The West Coast is the best coast for IPAs. West Coast really just means San Diego, which is the epicenter of the kind of IPA that’s known for being bright, powerful, bitter, and big with citrusy aromas. It’s altered from the angry early origins of a decade ago, when these beers were called things like Hopocalypse and Palate Wrecker, and everything was so bitter there was a chance your body would reject it as poison before you could swallow. The evolution has seen a mellowing, a shifting of weight, keeping the lean, tight, dry, and strong golden bodies, Cali-toned with no excess chub of chewy, caramel-y malts, and changing that ruinous bitterness into bigger, juicier aromas and a better overall balance.
Visit To West Coast Ipas In San Diego The Hoppiest Beer Crawl Photo Gallery
IPAs dominate disproportionately in San Diego, but complaining about that is like moaning that the sun shines too much there, because when you’re in San Diego you want the sun and you also want all the IPAs you can get. There are over 100 breweries in and around the city, and every bar will have a range of IPAs on tap as well. You’ve got exciting new breweries and established old favorites, and each one has at least a few different IPAs—Session, a straight-up IPA, a Double IPA, a seasonal, possibly one with fruit or wild yeast. To drink all the IPAs in San Diego is to go on the hoppiest, happiest beer crawl in the USA. And that’s simply what this entry in The Beer Bucket List is: go to San Diego and drink as much IPA as possible.
I’m not going to give specific IPAs to try because there are too many and we all like different things from an IPA. However, on my last trip (March 2017), my three favorite IPAs were Pizza Port Ocean Beach’s Jetty IPA, Fall Brewing’s Green Hat, and Societe’s The Pupil, although half a dozen more feature in the Other Essential California Craft Beer Experiences entry (see post 57).
With so many great and varied IPAs available, picking the best one in town is a near impossible task. Just don’t drink them from jars because that’s ridiculous.