into account reviews via alcohol retailer Dan Murphys and the global beer rating community Untappd. We then collate the information together and measure the beers via overall flavour profile, reader ratings and commercial availability, meaning one-off special editions aren’t likely to top the list.
How We Chose This List
Today, we decided to pay tribute to these hop-heads by listing some of our favourite West Coast IPAs. This mix of American (that are available in Australia) and Australian IPAs is for the hop fans. You know, the drinkers who prefer dank aromas and resinous, pine needle-filled flavoured beers. Specifically, this is a list for the pine fans. Fur tips, dank resin, pine needs, these hoppy, bitter West Coast IPAs have everything you could want.
Best West Coast IPAs
Brand: Sunday Road Brewing Co.Release: Skinny Dip
Country: Australia
Style: Double hopped IPA
ABV: 7.2%
Untappd rating: 4.06
1. Sunday Road Skinny Dip
Brand: Green FlashRelease: West Coast IPA
Country: USA
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.0%
Untappd rating: 3.84
2. Green Flash West Coast IPA
Brand: Hawkers BrewingRelease: West Coast IPA
Country: Australia
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.2%
Untappd rating: 3.86
3. Hawkers West Coast IPA
Brand: Sierra NevadaRelease: Dankful
Country: USA
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.4%
Untappd rating: 3.76
4. Sierra Nevada Dankful
Brand: Offshoot Beer Co.Release: Escape West
Country: USA
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.1%
Untappd rating: 3.8
5. Offshoot Escape West
Brand: Drake’s Brewing Co.Release: Denogginizer
Country: USA
Style: IPA – Imperial/Double
ABV: 9.75%
Untappd rating: 3.91
6. Drake’s Denogginizer
Brand: Mountain CultureRelease: Back To Cali
Country: Australia
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.6%
Untappd rating: 4.02
7. Mountain Culture Back To Cali
Brand: Stone BrewingRelease: Stone IPA
Country: USA
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 6.9%
Untappd rating: 3.76
8. Stone IPA
Brand: Akasha Brewing CompanyRelease: Mad Max
Country: Australia
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 6.0%
Untappd rating: 3.78
9. Akasha Mad Max
Brand: Ballast Point Brewing CompanyRelease: Sculpin
Country: USA
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 7.0%
Untappd rating: 3.96
10. Ballast Point Sculpin
Melbourne brewing favourites Stomping Ground have proven to be one of the country’s best-loved beer producers and the Hop Stomper is a perfect example of why. The Gold-medal winning West Coast IPA has a mixed blend of malt bases, which range from Aussie pale and pilsner to Carapils, giving a more balanced, fruity finish. As one of the most sought-after IPAs produced locally, the Hop Stomper has cemented itself in beer folklore history, and for good reason.
11. Stomping Ground Hop Stomper
After being voted Australia’s favourite Craft Beer of 2021, Crankshaft IPA from Canberra beer lords BentSpoke Brewing Co. is a surefire winner in the West Coast IPA stakes. Arriving with a floral nose with notes of citrus and pine, this medium bodied drop is punchy with its hop flavouring. It’s one of the bigger flavour profiles on this list and naturally scored with well the judges in the 2021 GABS Craft Beer Festival. If you want something that is bold with its flavour but keeps the ABV to a more moderate level, BentSpoke’s flagship release is the drop for you.
12. BentSpoke Crankshaft IPA
And when it comes to hoppy, piney beer, there’s no better example than this classic IPA style. Named for the West Coast of America where San Diego breweries perfected this style, the West Coast IPA is well-known for its bright hoppy, piney aroma, citrus, tropical fruits, dank pine flavours, and high (sometimes aggressively so) bitterness. They get this heightened hop aroma, flavour, and bitterness from having a larger number of hops added to the boil kettle. Popular West Coast IPA hops include Centennial, Chinook, Cascade, and others.
What is a West Coast IPA?
While the American IPA was invented in 1975 by Anchor Brewing’s Fritz Maytag when he decided to brew his now beloved Liberty Ale using dry-hopped Cascade hops, the beer we know as the West Coast IPA was ostensibly invented in 1994. This was when American brewing icon Vinnie Cilurzo first opened Blind Pig Brewing Company in California (what would eventually become the wildly popular Russian River Brewing Company). He brewed a beer called The Blind Pig Inaugural Ale. This Double IPA began the West Coast Trend picked up by the likes of Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Ballast Point, and others.
West Coast IPA History
West Coast IPAs are definitely not a beer for novice drinkers. You might ruin someone’s day if you put a pint of these absolute palate destroyers in front of them and tell them to take a sip. But seasoned beer drinkers and fans of hops revel in the complexity, balanced, and pleasing bitterness of well-made West Coast IPAs.
Flavour Profile
When it comes to buying a West Coast IPA for the home beer fridge, there are some major considerations to keep front of mind. Whether you are looking for something specific and rich with unique flavour notes, or simply a classic IPA style for cocktail making, it pays to know your product, particularly for the foundations.
What to Look For When Buying West Coast IPAs
If you’re not quite aboard the West Coast IPA train or looking for something a little different in the beer scene, why not check out our articles on some of the other great pints from across the world?
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