Today Is IPA Day!

Today, August 2nd, is a day to celebrate IPAs.  So go out, drink an IPA and enjoy yourself!

Here are some of my favorite IPAs and Double IPAs.

Kane Head High:  From the New Jersey brewery, and one I’ve reviewed before, Kane never fails with this beer.  It is always drinkable, and any time I see it on tap, I order it.  The beer is smooth and full of citus goodness.  The hops don’t overwhelm and lead to an almost sweetness.  Probably my favorite beer, right now.

Carton Brewing 077XX:  A Double IPA (in my eyes), and just as good as the Kane beer.  Smooth and boozy, this is a beer to get a buzz on.  The other great New Jersey beer.  The same hoppy deliciousness as the Kane, and addicting as well.  I’m dying to get back to Carton and grab a growler of this.  It’s been too long.

Troegs Perpetual IPA:  Recently had a six pack of this, and when it’s cold and fresh, it is just plain good.  This only style of beer this quality brewery has been missing had been a really solid IPA.  Perpetual goes above and beyond that.  A great example of what an IPA should taste like, especially once you get your taste buds adjusted to the IPA flavor–if you’re an IPA newbie.

Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale:  Unavailable in New Jersey, but worth hunting down (PA is your best bet).  Fresh and good, it’s like biting into an orange.  The hops are mild, but the flavor is sharp and decadent.  One of the best IPAs out there.  Find this.

There are many other quality IPAs and DIPAs out there that I haven’t coved.  Pliny the Elder by Russian River is impossible to track down, but well worth it when you find it.  Pliny the Younger even more so.  I’m a huge fan of Terrapin beers and their So Fresh & So Green, Green is fantastic.  That was one of my gateway IPAs.

But, today is August 2nd, so you need to drink an IPA.  Tell me which ones in the comments below.

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Goose Island Pere Jacques

If you know me, you know I prefer the word Belgian to be followed by the word waffle, not ale.  I rarely like Belgian Ales, it takes a special flavor for me to fall for a good Belgian ale (think… Saison).  But I’ve been curious about Goose Island Belgian series and picked up a couple recently.  I review Pepe Nero a few weeks ago and enjoyed it, though it was a bit weird.

Now we come to Pere Jacques, described only as a “Belgian Style Ale.”  Nerves abound.  It’s a darker ale, much like yesterday’s Barleywine.  But on first sniff, it smells of Belgian seasoning (is that even the right phrase?).  AKA, it smells like every Belgian beer I’ve ever forced myself to drink (don’t ask).  At least it’s not a hefeweizen, the worst ale in the history of mankind.

This is a malty beer.  It is sweet, very very sweet, and heavy.  It’s not a beer for the summer.  It reminds me of an Oktoberfest beer, full of malts, ignoring hops.  It’s very carbonated too.  Lots of bubble hung out on my lips long after the taste was gone.

Overall, this was a decent beer.  Heavy, dark, and malty.  I could drink one, but not several in a night.  It was worth trying something new, but not something I’d buy again.

Beer Websites… What’s the Buzz…. Get it?

The world wide web of internet Super Highways is a great place to learn about and discover new beer.  Besides this site, there are plenty of cool places I hit up to check out the latest in the world of beer.

Beer Advocate:  I probably shouldn’t have started here.  This is the end all be all of websites.  You can find information about pretty much any beer out there.  There are reviews from users and the “bros,” who are the people who run the website (and print magazine… subscribe!).  The reviews tell you what glass to drink the beer out of (there are more than just pint), what food to pair it with, and what other beers you should try if you like that one.  Great site, very simple and very informative.

Untappd: The Foursquare of Beers!  I love this app/website.  It helps me keep track of what I drank (not to mention, rewards you for drinking beers… with BADGES!).  It’s fun and interactive.  The more friends you make, the more people drinking and sharing what they’re drinking.  It’s almost like…social drinking.

Hunterdon Brewing:  This is another one for the local crowd.  Hunterdon is one of the New Jersey’s biggest distributors.  Their website rules, helping you find out what beers are being released that week.  Helping you find out what liquor stores have them.  Great site.

Beer Menus:  Another search site, this one for restaurants, mostly.  Same idea.  Type in your location, type in your beer, find it.  Then go drink it.  Very simplistic.  Very effective.

More sites to come in the coming weeks.  Come on, you don’t think I drink every night, do you?