- Style: Double IPA ABV: 9.4% IBUs: 88
If you still haven't tried it, you should definitely give it a shot. This super-fresh hop monster should be enjoyed by the date printed directly on the label to ensure absolute freshness. Although it is generally hard to find, it is distributed throughout SoCal, so keep in touch with your local liquor store or Taphouse and try some of the current 4.20 batch or the upcoming 5.17.
BA score- 98 and is currently #57 on top 250
- Style: Cascadian Black IPA ABV: 7.8% IBU: 75+
Taking its name as a variation of Bear Republic's flagship IPA, Black Racer is just as hoppy as Racer 5, well except that it's black. If you've never had a black IPA your taste buds are missing out. Containing both an aromatic and bitter hoppiness as well as the smokey characteristics of the slightly roasted malt, it truly is the best of both worlds. These black IPAs definitely seem to be growing in popularity and Black Racer is surely one of the best ones out there.
BA score- 88
- Style: DIPA ABV: 10% IBU: 87.8
Knuckle Sandwich is exactly what the name implies, it is one of the hardest-hitting DIPAs with its colossal hop profile and intense aroma. Despite the intense hoppiness, it still retains its rich malty backbone keeping it a well-balanced brew of northern American hops and hearty malt. If you ever get the opportunity to try this one, don't pass it up because you will not be disappointed!
BA score- 96
- Style: DIPA ABV: 8.80% IBU: 90
For this one, I wanted to switch it up and introduce you to a personal favorite of mine. Although this one is from New Zealand and not California, it most definitely is "West Coast" style. Brewed with 80% more hops than their regular IPA, the Superconductor hits you right off with over the top bitterness and aroma, effectively "shocking" the senses. What also adds to this beers character is its use of the NZ hops which, when compared to the citrusy West coast hops, tend to be more "passionfruity" adding more character and complexity to our idea of hoppiness. So don't be deterred by the larger price tag because of you're going to try some NZ beer this one is a must have!
BA score- 90
- Style: IPA ABV: 8.7% IBU: 42
For Stone's recent 2013 collaboration they teamed up with Two brothers and Aleman brewers to experiment with something creative and totally innovative. They came up with this, a classic West coast Citra IPA but merged with coffee flavors. This totally unique and seemingly contradictory flavor pairing results in an awesome almost sweet/salty combo. By melding the tropical bite of Citra with the fresh coffee aromatics and lingering coffee taste, they created a beer that you'll want to drink in the morning. I really hope they decide to revisit this one in the future, but in the mean time pick up a bottle or growler fill before its all gone.
BA score- 92
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