THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

IPA Face-Off: Five of the Best in the Mid-Atlantic

by David Covucci on Feb 9, 2012 in Beer
IPA Face-Off: Five of the Best in the Mid-Atlantic

The past decade has seen an impressive crop of breweries sprout and flourish in the Mid-Atlantic, and in recent years, the talent of these craftsmen has become known throughout the country. Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware are no longer a beer backwaters – far from it, in fact, with numerous companies churning out kegs, drafts and bottles that compete with or set standards for with the best beers in America.

One category in which the region excels – and is perhaps doing better than anyone else right now – is India Pale Ales. Traditionally a West Coast brew, where hops grow easily, several East Coast companies are raising the IPA bar with some of the nation’s most intense ales. Check out some prime examples, below.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

There are IPAs, and then there is the gold standard, the one which everyone else bases their work off of. These days, that glory goes to the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton, DE, thanks to their flagship beer, the 60 Minute IPA. The beer’s name is derived from its brewing process, during which hops are continuously added during a 60 minute boil. Most of the flora used comes from the West Coast, and when fermentation is finished, this beer is a 6% ABV homage to the Pacific Northwest.

The beer opens with a strong, floral first sip, any sourness complete masked. In fact, it’s difficult to pick up any bitter notes at all, even though the beer comes in at 60 on the International Bittering Units (IBU) scale. The full-flavored bite without any bad taste is one of the reasons this ranks with the best.

 

Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA

Starr Hill Brewery opened in Charlottesville, VA in 1999, but in recent years offerings have exploded in quality, and they’re now cranking out some of the better beers this side of the Mississippi, from their crisp Jomo Lager to their take on the India Pale Ale, Northern Lights.

It’s a bit tamer than the 60 Minute on the hops, weighing in at 52 IBU, but it is stronger (6.5% ABV), and has a more prominent bitterness.  This derives from the Cascade Hops used in the steeping process, a favorite strain of flower among IPA brewers. The hop flavor is followed by a bevy of subtle flavors, with notes of pine, orange and grapefruit.

 

Evolution Lot No. 3 IPA

Much newer to the East Coast brewing world is Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Delmar, DE. Though new, the brewers here most certainly do not lack timidity. For their Lot No3 IPA, they pack each barrel with over two pounds of hops, which brings the label in at an intense 65 IBU. Evolution uses Amarillo hops, an exclusive strain from (again) the Pacific Northwest.

These pungent flowers bring a pleasant spiciness to the beer, which lingers just in the background behind the citrus flavors. Though strong (6.8% ABV), Lot No3 is very easy to drink, smoother than several of the even stronger IPAs on the market.

 

Victory Brewing Hop Wallop

A much stronger quaff than any of the above comes from the Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA.

Victory is one of the stalwarts of the East Coast scene, and the brewers have put several years of craft knowledge into the Hop Wallop. It’s almost an onomatopoeic beer – at nearly 70 IBUs and an astounding 8.5% alcohol by volume, this beer can seriously smack your face.

But it’s also an intelligent craft, with very little carbonation, giving the beer an English-style cask ale feel. Hints of berries make it through, as well as an earthiness, not at all hidden by the upfront, obvious hops. It’s a beer that can challenge any IPA in the nation.

 

DC Brau The Corruption IPA  

One of the newest IPAs on the scene is The Corruption, DC Brau’s take on the genre, and it’s just about the hoppiest on the market. It is also the only one of our selections to be shipped exclusively in cans, instead of bottles.

Each barrel is brewed with an impressive amount Columbus hops, such that the final product registers at 80 IBU. But the beer  doesn’t back that up with an overly strong alcohol presence; it clocks in around 6.6% ABV.

The herbaceous flavor is studded with pine notes and an earthy bite. But it’s the forward, heavy hops that make this one of the most intense IPAs on the East Coast.

Photo credits, in order of appearance: Flickr user lion05; Evolution on Facebook; Starr Hill on Facebook; Flickr user edwin.bautista; DC Brau on Facebook

Sign up to receive more awesome content sent directly to your inbox!

* indicates required
Please Choose Your Location
Close
Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

The adult candy company, Sugarfina, is behind this sinful creation of vodka-infused chocolate cordials, and th...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

The bar world was shaken last week when a bottle of vodka, reportedly the most expensive in the world at $1.3 million, was stolen from Cafe 33, a bar ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 9, 2018
Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Rebel Coast Winery was ready for California's change in legislation, as their marijuana-infused sauvignon blanc hit the shelves as the clock struck mi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 3, 2018
SPONSORED
A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

Good news for winos: a new study from the University of Cambridge says that the size of a standard wine glass is a full seven times larger than it was...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 3, 2018
Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

A group of New Zealanders in the town of Tairua on the Coromandel peninsula rang in the New Year in the best w...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 3, 2018
Behind the Bar: Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller of Wild Turkey for Over 63 Years

Behind the Bar: Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller of Wild Turkey for Over 63 Years

In this installment of Behind the Bar, The Drink Nation had the unique opportunity to chat with Jimmy Russell,...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 20, 2017
Bud Light Goes Medieval Over Minneapolis Brewery's 'Dilly Dilly' Beer

Bud Light Goes Medieval Over Minneapolis Brewery's 'Dilly Dilly' Beer

A town crier dressed in Medieval garb showed up at Modist Brewery in Minneapolis to deliver a very unconventio...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Dec 12, 2017
A Twin Peaks Themed Bar is Opening in California

A Twin Peaks Themed Bar is Opening in California

TV show themed bars are nothing new at this point, but that doesn't make this one any less exciting, especially for David Lynch fans, as Eater LA repo...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Dec 12, 2017
Ring The Alarm! A Brooklyn Brewery Just Released Bieryonce, A Beer Dedicated to Queen B

Ring The Alarm! A Brooklyn Brewery Just Released Bieryonce, A Beer Dedicated to Queen B

The female owned and operated Lineup Brewery has released Bieryonce, a German pilsner named after and dedicate...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Dec 5, 2017
This Winemaker is Releasing A 'Saturday Night Live' Line

This Winemaker is Releasing A 'Saturday Night Live' Line

Live from New York, it's Saturday Night Wine! Your late-night Saturday drinking choices just got more thematic, as winemaker Lot18, in collaboration w...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 30, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close