Iowa Brewery Top 10 for 2017 | The India Pale Ale Edition - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Iowa Brewery Top 10 for 2017 | The India Pale Ale Edition



As another year comes to an end, I'd like to focus on the top beers in the state of Iowa in 2017. I'll rank India Pale Ales and for me, it's a rangy category that covers session IPAs, American Pale Ales (APAs), IPAs, Double IPAs and the evolving NE style IPA.

Clearly, there's a lot of beers made in this state and for this category. I'm only one man and haven't had a chance to try every IPA brewed in the state (life goals). Rankings are subject to my own access and personal palete bias. Psst...take this with a grain of salt, as always. Any-who, let's go.


10. ALLUVIAL BREWING COMPANY - MOMO DIPA 71 IBU 8.5% ABV
This smooth drinking IPA gives no indication there's a big 8.5% punch there. Packed with double the sweet Pils malt backbone, the  double dose of mosiac hops really shine. It's fruity as hell and I promise you can't drink just one.

9. BARN TOWN BREWING - CHOWDA 62 IBU 9.4% ABV
Originally named as a NE Style IPA, something funny happened after a week in the tank. Chowda cleared up. While it's name stayed the same the style description changed simply to a Double IPA. This was the first big IPA from the young Iowa brewery. Owner Pete Faber came to Iowa from Chicago and this beer is everything Pipeworks Brewing would make. Crisp, clean and tasty.

8. 515 BREWING COMPANY - PASSE 5.9% ABV
Part of 515's single hop series, this baby is straight Citra hops. My personal favorite. The ABV is modest making this one a crusher. As breweries tend to have batches that vary, this summer's version of Passe was the best beer at 515 I've tasted. Freshness is key and I was there for a very young pour.

7. BARN TOWN BREWING - HOP SKEWER 6.4% ABV
While "Chowda" may have put Barn Town on the map, Hop Skewer is moving it up the charts. The West Des Moines brewery has produced some of Central Iowa's most exciting NE Style IPAs with Feelings Mutual, Pulp NonFiction and the Skewer. This hazy brew brings the slight bitterness that compliments the sweet perfectly.



6. ALLUVIAL BREWING COMPANY - LUTRIS PALE ALE 45 IBU 5.4% ABV
Fresh from the source Lutris is as close to the perfect beer I can get. It's light, sweet straw colored Maris Otter backbone sits back and lets you enjoy those sweet Citra hops. This beer is on par with Midwest G.O.A.T.s PseudoSue and Zombie Dust. The 5.4% is an easier drinker and it's the type of beer that quickly disappears from the glass.


5. PULPIT ROCK AND ALLUVIAL COLLAB - WHIPPY DIP-AH 60 IBU 8.3% ABV
Two of Iowa's hottest breweries teamed up a second time in 2017 for this big dry hopped double IPA. The 2017 version contained Citra, Mosiac, Eureka and Vic Secret Hops. All the fruits and right in your face as you take down pint after pint. That 8.3% gets you in a hurry, if you were lucky enough to get this beer.

 4. TOPPLING GOLIATH - FIRE, SKULLS AND MONEY 7% ABV
Citra, Mosiac, Galaxy and Nelson hops may be my list of favorites in no particular order. All four are included in TG's newly named in 2017 IPA. This beer isn't marketed as "NE Style" but you can't tell by the haze for days. This beer is Tang straight from that hop juice with no powder added.

3. PULPIT ROCK BREWING - RYHME ANIMAL 60 IBU 8% ABV
I've yet to have a PR IPA that didn't blast me in the face with fresh hops that casually lace the glass the way down. Citra, Mosiac and Vic Secret make up this mango and orange delight. There's definitely something in the water in Decorah.

2. TOPPLING GOLIATH - KING SUE 100 IBU 8.5% ABV
No, the King has not been dethroned. The double malt/hop version of Iowa's best pale ale packs quite the Citra punch. This beer is still easily one of the best DIPAs in the Midwest and maybe the world. With the expansion in Decorah, us lucky souls will soon be able to smash the King in a can. Wild.

1. TOPPLING GOLIATH - DOUBLE DRY HOPPED PSEUDOSUE 50 IBU 5.8% ABV
How does the DDH version of Sue topple the King? Simple, 5.8% ABV. Double Dry hopping is king in 2017 and that lower alcohol content leads to more in your belly. This is a beer if it had no alcohol I'd drink for breakfast with my eggs and toast. I'd load it in a Yeti and sip all day at work. It's Iowa's Fizzy Bubblech. It's amazing.


Just missed the cut:
Fantasy Brah DIPA (Alluvial), Lontra (Alluvial) , Helix Prime DIPA (Alluvial), Saftig (Pulpit Rock), Loopy Lynn (Pulpit Rock), Dave-O (Pulpit Rock), Boing! (Lark), Drugstore Cowboy (Franklin St), Dirty Loral Secret (Franklin Street), Ceiling Zero (Green Tree), Sosus (TG), Galaxy Sue (TG), SuMo (TG), Pulp Non-Fiction (BT), Feelings Mutual (BT), Unholy Trinity (515, Alluvial, PR collab), Coconut Migration (Single Speed), OJ IPA (515), Bogan (515), Double Dry Hopped Big Grove IPA (Big Grove), Easy Eddy (Big Grove), Citra Smash (Madhouse). Eureka Juice (Exile), Nelson Mand-ella (Iowa Brew Co.), IC Wave (Backpocket) and The Evil Dank (Millstream)

Prior to the calendar turning 2018, I'd like to rank Pale Ales, Fruit/Sour beers, Specialty and Porter/Stout. Of course, I'll finish it all off with my Top 10 Iowa breweries for 2017. Excited? I doubt it.

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