This summer brought our review team the gift of a whole slew of big, juicy AF double IPAs. We’re talking about serious dry-hopped bombs with brash, bold tropical fruit notes balanced out by a judicious hit of bitterness. We’d bet money that a couple of these are destined for long-term greatness, which is why we’ll be grabbing as many cans as possible right now. Our reviewers also sang the praises of a bracingly tart sour and an impeccable lager with pleasantly malty undertones. While all of these beers will make you sit up and pay attention, they’re doing so without the use of funky, out-of-the-box techniques. Instead, these are classic styles executed with precision and finesse.
89: Hoof Hearted Brewing’s Are We Having Fun Yet?
Don’t be put off by the “objectively creepy” clown on the can art for this double dry-hopped party pale ale. Once opened, “this beer is a fruit bonanza” with an aroma jam-packed with “notes of pineapple, strawberry, orange, melon, and grapefruit,” writes Tucker Anders. “It’s nearly impossible to deliver on an aroma like this, but Are We Having Fun Yet? comes damn close. Each sip reveals a bouquet of bright, sweet, and floral fruit.”
91: Untitled Art and Mikerphone’s DDH Juicy IPA Version 4
“Taking the first sip, only one thought enters my mind: I wish I had bought more,” says Tucker Anders of this hazy, double dry-hopped IPA that “turns the dial way up on the big melon flavor.” True to form, it has the distinctive “billowing, foamy head, and light grabbing golden-orange color,” but it’s also a “refreshingly different take on the style, relying on complexity and execution rather than volume of flavor.”
91: Fort Point Brewing Co.’s Export
“Track down some of this refreshing summer seasonal from Fort Point before it’s all gone—because I might just drink it all if you don’t,” cautions Jesse Bussard about this German-style Dortmunder lager that boasts “a soft, round bready malt sweetness is highlighted by light caramel notes,” “a solid malt backbone and pleasing noble hop quality” and “finishes smooth and crisp with a slightly sweet taste that reminds me of Darjeeling tea.”
91: Bruery Terreaux’s Wit the Funk
“This is a beer sprung from respect and fortitude—there’s not a gimmick in sight,” raves Jerard Fagerberg of this sour wheat ale. “To an unaccustomed drinker, it could taste like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. But to a trained palette, it’s a well-sharpened tart—a spear of tongue-startling yeast genius. Impossibly, underneath all that, there’s a sweet malt base sitting, waiting to jump over the pucker and surprise you.”
97: Toppling Goliath’s Hopsmack!
“The loud juxtaposition between bright, sweet, and bitter is exactly what I want in a double IPA,” writes Tucker Anders. With “tropical, citrusy, grassy, and bright” notes from the hops, this well-balanced “tropical hop bomb that delivers big fruit” stands to rival Toppling Goliath’s legendary King Sue. It “smells like someone spilled an entire bottle of pineapple-mango juice while cutting up fresh pineapple and mango” and, thanks to 100 IBUs, can still “smack you right in the face with defiant bitterness.”